The number one question I’m asked right after people tell me how cool HoloPhone3D is – “Are you releasing this on iPhone and Android?”. The answer is “No” which always baffles people leading them to then ask – “Why Windows Phone?”. Put quite simply, I believe Windows Phone is actually the best platform to develop for right now. Let me explain. I am by trade a C# developer – so obviously the ability to write apps using C# is an effortless transition for me. That having been said, I know everyone has an opinion on languages – but from my experiences with different languages – C# is an amazingly powerful language with a simple intuitive syntax and Microsoft supports an incredible suite of development tools around it to make building, debugging and deploying C# apps super easy. When looking at the code needed to create a 3D application I was very impressed with how simple XNA makes it to get something running without having to understand (or even really care) about the rendering or content pipeline. Working on HoloPhone3D was also really easy with the Windows Phone emulator (I even developed a prototype Proof-of-concept app on the emulator before I decided to sign-up for the AppHub). So from my point of view Windows Phone was clearly the easiest development platform for me to jump into without a huge learning curve. I’ve also been using the very cool SunBurn Engine which enables me to literally run the exact same code on Windows Phones, PCs and XBOX. That’s really powerful and I’ve already got some side projects going that are taking advantage of HoloPhone3D. WIth all that being said, it still doesn’t answer the marketplace/customer problem with Windows Phone – the number of Windows Phones sold isn’t even close to iPhone and Android, so why even bother – let alone make HoloPhone3D an exclusive title.
Although the Windows Phone marketplace is still relatively small, I believe that provided me a unique opportunity to provide a unique experience and establish my app in an environment with significantly less competition. I also didn’t want to have to deal with the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem. So far, my assumption has been validated with HoloPhone3D staying in the top 10 of all paid Entertainment apps since it’s release with a 5 week run at #1 in the US. (HoloPhone3D has also performed fantastically in the international markets staying at #1 for many weeks).
Finally, people state that there just aren’t enough devices out there to be super profitable as an app developer yet – so again, why bother. Here again, the answer for me is clear – with the release of 7.5 (Mango) and the upcoming Nokia handsets, I believe the next 6 months for Windows Phone will be huge. I believe the positive press that Windows Phone Mango is generating in conjunction with a big marketing push from both companies will really start to turn the tide against Android sales- getting traction on iPhone market share is going to take a little more time. I could certainly be wrong and (I’m most definitely biased), but this is my personal opinion and I think Windows Phone is a great platform to be a developer and I think the future of Windows Phone is incredibly bright.