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Rhodes 1.0 for Developers: Write App Once for Multiple Platforms

rhomobile-logoWe’ve wondered if the explosion of smartphone app stores has created a dilemma for developers. It’s easy to imagine that with limited resources, app developers are going to make a choice as to which platform will make them the most money and then go solely with that one for their baby.  It can’t be an easy choice to make, so a new product announced today may go a long way to helping in this area.

Rhodes 1.0 by Rhomobile is an open-source, Ruby-based tool that lets developers write their app once and then have native versions for iPhone (s AAPL), BlackBerry (s RIMM), Android (s GOOG) , Windows Mobile (s MSFT) and Symbian. What a big deal this should be, especially for those small development firms that are resource-strapped. According to Rhomobile apps are written in HTML and fully native versions, not web apps, are produced for all of the platforms noted. Press release after the jump.

Rhomobile Launches Rhodes Open Source Smartphone Application Development Framework

Rhodes Slashes Mobile App Development Effort by 80 Percent

New Framework Allows Developers to Simultaneously Create Native Applications for All Smartphones

CUPERTINO, Calif. – March 24, 2009 – Rhomobile today announced the release of Rhodes 1.0, the industry’s first open source framework for rapidly building mobile applications for all major smartphone operating systems. Rhodes allows developers to write a smartphone application once using simple HTML and it automatically builds native applications for all smartphones including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and now Android.

The Rhodes framework is now available at

“As a web and mobile app developer, I was attracted to the idea of leveraging our web development skills to build natively running applications on the iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile and now Android platforms,” said Michael Morris, CEO of Carry The Day (developers of two Rhodes-based mobile apps). “Another big plus of the Rhodes framework is its availability via public open source repositories, unlike all other ‘enterprise mobility’ solutions.”

By enabling developers to code smartphone applications in HTML instead of in diverse and complex native device operating system languages, Rhodes reduces development costs by up to five times and eliminates the need to develop specific applications for each mobile OS. Rhodes’ unique framework allows for creation of robust mobile applications that can take full advantage of smartphone capabilities such as GPS, PIM data and camera. Rhodes is ideal for mobile applications that require interaction with hosted enterprise application (SaaS) backends like CRM and ERP and allows the user to work offline with synchronized local data.

“By using HTML, Rhodes breaks down the barrier between an inspired idea and a full blown mobile application that works on all the top smartphones,” said Adam Blum, CEO of Rhomobile. “Whether you are an enterprise developer who wants to tap into the power of today’s smartphones for the mobile workforce or an entrepreneur who wants to build software for app stores, our Rhodes framework provides unparalleled ease-of-use and efficiency, allowing developers to build powerful mobile applications with about ten percent of the code used in apps today.”

Rhodes Features:
– Makes developers five times more productive for even a single smartphone OS
– Allows developers to write apps in HTML and simultaneously build for all smartphones
– Supports iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android
– Features the world’s first Ruby implementations for all of those smartphones
– Full access to device capabilities: GPS, PIM contacts, camera
– Allows users to work with synced local data for rapid access and ease of operation when disconnected or offline
– Available as open source realtime on public repositories

Rhodes is available under unique and flexible pricing options suitable for a range of smartphone application efforts providing low cost options for the enterprise to enable their mobile workforce and encouraging entrepreneurial innovation. Rhomobile offers dual licensing under GPLv3 for open source apps and commercial licensing options for enterprises and ISVs.

The Rhodes framework is now available at

About Rhomobile
Rhomobile Inc., a privately held venture-backed company, provides Rhodes, the industry’s first open source mobile framework. For more information on Rhomobile visit

One Response to “Rhodes 1.0 for Developers: Write App Once for Multiple Platforms”

  1. Interesting. Presumably a framework needs to be installed on the phone? Ruby presumably isn’t suited to compiling to native code? And will performance be adequate given that it is Ruby-based?