A year ago, at CTIA, we announced MobileEdition. It was the first tool that allowed bloggers to quickly take a blog, and turn it into an App Store app.
No, it never shipped. We were told by Apple it wouldn’t last long on the market, as they’d pull the plug. In fact, they even rejected our early submissions of working apps, such as ones for sites like PhoneNews.com and TechNews.biz.
So, you can probably see why we wouldn’t consider it very newsworthy when other companies came along, got venture-backing, and made the same tool… only to wind up with notice today from Apple that their tools would be rejected. Worse, unlike MobileEdition, these tools cost money to generate an app, and submit it to Apple. Ours didn’t.
So, rather than attack Apple some more on this one, rather than re-hash why we don’t use the App Store anymore… we’re going to tell you what we’re going to do about it.
We’re going to open source MobileEdition, and give both the server processing code and app code away for free. From there, you can modify it as you please, as long as you contribute the changes per GPLv2, which is what we will be releasing it under.
This will give you the freedom to not be a “cookie cutter” and add your own functionality to your MobileEdition-powered app. And, thanks to open source, contributions will be shared, so other bloggers can arm their MobileEdition apps with new tools for mobile users all the time. From submitting content, to peer review, there are a lot of things Apple can’t say their Flash-less browser can handle.
Our hope is that development attention on MobileEdition will help pull in resources to spawn webOS, Symbian, Java, Android, and Windows Phone 7 Series front-ends for MobileEdition. Our goal is that one day a blogger will be able to simultaneously offer up apps for every mobile platform all at once, and offer download links on their own site. By targeting every platform, like Flash, we put the pressure on Apple to not be the odd man out in having an open, secure App Store.
And we look forward to delivering on this in the next month or so.