January 6, 2009
Apple's App Store has been a wild success, and it has brought mobile applications to the forefront. But creating an app can be an expensive and complicated process.
To combat this, Viximo has launched a platform that enables developers to use HTML and XML to create rich iPhone content. VixML is an optimized OpenGL-based content renderer that gives developers access to the smartphone's accelerometer, motion detector, and graphics without having to master the iPhone's software development kit. "We wanted to create a simple yet powerful tool that would open the door to all designers, not just Web developers, and allow them to elevate the interactive experiences that people can have with the iPhone," Viximo CEO Rob Frasca said. Developers can use VixML's drag-and-drop interface to create dynamic content for iPhone applications. The development platform is currently in beta, and it allows designers to make new content for Viximo's TrueFlirt iPhone application. The TrueFlirt app lets users send media-rich "flirts" to other iPhone users. These flirts can be interactive and use multitouch, sound, video, a rudimentary physics engine, and other iPhone features. Developers can use VixML to create new flirts that are sold in the App Store, and content creators will get a cut of the revenue. Frasca said the majority of the 10,000 programs in the App Store aren't very good because many creators are concerned about return on investment. For example, if you're only going to charge 99 cents for an app that cost $20,000 to create, a developer might take a few shortcuts. But Frasca said VixML can cut out a lot of development time, as well as lower the cost and experience needed to create strong iPhone content. "If you know how to design a Web page, you'll know how to use this," Frasca said. VixML currently only works with the TrueFlirt app, but it eventually will work for multiple apps across multiple operating systems, Frasca said.
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