Many within the open source community have recently bemoaned the lack of open source apps for mobile devices. However, their contention that open source has ignored the ongoing transition to a post-PC world isn't entirely accurate.
While it's true that the number open source mobile apps haven't kept pace with the exponential growth of mobile apps in general, open source developers are slowly but steadily adding to the library of open source apps for smartphones and tablets.
In addition, many apps that aren't open source themselves have been created using open source development tools. Arguably, some of the best mobile development tools out there are available under open source licenses, and this category continues to grow quickly.
Also, many existing open source projects have updated their feature set to add mobile capabilities and access from mobile devices.
Thanks to all of this progress, we were been able to extend our list of open source tools for the mobile workforce from the 50 projects we featured last year to 64 this year. The section on mobile development tools alone doubled as many notable projects are growing in popularity.
As always, if you'd like to recommend other open source mobility tools to our list, feel free to note them in the comments section below.
Ruby-based Rhodes allows developers to write code once and turn it into native mobile applications for multiple platforms. An enterprise version with a commercial license and support is available for a fee. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone.
Designed to make it easier for experienced Web developers build mobile apps, IPFaces excels at the creation of form-heavy mobile applications. Enterprise support and other professional services are available. Operating System: OS Independent for the developer; creates apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, others.
This HTML 5-based framework offers a simple drag-and-drop interface for creating cross-platform mobile Web applications and websites. Notable features include a theme roller and a download builder. Operating System: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, others.
Want to do Web development from your iOS or Android device? JQTouch makes it possible. Notable features include easy setup, native WebKit animations, callback events, flexible themes, swipe detection and more. Operating System: iOS, Android.
9. Sencha Touch
11. MoSync SDK
Restkit aims to simplify the process of building apps that interact with RESTful Web services. Features include a simple HTTP request/response system, integration with Apple’s Core Data framework, database seeding, object mapping system, pluggable parsing layer and more. Operating System: iOS.
This rapid development framework has a goal of making the creation of mobile portals as quick and painless as possible. Developed by Oxford University, it's a good option for other universities that also use the Sakai Virtual Learning Environment. Operating System: Linux.
An enterprise-class HTML5 mobile application development platform, OpenMEAP boasts top-notch end-to-end security. It enables rapid application development and supports multiple mobile OSes. Operating System: Android, iOS, BlackBerry.
Created by Modo Labs, Kurogo is a mobile-optimized middleware platform that was based on the MIT Mobile Framework. It makes is easy to create portals, mobile websites and apps that aggregate data and content from multiple sources. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS.
This XML-based language aim to makes it possible to build cross-platform, data-driven applications that run natively. However, currently it only supports Android. Operating System: Android.
AllJoyn allows developers to create applications with OS-agnostic, proximity-based device-to-device communications. The company behind the project is currently running a contest where they plan to give away $170,000 in cash and prizes for great apps built with AllJoyn's framework. Operating System: Windows, OS X, iOS, Android.