Monday, December 9, 2013

WhirlyGlobe-Maply For Android

For those of you with a short attention span.  The Android port is on.  Now for the details.

Yes, it will look exactly like this.

WhirlyGlobe-Maply is in great shape on iOS.  With the recent release of 2.2, I'm pretty happy with the architecture and functionality.

The toolkit has matured from a lightweight interactive globe to a serious geospatial display toolkit.  It's suitable for large globe based applications and interactive flat maps.  I have some pretty reliable clients in aviation, geography, and map display.

That's great and I can see this going on indefinitely, but there's one obvious thing that must happen fairly soon.  I need to port to Android

Why Android?

We can debate the pros and cons of Android vs. iOS endlessly.  It doesn't really matter and I don't really care.  I need to port to Android because big clients want me to port to Android.  No one wants to get stuck on iOS.

Most of my clients aren't selling their apps anyway, they're selling services.  To them, it's a matter of cost.  The iOS version is a given, but then how many customers are on Android and how much will it cost to get there?

There are other reasons.  Once the Android port works it opens the door for other ports.  What about the Mac?  PC?  Windows Phone?  How about some weird custom in-car navigation system?  I'm focused on mobile, but I'll take money for any of those ports.


Once I started asking around for Android money it became clear how this was going down.  I needed one big client to pay for the biggest chunk of it.  I'd toss in some of my own overhead money and then get the rest from a diverse set of clients.

Now I have that big client on board.  Negotiating deals for functionality that doesn't exist yet is always tricky, at least for a small project like mine.  But we did it, WhirlyGlobe-Maply is growing up!

I'm focusing on what that first customer needs so there will be plenty of gaps after the initial port.  Everything depends on the core rendering engine, naturally, so porting the rest of it will be much easier.

The initial version will be ready in late winter.  "So..." you may be thinking, "can I get it?"

Open Source + Private Beta

I'm very happy to announce that WhirlyGlobe-Maply 3.0 for iOS and Android will (still) be open source, distributed under the Apache 2.0 license.

That's nice, but I need money to finish porting everything else.  So here's how that's going down.  It's open source, but the toolkit will be in a private beta for a few months.  How long?  I'm not sure yet.  You want access to it right now?  Pay for some functionality.

Make no mistake, this thing is going to be usable in 2-3 months, depending on what you need.  Porting the rest of what you need will be easy.  So cough up some dough and off you go.

After I've reached a certain threshold of working functionality, I'll release the toolkit to everyone and we'll go back to normal.