Novell is positioning its MonoTouch software development kit as a mechanism for building Microsoft .Net-based applications for Apple's new iPad device.
MonoTouch removes obstacles to .Net development for the iPad, the company said. Without MonoTouch, developers who use .Net will not be easily able to build iPad applications because the iPad developer program and license limits the languages that application developers can use to less-common and more complex programming languages, such as Objective-C and C, Novell officials said.
[ InfoWorld's Paul Krill points out that the iPad means iPhone developers will need to start thinking different. ]
"Enter MonoTouch," said Charlotte Betterley, Novell representative, in a blog entry. "MonoTouch is a software development kit that will enable iPad developers to utilize code and libraries written for the .Net development framework and easier-to-use programming languages such as C#. Microsoft .Net developers will be able to use MonoTouch while fully complying with Apple's license terms."
MonoTouch was first released in September 2009, supporting .Net-based development for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. MonoTouch 1.9, an alpha release of the kit featuring iPad capabilities, was made available this week. It is available at the MonoTouch Web site. "You can create a new iPad project and when you test and run, you'll run in the iPad simulator," said Joseph Hill, Mono program manager at Novell. Developers get access to iPad features such as layout controls.
"There's an army of .Net developers out there that are already comfortable with the [C#] language and we still have some .Net features that are not available to Objective-C developers on the iPhone, such as garbage collection," for memory management, Hill said.
The general release of the updated kit for iPad, expected to be called MonoTouch 2.0, is due in 60 days.
Developers would use version 3.2 of the Apple iPhone SDK as well as MonoTouch and the MonoDevelop IDE. Applications leverage the Mono runtime, which enables .Net to run on non-Windows platforms.