Linux Tablet Developer Crowdfunds Mobile App Tools for Ubuntu, Android, iOS
An outfit called the Demski Group has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support development of MAGE, a platform for building mobile apps without having to write code.
An outfit called the Demski Group has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support development of MAGE, a platform for building mobile apps without having to write code. On its own, that would not be interesting news—there's plenty of similar stuff out there already—but what makes it noteworthy is Demski Group is the same company is behind the UT One, the Ubuntu Linux-based tablet whose release could come as early as next month.
For these reasons, it's unsurprising that MAGE is aiming to support not only iOS and Android, the mobile platforms that 99 percent of developers currently work with, but also Ubuntu Touch, the touchscreen-oriented version of Ubuntu that Canonical is creating—as in, has not yet released—for use on phones and tablets.
While Canonical has yet to announce an ETA for the production-ready release of Ubuntu Touch—and according to our sources, it won't arrive until early next year at the soonest—the Demski Group is already forging ahead with efforts to create a universal development environment for Ubuntu Touch, iOS and Android in the form of MAGE.
To be clear, MAGE—which, by the way, is an acronym for Mobile Application Generation Environment—already exists. The Kickstarter campaign aims to enhance it, specifically by making it compatible with Apple's HealthKit and extending support to Ubuntu Touch.
The Demski Group is not asking too much of its Kickstarter supporters: only $5,000 total, a magnitudally more modest sum than the $32 million Canonical attempted, and failed, to raise in a similar way to build an Ubuntu phone in 2013. (Indeed, it's even less than the amount sought by a guy who presupposes Louis XVII did not die in the Temple prison during the French Revolution, even though everyone knows he did.) That bodes well for the effort's success.
On the other hand, the organization is making some big promises about extending MAGE support to Ubuntu Touch at a time when the latter has not yet even been publicly released. That means the success of the group's vision for MAGE, not to mention the completion of the UT One tablet, depends on factors beyond the organization's control, which is never an enviable place to be.
Still, if nothing else, the group's announcements regarding MAGE and the UT One have won it a fair amount of attention and placed focus on the opportunities that exist for mobile developers outside of the iOS/Android box. Maybe that's all the Demski Group really wants. If so, its efforts are already a success.