Mono for Android Could Bring More Windows Developers to Android


Novell has announced that Mono for Android is now available for C# and .NET developers to enjoy. If you don’t know, these languages are widely-used by Windows developers on the desktop and is the primary programming language for developing apps on Microsoft’s mobile devices.

With Mono, developers who swear up and down by C# and .NET can now bypass java and develop apps for Android in the language they love. It’s similar to what kept Mozilla from developing Firefox for Android – the Android SDK only had support for applications written in Java while Mozilla does everything in C++. The release of the NDK opened that opportunity and now Firefox is one of the most popular browsers on the market.

We’re not sure who exactly would want to or will be bringing these Windows-bred applications to Android so it’ll be interesting to see how well Mono takes off. It’s a pricey technology to pick up, though – you’ll have to pay $400 for the professional edition of the license and $999 if you’re developing for enterprise. Those who already paid for MonoTouch – which is Mono for iOS – can get 50% off of the Android version. [via ReadWriteWeb]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Its also $600 for Visual Studio Professional which is required

    1. Visual Studio is not required for developing in Mono (or even in .NET, for that matter).

      1. Mono for Android is a Visual Studio 2010 Plugin.

  2. > With Mono, developers who swear up and down by
    > C# and .NET can now bypass java and develop apps
    > for Android in the language they love.

    Both of the .Net developers will surely appreciate this.

    1. You’re kidding, right? .Net has become a HUGE Enterprise development platform, and more and more COTS PC software is also leveraging .Net. There is NO software development environment and framework that has the power .Net gives you combined with the features and tools in Visual Studio.

      Joke all you want, but .Net is probably the single most significant software platform to hit the the computing scene in the last 20 years.

      1. Java would like a word with you.

      2. “You’re kidding, right? .Net has become a HUGE Enterprise development platform …”

        …for coders blessed with no self-awareness or sense of humor.

      3. Yes, but it is Microsoft centric and a Microsoft-centric strategy isn’t such a good idea anymore in a mobile world dominated by Google, Apple and RIM.

      4. Sorry buddy but this argument gets killed every time a .Net fan makes it. Theres not much in the way of software being made in .Net and to be honest not much in the way of desktop software being made vs web based.

        And there are a number of software development environments that give you more power than Visual Studio right out of the box. NetBeans, IntelliJ, Eclipse, JDeveloper… You don’t even get the refactoring features of these in VS until you add on ReSharper which is made by the same folks that make IntelliJ. Where VS is powerful is point and click integration of various pieces of MS technology. Its great if your in an MS only shop. But most of the world doing anything outside of basic in house business CRUD apps isn’t going to be MS only. You’re going to have non-MS databases, servers, languages etc. And different language syntaxes on a single platform runtime does not count as multiple languages. Thats just reality and thats where VS falls flat. Just take the web for instance…mostly powered by Linux and you can’t build anything for it. You have to rely on MS servers. You won’t be doing much in the way of high performance or super computing.

        And I say all of this from cracking open VS and Eclipse for projects all the time. Most often the only folks with your view are those that have closed themselves in the .Net room and don’t pay attention to much. Most folks who aren’t trapped in that room say they experience the same things from the people that are.

        And the past 20 years hands down belongs to Java. .Net hasn’t really brought anything to the table. The syntactical sugar you’re enjoying now comes from Ruby and Python. Its just now getting proper web MVC again from the likes of Ruby and other languages. It now has a package/dependency management system thanks to Java’s Maven. Its really nothing more than Microsoft’s defense of other languages making cross platform software more common to keep their Windows stranglehold on the market. Why else would you make a JIT compiling platform that only runs on one platform. Its just to combat Java on specs.

    2. Wow, just wow.

      There’s 4 of us thank you very much.

  3. 1. Keep that crap away from Android.
    2. People interested in mobile are usually the startup types. Not many are interested in .Net or Mono. Hell I’d dare say even Java could be holding Android back.

  4. Oh, I will take advantage of this. I am proficient in C#, but really had struggled to get handle on Java. So, this will help. Plus a great devenv, this is a win.

  5. Just remember, swearing *by* .NET and swearing *at* .NET are two different things. I’m in the latter camp.

  6. Why can’t we develop Android apps in COBOL ?

    1. C# is the new COBOL

  7. sweet! now i just need an idea for an app!

  8. @Tati You can’t be serious.

    cool. this will surely prove or disprove the jobsian theory that many runtimes make a platform inconsistent and flaky.

  9. am I the only one who thinks that c# and java are almost identical? If you know c# it should not take you long at all to become familiar with java.

    1. Yep, they are very very similar. People could easily just learn Java and use that, especially since the Mono version is very limited anyway – can’t do anything with Windows Forms, so that sucks

    2. Having worked with both I can say yes they are. C# basically started out as a clone of Java. Now it has many syntactical tricks these days that Java hasn’t kept up with. But the general idea and structure is the same. It shouldn’t take long at all for someone to learn to bounce between the two. And honestly the complaints of not being able to learn tend to always come from one direction. I’m starting to think that many devs claiming to know C# may only really know ASP.NET or .Net MVC and find real desktop oriented programming foreign rather than Java itself.

  10. I hope they have a non-pro edition of this to play with. I might could get my work to spring for a copy if I can generate some proofs of concepts.

    Edit: They have a free eval and a student edition for $99.

  11. It’s useful for corporate software. Wall Street’s software is generally written in .NET, and I’d imagine being able to port over all the windows apps to mobile at a very low cost would be attractive to those firms.

  12. As a C# Programmer I am very thankful this is on its way. I have been trying to get into Java to work on Android apps but this would be ideal.

  13. am I the only one who noticed how stupid that “nexus one” looks?

    1. I didn’t notice it at first! But you’re right, it’s awful!

  14. Is it just me, or does Mono’s logo resemble the profile of a certain sweaty CEO…

  15. Isn’t this the reason vlc videolan is so late releasing their android version of its media player?

  16. Mono is a viral infection causing fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck. Symptoms: Mono may begin slowly with fatigue, a general ill feeling, headache, and sore throat.

  17. I have an idea. Make Bing the default search engine, use WP7AndroidUI
    add Mono and you’ll have the ultimate source of pure evil on your Android.

  18. I tried it, love the c# conversion, but its just too slow when debugging. Maybe the next version will address the poor performance for developers.

  19. Quentyn, the NDK has been out since the beginning which allows for NATIVE C development… it has been out for a looong time, and is what all the guys doing really tricky stuff use when they hit limitations in the Java SDK.

  20. Well, Mono includes both developer tools and the basement bare to run .NET applicant and server applications. It is positioned to become the arch best for development of Linux applications.

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