After your app has conquered the top mobile platforms (including, don't forget, the mobile Web), where do you go next? Do you move on to your next project? Or do you start looking into porting your app to the less popular mobile platforms? Do you consider taking your app to the desktop, the TV screen or the game console?
And how do you determine which one should come next?
There are a number of app stores and platforms beyond iTunes and the Android Market, you know, even though those tend to dominate the press. This week, Web industry entrepreneur and blogger Anil Dash provided a great resource for developers considering the different platforms for software distribution: a great big list of the top app stores...including some that don't even call themselves "app stores."
In the list, compiled by Morris Laniado on Dash's team at Activate, the app stores are divided into a number of categories, including mobile, appliance, console, desktop, library and server. He further explains the differences between the types on his blog post here.
Although mobile app stores are the most common, other platforms also have their own "stores," when that concept is stretched a bit. There are also console stores (Xbox LIVE, Wii, Google TV, Apple TV, Boxee, etc.), desktop stores (Steam, Mac App Store, Intel AppUp, Jolicloud), Servers (apps can be deployed via Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, Jumpbox (images), VMWare appliances) and Libraries, this being the "geekiest category" of app stores, says Dash.
"From Pear for PHP or CPAN for Perl, from code distribution systems like Freshmeat or Macports, or even including old standbys like RPM or synaptic, tools that have long been thought of as mere developer infrastructure for installing library dependencies in the open source world seem poised to mature into relatively full-featured app stores," Dash wrote.
Then, at the post's conclusion, he provided a spreadsheet containing a list of these top platforms, along with some initial research into number of apps and whether or not they have a payments system in place. Dash invited readers to add to the list via blog comments and so far, two did, making note of Bodega, an independent app store for the Mac and Ubuntun's app store. Can you think of some more?
The Big List
Below is the spreadsheet and original post, embeds courtesy of Dash. Mobile developers can use this as a handy resource when they think about what to code for next. Could that iOS game work on Steam? Could your Twitter app move to the desktop? Could your mobile app integrate with Wordpress somehow via a plugin? And so on.
It can go the other way too - desktop to mobile, for example. Case in point: TweetDeck, one of the most popular Twitter desktop apps moved to the iPhone, iPad and Android. I'd love to see it on Google and Apple's TV platforms one day, too.
What about you? Are you taking your mobile app somewhere else? Or are you making your other app mobile?