Amazon eases iOS and Android app development

The cloud-computing subsidiary of Amazon has introduced new software development kits for the iOS and Android mobile device operating systems

Amazon Web Services has cut the steps needed for developers to hook a mobile iOS or Android application into the Amazon cloud.

On Thursday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) — the cloud-computing subsidiary of Amazon — launched software development kits (SDKs) for both the Google-backed Android and Apple's iOS operating systems.

"The mobile SDKs make it easier for software developers to call an AWS web service API directly from a mobile application. Previously, developers either wrote their own libraries to handle the HTTP connection, request retries, and error handling, or built additional infrastructure to proxy the API  requests through a server fleet," Amazon Web Services said in its launch announcement.

The new AWS developer tools will allow applications to access the company's cloud facilities for storage (Amazon S3), database (Amazon SimpleDB) and messaging (Amazon SQS and Amazon Simple Notification Service).

Possible uses include applications that upload photos, videos and other media to the AWS storage cloud for distribution, games that share scores and move data between mobile devices via the cloud database, and messaging clients that use the AWS cloud to route messages between devices.

Smartphones and other mobile devices, such as Apple's iPad, are being used with increasing regularity to connect into the cloud. Salesforce.com has been one of the most vocal on the need to prepare for what chief executive Marc Benioff described on Tuesday as "the shift to enterprise applications that are natively cloud, mobile and social". In September, Salesforce extended its Chatter service for business collaboration into the mobile device space with Chatter mobile.

In addition, Microsoft's recently-departed chief software architect Ray Ozzie wrote in his October departure note that the future of computing lay in a 'Post PC' world, in which numerous mobile devices plugged into an ever-present cloud.

The SDK code libraries for both iOS and Android are available on online source code repository github.

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