Developer's pick: iPhone, Android, Zumobi

Three cutting edge mobile platforms represented by three powerhouse companies vie for developer energy.

It's a good time for talented developers. Architects of Web and client-side apps have their choice of dazzling users on not one, but three cutting-edge mobile platforms. There's no shortage of opportunities to create custom Safari apps for the iPhone, and add them to our growing collection of iPhone apps, of course. Developers can also now download the Android SDK (for Mac or Windows) to start measuring and mixing an app for Google's new mobile platform. Inspired developers have a chance to earn a share of the $10 million in prizes offered in the Android Developer Challenge.

Zumobi logo

Pretty soon, developers will be able to fit code into Zumobi, another open mobile platform that organizes the app interface into 16 zoomable "tiles," each representing a program that will open at touch or tap.

Developers and users, let's hear from you. Which is the coolest platform idea, and which the easiest to program? Does Android live up to the hype? Does the Microsoft-backed Zumobi have a chance to compete against Apple's iPhone and Google's Android? Lay it all out in the comments below.

Correction: In the original version of this post, we made an error regarding the Android Developer Challenge prize money. It has since been corrected.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.