Back in 2007 I walked into an AT&T store in Salt Lake City to pick up the latest version of a Blackberry Bold. I was a total crack(berry) addict. While waiting for a customer service rep to fulfill my every mobile fantasy I heard a clerk yell that they were down to one last 8gig iPhone. On a lark, I decided to grab it. I knew if I hated the iPhone I had 2 weeks to retreat to the comfort of that Blackberry Bold, no questions asked.
I hated that iPhone for the first week. In the second week I had seen the future, and it was wildly exciting! Motion sensors, touch interfaces, accelerometers, a fully baked modern browser all begging creative software engineers to make something of them.
I feel the same level of excitement about my phone today as I did then. We’re entering an new world of mobile applications, sensors, form factors and connectivity unlike any we’ve seen before. I believe it is a market too big for any one company, one device or one app store to control.
As the players jostle for position with new devices, operating systems and app stores there is one constant- the web. Each of these new devices touts a modern browser supporting full HTML. We think that’s an important commonality and one we’re pleased to be investing behind.
Before joining Apple, Charles had been developing an open source framework for building rich, desktop like, applications in the browser called Sproutcore. As it matured, it was natural that Sproutcore should support a native app feel in any browser on any device. No need for an app store, official approvals or revenue splits- any browser, any device. That’s future the Charle’s company, Strobe, is pursing. And that’s a future we can get excited about.
Today the company is announcing a funding round co-lead by OATV and, our neighbors across the hall, Hummer Winblad. Its also revealing more of the team involved specifically two all stars from the open source web development world; namely, Yehuda Katz (Ruby on Rails and jQuery core team member) and Carl Lerche (Ruby on Rails core team member). Despite a lot of other big happenings behind the scenes, they aren’t announcing much else. But, if you’re excited about the future of the mobile web, stay tuned. There will be much more news to come…