Although it is free to develop for the B&N Nook Color’s homegrown version of Android, the company is courting devs who may or may not be as comfortable with the vagaries of Android development by selecting Appcelerator as a partner to help “accelerate” app development for the platform.
Appcelerator makes Titanium mobile, an IDE that focuses on web devs rather than hardcore coders. It is a cross-platform development system that allows you to create apps for multiple devices using languages like PHP, Ruby, and standard HTML and has already been used in NBC’s iPad app, among others.
Do you need to use Titanium to get onto the Nook? No, but it helps. Titanium apps will be fast-tracked onto the Nook app store, a deal that should convince at least some of Titaniums 200,000 devs to port their programs over to the reader. B&N will still support their own developer platform .
Appcelerator developers will now be able to quickly deploy and offer their apps through Barnes & Noble’s expansive NOOK Store reaching millions of digital customers. Titanium developers will enjoy expedited submission of their apps for the NOOK Developer program. Titanium developers’ submissions will be automatically qualified and fast-tracked for review. Appcelerator has also updated its reference applications, documentation, and platform to easily integrate the NOOK Color SDK into Titanium Studio, Appcelerator’s enterprise-grade IDE used by over 1.5 million web developers.
In general this is an interesting and smart move for B&N. Titanium is free to “indie” devs and fairly inexpensive for professionals to use the plaforms ($199/dev/moth is the basic pro package). It also allows lots of data-centric apps to arrive on the Nook faster than they would normally, especially apps designed to supply feeds of data from various cloud sources. While you probably won’t program the next Angry Birds with Titanium, you will be able to get your blog or news source on the Nook faster than you would without the partnership.
Fast-tracking these apps also helps improve the density of apps on the Nook marketplace, and important consideration that has thus far plagued the Playbook and the Touchpad. In the end, more apps means a more vibrant app market. Although the partnership doesn’t apply to hardcore hax0rs, this partnership allows folks who may have avoided the Nook to give it a second glance.