Development for small, mobile devices has been the next big thing for years now, but it looks to me like things are finally coming together. One of the most encouraging signs is that the APIs for these sorts of devices seem to be maturing nicely. In my aggregator I found Russell Beattie singing the praises of J2ME:

First note that I’ve discovered that the J2ME development platform is pretty damn cool. There’s something quite satisfying about the smallness of the API, the ease of which you can throw screens together and the result of seeing your app run on your phone. It’s limited in lots of ways, but for many, many things it’ll actually be perfect. I’m much more excited about J2ME that I have been in the past because of this past week. Add to this the fact that there’s going to be hundreds of millions of J2ME phones out there and suddenly I’m kicking myself for not spending more time developing with it last year.

I also found Larry O’Brien extolling the virtues of .NET Compact Framework:

Well, as much fun as I had revisiting the days of Windows programming without MFC, ATL, or support for, say, C++ exception handling (!), my experience with the Smartphone deepened my belief that the .NET CF is huge. With the .NET CF, programming mobile solutions is only occasionally harder than writing for a desktop (two silly, but real examples — rotating bitmaps and opening a COM port). Honestly, in my Big List of Programming Projects, I no longer automatically move mobile applications to the bottom of the list — .NET CF makes them absolutely approachable. I’m convinced the next five years in software will be all about mobility: handhelds, phones, and Tablets.

Naturally, I’m completely behind the curve on mobile development and have a few things to learn before I can even get started on it. Right now, I’ve gotten as far as pining for a Nokia 3650.