Rhodes – developed by Rhomobile – is an intriguing framework of Ruby interpreters that can be used to develop native applications for the iPhone, Windows Mobile, RIM (Blackberry) and Symbian smartphone platforms (with Android support to come). Last month, Werner Schuster (of InfoQ) wrote a basic roundup of how Rhodes works.

Essentially, Rhomobile has put together a set of technologies that each work on each mobile platform supported, including a Ruby interpreter, a synchronization library, an object mapper, and functions that enable developers to gain access to features like GPS, accelerometers, and contact storage. Rhodes is not yet at version 1.0 and while some developers are beginning to submit Rhodes-powered apps to the iPhone App Store – none have yet been accepted (although Rhomobile claim that there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be).

Notably, Rhodes is open source (GNU GPL) and is available directly from Github. Rhomobile has put together a solid tutorial on how to get started. They’ve also launched a mobile application “Development Challenge” with a top prize of $10,000 in order to promote the framework.

Rhodes is a pretty exciting technology and opening up the iPhone to Ruby developers is a big deal, so we’ll be catching up with Rhodes again when it hits its 1.0 release next month.