Mobile application development is the activity or procedure by which an app is created for mobiles, including business smart phones, personal digital assistants or public mobile phones. These applications are typically designed to operate on mobiles, including a smartphone or portable tablet pc. A mobile application developer, who has previously developed applications and integrated technology solutions based on Flash, Java, Cordless and/or Android, can be a key contributor to improving the success of an app. The ability to access and view the app in different mobility devices without any compatibility issues will increase its acceptance and help drive more sales.
In the early years, most mobile development was done in C++/C/C#/Swift. Over time, other languages started to become available that provided programmers with a more robust programming experience along with easier development platforms and tools. Today, the leading mobile development platforms are Java, Android, BREW, iOS and Windows. Android apps are developed using the Android SDK, a development toolkit, while Java apps are developed using the Java SDK. As new, native apps are developed for Windows, and soon for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, third party development solutions will become the norm. As more features and capabilities of these platforms are added, developers will have greater difficulty creating cross-platform mobile apps.
While mobile development platforms continue to evolve, there are four major mobile development platforms currently in use. They are: iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile OS and Symbian OS. Each of these OSs has their own strengths and weaknesses. As a result, it is essential to understand how each platform works and what features each has to provide. The sections below highlight key differences between these four mobile development platforms.
With the exception of Apple’s iOS, all mobile development devices run on the iOS software platform. It is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, used by millions of users. It offers a wide variety of native applications and plugins. Additionally, it includes a large collection of third-party apps, as well as a number of “app store” applications. The vast library of apps makes it possible for anyone to create highly customized apps for both iPhones and iPad devices.
On the other hand, the Android mobile development platform is not so widely used by consumers. In fact, the Android software company, Android Inc., reported last quarter that it had no year-over-year profits due to a lack of consumer penetration. The Android mobile operating system was also found to be unsafe and incompetent when it comes to the handling of multimedia data.
As a result, most mobile development software developers have moved to the iOS framework or, more specifically, to the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK) which is the software development kit for the iOS platform. The iPhone app developer, who wishes to create an app for the iPhone, can download from the iPhone app store those frameworks that have been approved for use in the iPhone. However, many frameworks exist outside of the official iPhone app store.
This being the case, it is important for the mobile development professional to select the right framework or native tool for the job. There are many mobile development tools available in the market today. The two most popular mobile development platforms are Java and Android. Both these platforms include their own set of native tools as well as a wide variety of plugins to extend their functionality. Java has several advantageous factors over android such as:
Java has been considered to be the programming language of choice by a majority of software engineers worldwide. Although Android is faster and has more features, Java has proven to be superior. Android is relatively short in terms of key components compared to Java. Additionally, Android allows for greater flexibility as it supports several additional applications including not just games but also productivity applications and business applications. Java, however, remains the primary programming language used in mobile web apps for both the iPhone and Android devices.