Mobile Application Development

Elegant design conquering mobile world!

MAD is a term used to denote the act or process by which application software is developed for handheld devices.

Platform ?

The platform organizations need to develop, deploy and manage mobile apps is made from many components, and tools allow a developer to write, test and deploy applications into the target platform environment.

Front-end Development Tools

Front-end development tools are focused on the user interface and user experience (UI/UX) and provide the following capabilities:

UI design tools
SDKs to access device features
Cross-platform support

Available Tools are listed below :

Back-end Server

Back-end tools pick up where the front-end tools leave off, and provide a set of reusable services that are centrally managed and controlled and provide the following capabilities:

Integration with back-end systems
User authentication/authorization
Data services
Reusable business logic

Available Tools are listed below :

Security Add-on Layers

With BYOD becoming the norm within more enterprises, IT departments often need stop-gap, tactical solutions that layer on top of existing apps, phones, and platform component. Features include :

Client actions
App wrapping for security
Data encryption
Reporting and statistics

System Software

There are many system-level components that are required to have a functioning platform for developing mobile apps. They are :

Criteria for selecting a development platform usually contains the target mobile platforms, existing infrastructure and development skills. When targeting more than one platform with cross-platform development it is also important to consider the impact of the tool on the user experience. Performance is another important criteria, as research on mobile applications indicates a strong correlation between application performance and user satisfaction. In addition to performance and other criteria, the availability of the technology and the project’s requirement may drive the development between native and cross-platform environments. To aid the choice between native and cross-platform environments, some guidelines and benchmarks have been published. Typically, cross-platform environments are reusable across multiple platforms, leveraging a native container while using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the user interface. In contrast, native environments are targeted at one platform for each of those environments. For example, Apple iOS applications are developed using Xcode with Objective C and/or Swift, Android development is done in the Eclipse IDE with the ADT (Android Developer Tools) plugins, Windows and BlackBerry also have their own development environment.

Mobile Application Testing

Mobile applications are first tested within the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones to which developers may not have physical access. The following are examples of tools used for testing application across the most popular mobile operating systems :

  • Google Android Emulator – Google Android Emulator is an Android emulator that is patched to run on a Windows PC as a standalone app, without having to download and install the complete and complex Android SDK. It can be installed and Android compatible apps can be tested on it.
  • The official Android SDK Emulator – The official Android SDK Emulator includes a mobile device emulator which mimics all of the hardware and software features of a typical mobile device (without the calls).
  • MobiOne – MobiOne Developer is a mobile Web IDE for Windows that helps developers to code, test, debug, package and deploy mobile Web applications to devices such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and the Palm Pre.
  • TestiPhone – TestiPhone is a web browser-based simulator for quickly testing iPhone web applications. This tool has been tested and works using Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2 and Safari 3.
  • iPhoney – iPhoney gives a pixel-accurate web browsing environment and it is powered by Safari. It can be used while developing web sites for the iPhone. It is not an iPhone simulator but instead is designed for web developers who want to create 320 by 480 (or 480 by 320) websites for use with iPhone. iPhoney will only run on Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later.
  • BlackBerry Simulator – There are a variety of official BlackBerry simulators available to emulate the functionality of actual BlackBerry products and test how the BlackBerry device software, screen, keyboard and trackwheel will work with application.
  • Windows UI Automation – To test applications that use the Microsoft UI Automation technology, it requires Windows Automation API 3.0. It is pre-installed on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later versions of Windows. On other operating systems, you can install using Windows Update or download it from the Microsoft Web site.

Tools include :