Mobile Application Development

Mobile Application Development is the process of building and developing software and application programs for mobile phones and smart gadgets. These application and software programs are either installed already during the mobile device’s manufacturing or bought from software providers for mobile phones and then installed in the phone, or downloaded directly to the mobile phone through its web browser (via its HTTP functionality that uses client- and server-side processing). But since this is a very broad topic, this article will help you familiarize yourself with what mobile application development is all about.

Software and application programs for mobile phones are being designed, built and developed to run on the most well-known mobile device platforms and environments today. These are the Android OS, the Blackberry OS, the HP webOS, Windows Mobile, the Symbian OS and the Apple iOS. These execution environments only support the codes and binaries that correspond to its operating system. But what is common among most mobile phones is that they use ARM processors. Through the commonly used ARM Architecture, the codes and binaries of the mobile app are executed in machine format for reading by the device’s processor. Development of mobile apps though, still have to be done using tools for specific mobile operating systems.

As a developer, it is always a must to determine and do an analysis of what platforms or environments to use for the development of mobile phone applications and programs. Doing mobile software development gives the programmer exposure to the tools of the trade, enabling him to write the code faster, test it, and later on deploy the mobile app for certain mobile phones and their operating systems. Some of the known development environments for mobile application development include the following: Adobe AIR, Android, Application Craft, Aqua, Battery Tech, Blackberry, Canappi, CloudPact, Corona SDK, iOS SDK, Java ME, Macromedia Flash Lite, Meme IDE,.NET Framework, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and the webOS.

After every development phase, the built and developed modules of the mobile application must undergo a series of tests to determine whether it functions according to the requirements set to it or not. The project team must assign one of its members to perform the testing and functionality checks. For mobile application development, here are the mobile application test environments that can be used for the Android, iPhone and Blackberry operating systems:

  1. Google Android Emulator
  2. Official Android SDK Emulator
  3. MobiOne
  4. iPhoney; and
  5. Blackberry Stimulator.

Other tools include FoneMonkey, Robotium, Sikuli and MITE.

These are the things to keep in mind when setting out to develop software applications and programs for mobile phones and smart gadgets. It is quite difficult and time-consuming to undertake a project of developing mobile applications since there are a lot of requirements to consider and a lot of time is needed for analyses, the concurrent development of different modules, and its integration into one fully-functioning application, and the testing phase that should be carried out meticulously. Mobile application software development is similar to system software development for computers, and web applications, and web site development – the product of the project undergoes the phases of the system development life cycle (SDLC). Therefore, the only difference is the development environments and the operating systems where the mobile applications are going to be deployed.

Top 5 Android Development Tools

Android operating system has been designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Developed Initially by Android, Inc., backed financially by Google (later bought by Google in 2005), Android was unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance ( a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices).

Android is the buzz word in technology today with a market share of 42% across various devices worldwide. Android apps are open source unlike their competitors like iOS and Blackberry. The tools needed for their development are free and there is no need for purchase of a special developer phone or register your hardware as a development device.

Here are the Top5 Android Development tools currently trending in the market

  • Android SDK
  • Native Development Kit(NDK)
  • Titanium Mobile SDK
  • Hyper Next Android Creator
  • ADOBE AIR

1. Android SDK:

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) provides you with the API libraries and developer tools necessary to build, test, and debug apps for Android. It is one of the most popular SDK used for Android.

Aspiring New Android developers can download the ADT Bundle to quickly start developing apps. It includes the essential Android SDK components and a version of the Eclipse IDE with built-in ADT (Android Developer Tools) to streamline your Android app development. These are some of the important components in ADT Bundle

  • Eclipse + ADT plugin
  • Android SDK Tools
  • Android Platform-tools
  • Current Version of the Android platform
  • Current Version of the Android system image for the emulatorMore

2. Native Development Kit(NDK):

The NDK is a toolset that allows android developers to implement parts of their app using native-code languages such as C and C++.NDK can be proved to be a lot of help for the developers as they can reuse existing code libraries written in these languages.

The most important point to be considered here is that NDK will not benefit most apps. Developer needs to balance its gains over draw-backs, as the native code may not always increase the performance, but generally increases the complexity. Prefer NDK only if it is essential to your app, never because you simply prefer to program in C/C++.

3. Titanium Mobile SDK:

The Titanium SDK provides community developers with an unmatched ability to create quality native, mobile web or rich hybrid applications to all platforms from a single code base, using JavaScript. With over 5,000 APIs, Titanium allows you to deliver an immersive user experience at a fraction of the time compared with traditional native platforms.

Although the Titanium suffers with some disadvantages like flexibility limitations, User Experience issues and complexity issues, Titanium still stands in the first place for Android and other cross platform apps development

4. Hyper Next Android Creator:

HyperNext Android Creator (HAC) is an easy to use software creation system that allows almost anyone to quickly start building their own Android apps that work. Apps developed on HAC enjoys good support on a wide range of devices.

HAC operation is based on HyperCard, which treats software as a stack of cards, where only one card is visible at a time and hence is quite well suited for mobile phone applications which allow single window operation.

The programming language used in HAC is “HyperNext” is much more similar to English, making it user friendly to learn and implement.

5. ADOBE AIR:

The Adobe® AIR® runtime enables developers to package the same code into native apps for iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and other Android™ devices, reaching the mobile app stores for over 500 million devices.Running on Action Script,HTML,CSS AIR allows users mostly to develop cross platform mobile apps saving the time and minimising the development cost.

Along with these Tools there are some other tools like PhoneGap, BatteryTech SDK that should not be missed out.

Android Mobile Application Development: The Beginning!

In 2012, statistics shows that Android is the most used mobile OS platform used worldwide. The main reason is, Android is an open source platform, and therefore the popularity is growing steadily and the mobile application developers are trying to make the best use of this mobile platform. The Software Development Kit (SDK) offered by Android is open to inventive uses and one can get a head start to creating an app in an instant implementation.

Why Business industries are opting Android application development?

The popularity is increasing day by day and industry is taking interest in the development of android applications. The main reasons are –

• First of all, it’s an open source platform and therefore it’s give an extra edge in the developing as compared to others. It develops a secured and reliable application which is less prone to failure and is bug free.
• Secondly, just because it’s open source, the cost involvement is low and also the time factor is considerably reduced which in turn helps in faster development and saves both money and time.
• In fact while porting the application Android proves, to be hassle free and very easy operating system. It provides customized layouts which prove to be best for any project work.
• It got Linux kernel base which provides higher performance stability and provides a smooth operating system without the fear of crashes as well.
• It works on Eclipse IDE which is helpful for a quick and easy Android application development process. One can customize it using the Android Development Tools Plugin which thus helps in enhancing the quality and quantity of Android mobile applications.
• In this, C/C++ and Java programming languages are used in Android apps development which is the most basic language for coding. Hence developers find it really easy.

Today, market is full of smart phones; people are opting smart phones over the normal ones. So, in this case android mobile application development becomes really important. Whether you use it for entertainment or for work, smart phones have become an inseparable part of your life. In this journey, iPhones and Blackberry have proved their potential and it’s still in demand. In this journey, Android have come up with innovative and usable applications with its easy framework. And this is the reason why you find increasing number of both independent and organizations looking at making money though android development. At present, Android proved them as the leader in the market and is accepted by the masses. So, with this fast paced world, if you want to catch the latest technology and development opting Android application development is a smarter choice.