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.

The Growth of Android Software

Android is one of the leading mobile operating systems in the world. With unmatched performance and functional capabilities, Android has attained a great level of excellence and importance. The Android software is considered to be the most appealing and accentuating feature of a mobile phone, tablet or any other device. It offers a great level of sophistication and convenience. In doing so, it supports a wide and diverse variety of attractive and alluringly exciting applications that include games, business apps and a lot more.

The popularity of the Android Operating system has significantly increased the production of devices that are compatible with this OS. Many developers of the Android based devices have stepped in the worldwide electronics market and are introducing hundreds of compatible phones and tablets with each passing day.

Android Phone is a device induced with power and performance based smoothness. It is, therefore, the perfect companion of everyone. It does not matter if the individual is a gamer, application lover, photography enthusiast or a businessman, an Android operating system based phone is the best communication device for everyone.

There were over 300,000 Android applications that were available for download in the Android Market, as of October 2011. The number has ever been increasing. Number of applications that have been downloaded by users has even exceeded 10 billion. Such applications can be obtained from Android Market, now named as Google Play, which is run by Google and is updated with new applications by developers on daily basis.

The Android OS has had several updates since its original release. Each newer version came with new features. Newer versions also fixed the problems that were found in the older ones. The most recent version is called Jellybean (4.2), which was released on November 13th, 2012.

Android phones come with all the abilities of smartphones, for instance messaging, storage, connectivity, Java support, multiple language support, media support, web browser, streaming media support, multi-touch, multitasking, Bluetooth, voice based features, video calling, tethering and screen capture.

HTC-Dream is known to be the first phone that ran Android software as its operating system. Since then the Android phones have added numerous brilliant features and functions. Almost all the mobile and tablet manufacturing companies are now launching devices that run Android operating system. The most recent Samsung Galaxy series of smartphones are considered the best in the market.

According to the details provided by a research company, Canalys, by Q2 2009, Android had a share of 2.8% of the global shipments of smartphones. By Q4 2010, it reached 33% and gained the position of best selling platform for smartphones. As per a Q4 2012 report by NDTV, the sales of smartphones powered by Android software were more than 44% in the worldwide market of smartphones.

Rise of Androids For Mobile Application Development

Android is a Google’s product. It’s a free, open source mobile operating system. It includes a software development kit, libraries and tools which eventually help to create third party applications using the Java framework. Though it is spreading among mobile users rapidly, apple’s iphone is unbeatable in market share.

In order to popularize their product, Google has been looking for android developers who can bring a lot of innovation and creativity to this platform. Recently it has launched android developers challenge to incorporate new ideas and technology into androids.

Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm and OS X for iPhone are some of the popular operating system today. Most of them are closed systems. To compete all these mobile platform, Google android uses open network concepts. Thus android users can develop application that suits their needs in a more user-friendly way.

Activities, broadcast receiver, services and content provider are the fundamental concepts in androids mobile application development. Android developers who work on these concepts have good growth and scope today. Though Google hopes that androids will be the leading mobile platform soon, apple’s iPhone is people’s choice today as it well supports third party applications.

Now-a-days mobile users opt for phones with more features, functionality and options. To meet their demands, developers now look for androids mobile development. Android applications have been developed in many software companies. Many offshore consulting offer cost-effective solutions to android development.

May be now, android is not a leader for mobile platform, but it will lead the world market soon as Google has taken vigorous steps like forming Google android alliance and offering incentives to enhance its development.