Mobile application development This article

Mobile application development

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Mobile application development is the process by which application software is developed for low-power handheld devices. such as personal digital assistants. enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing, downloaded by customers from various mobile software distribution platforms. or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing (e.g. JavaScript) to provide an “application-like” experience within a Web browser. Application software developers also have to consider a lengthy array of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms. [ 1 ] Mobile app development has been steadily growing, both in terms of revenues and jobs created. A 2013 analyst report estimates there are 529,000 direct App Economy jobs within the EU 28 members, 60% of which are mobile app developers. [ 2 ]

As part of the development process, mobile user interface (UI) design is also an essential in the creation of mobile apps. Mobile UI considers constraints & contexts, screen, input and mobility as outlines for design. The user is often the focus of interaction with their device, and the interface entails components of both hardware and software. User input allows for the users to manipulate a system, and device’s output allows the system to indicate the effects of the users’ manipulation. Mobile UI design constraints include limited attention and form factors, such as a mobile device’s screen size for a user’s hand(s). Mobile UI contexts signal cues from user activity, such as location and scheduling that can be shown from user interactions within a mobile application. Overall, mobile UI design’s goal is primarily for an understandable, user-friendly interface. The UI of mobile apps should: consider users’ limited attention, minimize keystrokes, and be task-oriented with a minimum set of functions.

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Platform development environment [ edit ]

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.

Mobile application testing [ edit ]

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).

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 [ edit ]

  • eggPlant. A GUI-based automated test tool for mobile application across all operating systems and devices.
  • Sikuli. This is a visual technology to automate and test graphical user interfaces (GUI) using images.
  • Ranorex. Test automation tools for mobile, web and desktop apps.
  • Testdroid. Real mobile devices and test automation tools for testing mobile and web apps.

Application stores [ edit ]

Several initiatives exist both from mobile vendor and mobile operators around the world. Application developers can propose and publish their applications on the stores. being rewarded by a revenue sharing of the selling price. An example is Apple’s App Store. where only approved applications may be distributed and run on iOS devices (otherwise known as a walled garden ). There are approximately 700,000 iOS Applications. Google’s Android Market (now known as the “Play Store “) has a large number of apps running on devices with Android OS. HP / Palm, Inc have also created the Palm App Catalog where HP / Palm, Inc webOS device users can download applications directly from the device or send a link to the application via a web distribution method. Mobile operators such as Telefonica Group and Telecom Italia have launched cross-platform application stores for their subscribers. Additionally, mobile phone manufacturers such as Nokia has launched Ovi app store for Nokia smartphones. Some independent companies, namely Amazon Appstore, Aptoide and GetJar, have created their own third-party platforms to reach more users in different locations. The Windows Phone Marketplace had more than 100,000+ apps available as of 7-11-2012 .

Patents [ edit ]

There are many patents applications pending for new mobile phone apps. Most of these are in the technological fields of Business methods, Database management, Data transfer and Operator interface. [ 3 ]

On May 31, 2011, Lodsys asserted two of its four patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,620,565 (“the ‘565 patent”) on a “customer-based design module” and U.S. Patent No. 7,222,078 (“the ‘078 patent”) on “Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Units of a Commodity Across a Network.” against the following application developers: [ 4 ]

  • Combay
  • Iconfactory
  • Illusion Labs
  • Shovelmate
  • Quickoffice
  • Richard Shinderman of Brooklyn, New York
  • Wulven Game Studios of Hanoi, Vietnam

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