Mobile app development is a process of writing software for small portable devices, such as PDAs,
smartphones or tablets. These applications can be pre-installed on your device, downloaded through
various platforms for software distribution, or even installed on your device in the form of native-like
web apps (dynamic client server programs that use the browser to perform tasks over the Internet).
A web application is a website that hosts pages with partially or completely unformed content. Final
content is generated only after the site visitor requests a page from the web server. There are 2 types
of content in a web app - static, just HTML content, and dynamic, created based on the actions of the
Everything You Want to Know About Mobile App Development
The most popular types of internal business applications:
Business apps automation (automation of daily routine operations, statistics and reporting, for
monitoring of efficiency).
Applications to increase productivity and improve collaboration:
Allow you to share files and work with them;
Simplify internal communication (messengers, trackers);
Mobile versions of corporate social networks;
Project management systems.
Client mobile programs to advance your business:
Ticketing apps and delivery status trackers;
Internet banking and payment kiosks;
Promo-apps and loyalty software programs
Routers and guides, etc.
Types of Mobile Apps in a Technical Sense
Regardless of the purpose of your app, there are
several ways to get it done. Each has pros and cons and should be considered separately depending on
your needs and resources.
Native Application Development
Native applications are programs created using software
development kit (SDK) and distributed through app stores. SDKs exist for each mobile operating
system and, unfortunately, differ from each other.
For example, to create an app for iOS, you should
download and install the iOS SDK and development tools, and write the code in the Objective-C or
Swift programming language. Android applications are developed using the Android SDK and written in
Java. Thus, to create a native app, you need to know the platform SDK and use a supported
Web applications, downloaded to a mobile web browser,
CSS) that are independent of the operating system.
To launch a web app, users enter a URL into the mobile
web browser. After that, the web page, the entry point to the web application, is loaded. Web apps
are not distributed through app stores; they are normal links which can be included in other web
pages, e-mails or even written on paper.
Hybrid apps try to combine the benefits of both types
of mobile programs. Hybrid applications, like web apps, are programmed using web technologies, but
are packaged as native ones. A hybrid app can be written for several mobile operating systems using
a programming language familiar to many developers. Since a hybrid app is actually built-in, you get
Hybrid programs can be distributed and installed through app stores, like native software.
Read about comparison of hybrid and native apps
The app development environment is a special set of
tools designed for the most convenient code writing, interface design, debugging, and operation
"Native" development tools are provided by the owners
of the mobile environment and allow you to get the most from the capabilities of the target
operating system, full access to native APIs, optimum performance, but also require a separate
development team for each platform.
Programmers use the original programming languages
and tools of the mobile operating system
Development of iOS apps is carried out in the Xcode environment integrated into OS X and iOS, in
Objective-C, Swift, C and C ++.
Android apps are developed using Android Studio and the Java language.
Cross-platform frameworks allow to reduce labor costs and accelerate the release of software in
case you need your software to support multiple platforms simultaneously. In the long run,
cross-platform solutions can save a great deal of man-hours, but for this, you should take into
account the features of the selected tool.
Native development has a solid list of considerable
advantages, such as:
Speed - the compiled code is optimal for the native platform. An app receives full
hardware support and uses multithreading for complex tasks. During the mobile app development
programmers can measure the speed of all parts of the code and, if necessary, optimise them;
Flexibility in implementation - native development uses all the capabilities of the
mobile operating system;
New software and hardware functionality - available for implementation immediately
after the update release.
Simplicity of testing - developers and testers have at their disposal a whole set
of technologies which help to control all system parameters. For example, if your app begins to
use more memory or CPU resources. In native development, there are ample opportunities for
automatic testing. If any part of the app stops working correctly after the code changes, the
programmer will immediately see the reason and fix the problem. Native projects has the built-in
remote error monitoring functionality, which allows you to see the error and its cause on the
Support from the App Store and Google Play - Apple and Google set high requirements
on the quality of apps in the stores. They are interested in getting the most positive
experience for users. The app should be beautiful, convenient and working fast. You will never
get approval for placement in special advertising sections (Featured) with a cross-platform
application, except for gaming apps.
Grow Fast with Cross-Platform Frameworks
Due to the fragmentation of mobile devices, for most
organizations, it becomes economically impossible to create apps for all mobile platforms using the
Native SDK. Сross-platform frameworks make a rescue allowing you to develop mobile software using
standard HTML5/JS/CSS3/C# web technologies.
Mobile framework is a frame of the
system (or subsystems). It can include auxiliary programs, code libraries, scripting language and
other utilities which facilitate the development and integration of various components of a large
It is enough to write a program on HTML5, using the API
framework to work with the hardware functions of the device and get ready-made applications for
almost all mobile platforms.
Frameworks can use HTML5 /CSS /JS /C# and other tools.
All frameworks can be divided into two groups:
technologies provide a large coverage of the audience (browsers exist on almost every mobile
device). Programs use a single code base and are cheap to develop;
Other frameworks, for example, Xamarin. It uses the programming language C#, which is famous for
its cross-platform compatibility, but the graphical interface for each platform should be
In spite of the apparent convenience and flexibility of
cross-platform solutions, they are still not so popular due to:
Slow and buggy software operation;
Incapacity of using unique platform features;
Unusual and perplexing interface.
PRO Testing Vs. Mobile Variables
In mobile software testing, there is an obvious
difficulty - a myriad of platforms and devices. You can try to count the number of combinations of
such variables as OS (Android, iOS, Windows Phone), OS version, screen resolution and sizes, battery
capacity, operator, number of SIM cards, presence or absence of WiFi, etc.
Mobile application testers face such challenges
every day. Here are just some of them:
Taking screenshots and videos
Performance metrics gathering
Emulation of various interruptions (calls, SMS, device disconnection due to a low battery)
Modeling of different communication levels
In terms of appearance - there are special guides that
describe how a program should look on an OS. For example, for Apple Store and Google Play, when you
publish software, you test the appearance for compliance with the guidelines.
Add Some IT Magic: Emulators, Simulators and Remote
Emulators and simulators are a set of tools that allow
you to receive meaningful data from any mobile device and easily test the performance of mobile
software on different platforms.
Google Android Emulator - an Android emulator that is patched to run on Windows.
The official Android SDK Emulator - a mobile emulator that mimics all of the hardware and
software features of a typical mobile device.
iPhoney - gives a pixel-perfect web browsing environment powered by Safari. It can be used while
developing web sites for the iPhone. iPhoney will run on OSX 10.4.7 or later.
App Stores: Entering the New Arena
App stores are the platforms for software distribution.
Apple Store is the only one officially working for iOS; all other app stores are for Android or
other mobile platforms.
The app store means not only the placement of programs but also the organization of search,
categorization, fencing, storage of reviews and ratings.
However, when your product is delivered to the store, there is still much work to be done.
Read more about the way, how to develop your mobile app after launch:
A good way to increase conversion when promoting an IT
product is to make it easier for users to reach the desired goal. In development, this problem is
even more urgent. When using e-mail, push or sms mailings with info about promotions, simplification
of access to the functionality of your app is a must.
Launching an application from an external source is not a solution, because a promo action is a
special offer in a separate section. To ensure that the user does not have to roam around on the app
after it is launched - to frustratedly search around - an additional tool that predetermines
navigation is needed. And there is such a tool.
Deep Linking is a technology through which a user can navigate between apps in predefined ways.
Watch the video to find out more about mobile deep linking:
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