MOBILE APP DEVELOPER

What Is Mobile App Development?

Mobile app development is the creation of software intended to run on mobile devices and optimized to take advantage of those products' unique features and hardware.

The types of mobile apps that developers create include native apps, hybrid apps and HTML5 apps.

Due to the exploding popularity of smartphones and tablets, mobile application development is an increasingly popular medium of software creation. In fact, mobile apps have become an essential element of most business. This prolific and growing industry has attracted businesses from every corner of the marketplace as consumers detach themselves from desktop computing and turn to their mobile devices.

The creation of mobile applications has much of its roots in traditional software development. The end result, however, is software intended to utilize the unique features and hardware of mobile devices. Modern smartphones are equipped with Bluetooth, NFC, gyroscopic sensors, GPS and cameras. They can be used for virtual or augmented reality, barcode scanning, and more. Mobile apps should utilize the full range of smartphone features.

Mobile app development considerations:

Solving the issue of performance on any given device ultimately depends on developing an app natively on that device. This means designing the code specifically for the hardware on a particular device. In the instance of iOS devices, this proves quite easy, as mobile developers only need versions of the app for the iPhone and iPad to achieve universal usability. For Android devices, however, each smartphone or tablet runs on different hardware and varying versions of the operating system.

Mobile development is an excellent choice for getting started in software development because it has a low barrier to entry and is an area of software development that will continue to grow over the years.

Plus, mobile applications are by nature limited in scope, so a team of just one developer can produce a significant application in a relatively short period of time which can act as a great portfolio of work to help land future jobs or contracts.

Types of mobile apps and programming languages:

Like desktop software, mobile apps are designed using a wide range of programming languages and frameworks. While the most popular operating systems, iOS and Android, have done an excellent job of standardizing the types of mobile app development available to programmers, apps can still vary. Here are some mobile app types:

  • Native apps

These are apps created for a specific platform (iOS or Android) using the software development tools and languages supported by those operating systems. iOS uses Xcode and Objective-C, whereas Android uses Eclipse and Java. Developers often prefer native apps because of their ability to utilize a device's full potential. Developers are creating unique applications that integrate things like wearables, Internet of Things sensors and smart screens for personalized experiences. Of course, development for each platform is a costly and time-consuming process that doesn't work for all businesses.

  • HTML5 apps

Based on the near-universal standards of web technologies – HTML5, JavaScript and CSS – this type of mobile app takes a write-once-run-anywhere approach to mobile development. Apps developed in this framework are compatible with many platforms and require only minimal changes to ensure complete functionality on each operating system. HTML5 apps can still send desktop notifications and trigger interactions through email and other avenues. Don't discount web apps' usability, but keep in mind that consumers are more likely to use a native app. A study from Oracle found that millennials spend 90% of their mobile time in apps and 10% in web browsers.

Consider utilizing existing apps for greater impact. For example, by using mobile-focused marketing on services such as Yelp, Facebook and Google Maps, you can drive traffic to both your website and brick-and-mortar location.