Smartphones have slowly become an integral part of life by allowing for its simultaneous usage for multiple purposes which would have otherwise been time consuming and cumbersome to perform individually.From simple day to day applications to banking and financial applications, many tasks can be accomplished on the go and in minimal time. As smartphones are getting increasingly smarter, it is imperative that service oriented business also move services away from the traditional in-house system to a mobile platform.
Application development and technology
The most important aspect of smartphone is application development without which it will lose its utility value. Smartphone manufacturers allow application developers to develop applications that are not portable to each other. That means, the same application will need a separate development and testing line for each platform.
The Big 3
Apple is considered a trendsetter in the smartphone space and as is pretty well known, they are quite secretive about their technology and development frameworks. The language supported for iOS application development is Objective-C/C++ and developed using IOS SDK. Although difficult to learn, Objective-C is the iOS standard, considered the "correct" language, the firmware is optimized for this language and hence the best language for performance reasons.
iOS frameworks and libraries are available for faster Apps development and which follows best practices. It also allows web apps which can be developed in different web languages, but you will lose the device specific feature use like sending text messages, camera, etc.
Under pressure from developers and competition from other smartphone brands, they are removing the restriction on language support. C# is directly supported, you can develop .Net assemblies in any language and use it.
Android OS is the most popular as it is open source OS and Google releases the code under permissive license. Device manufacturers, Wireless carriers, Application developers can freely modify and distribute the OS and in some cases with additional proprietary software. It is developed on top of linux kernel, there are libraries, drivers, APIs written in C and Java is the most supported language for application development.
Android is very popular with developers as it is extensively used in smartphones ranging from high end to budget phones. Since mobile applications are resource crunching due to hardware limitations, users of budget phones have faced issues with Android. This gives the impression that iOS is better than Android, but in reality iOS does not work well with low end devices and is restricted to high end devices , but Android can support smaller configurations as well.
A relatively new entrant into smartphone space, Windows8 from Microsoft did not have a rockstar acceptance among the iOS and Android smartphone users and developers.
Application development can be easily done in .NET environment akin to normal .NET software development platform and architecture. Although available applications and developer community are not as broad as iOS or Android, Windows8 is fast gaining respect for its low memory and processor needs. What can be resource crunching application for android, windows8 can manage it very well even with lower configured memory and processor.
Microsoft has brought its years of hardware and software product development experience into this and seems to have atleast won the battle of resources so far, although not in numbers.
Common platform for Big 3
Off late, many vendors are trying to come up with common architecture for application developers, who will be able to develop applications for iOS, Android and Windows8 in a single development line. The common platform can only be at a base level, the core development should still be developed using the platform specific environment.
If you are interested in mobile application development but can't find niche expertise in-house, check out our customer video to learn how you can utilize a dedicated team for your development needs.