The Mobile Application Development Sector and the Competing Mobile Platforms

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Choosing the right mobile platform is important in the future years as most enterprises have completed experimenting with platforms and apps. Enterprises are now getting more serious with integrating with third party systems. So they are looking for smarter, connected apps which can get their mobile strategy in line. Some questions facing the mobile world today are:

Can one use native code with the web code and make it a Hybrid app?

When it comes to Mobile App Development, no single approach is always relevant as enterprises are looking at a number of apps with different characteristics, and differing budgets. A MADP should be able to support different approaches including Hybrid, Web and Native, thus rendering optimum flexibility for all developers involved.

MADPs support different Hybrid apps including-

Form-based templates: This approach is like building blocks where form templates are piled on top of one another.

  • There are some limitations involved in this approach:
  • One is forced to use template UI controls sans much creativity
  • Complex customizations involved
  • Generic user experience
  • Does not allow mix of native and web code
  • Any change in a single part impacts the rest of the code

Code-generation: Another approach to Hybrid apps is code-generation where code is automatically generated for each specific platform with a translation layer in between.

  • The Limitations of code-generation approach include:
  • The result is a low-end, basic app which is of limited use Hard to ‘untangle’ once native code is generated
  • Machine-generated process with excess code most of the time leading to unmanaged code structure
  • Performance issues associated with the apps
  • Unable to add extra components like HTML5, 3rd party UI libraries

The main value of the hybrid app resides in its ability to break the trade-off between cross-platform development and the important element of user experience, which cannot be achieved by the two above-mentioned approaches.

Mobile ecosystem is changing fast with newly designed devices and platforms. There are many factors and capabilities that can be enhanced with time. It is best advised to invest in open, standards-based platform so that it is adaptable to the volatile needs.

Lack of control and flexibility is a hindrance to enterprises which are open to customization for their specific needs. Key considerations for a MADP right from the developer’s perspective are:

  • Short learning curve for all types of application developers
  • Very easy to install, deploy, and use
  • Agile development to reduce time-to-market
  • Leveraging the existing skill-sets for better productivity

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