Platform Independent Mobile Development


One of the challenges facing every organization entering the mobile space is deciding which mobile platforms to support. The three major platforms today are: iOS, Android and Blackberry. If the organization provided the device (e.g. company issued Android phone) the problem is relatively simple. The organization simply standardizes on a single platform and single device.

The difficulty is that customer facing organizations must provide their products and services to consumers on the consumer’s preferred device. For many organizations that means parallel development on incompatible platforms. For iOS that means Objective C, for Android and Blackberry it’s Java. Even though Android and Blackberry are both in the Java family, their GUIs are completely different. To make things worse, the expected Q4 release of Windows 8 Mobile may make Microsoft a player in the mobile space again. Supporting Windows Mobile would necessitate creating a development team to work in C#, yet another incompatible language.

Even organizations that provide devices to employees will find themselves under pressure from the rank and file to allow a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

An alternative to doing parallel development on multiple platforms is to consider platform independent application development. Today using a combination of HTML5 and JavaScript it is possible to create mobile applications that run natively on nearly every mobile device and do not require a browser! Of course HTML5 and JavaScript are normally thought of as Web technologies. Using an API from Apache called Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) developers can write HTML and JavaScript code that is packaged to run as a native application on all of the major mobile platforms. These technologies, combined with a powerful mobile JavaScript library like JQuery Mobile or Sencha Touch, make a compelling solution to simplify and standardize mobile development for a variety of platforms.

We at Web Age Solutions are hard at work in this area ourselves. Check out the outline for our new Sencha Touch based Platform Independent Mobile Development course. If you have any question please contact us and we would be happy to help!

  1. #1 by Harish on September 28, 2012 - 6:10 am

    which is the best Toolkit to develop the platform independent mobile application

  2. #2 by David Chung on October 1, 2012 - 9:23 pm

    Harish, best depends on what you are trying to do, your background …

    I would take a close look at both jQuery Mobile and Sencha Touch 2.

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