3 Common Mobile App Performance Problems and How to Avoid Them

Black box

Let’s assume that an application is a black box. For now, let’s ignore the question of its category (games, business, education, lifestyle), as it’s not really important at this point. Moreover, let’s assume our application is written natively for a given mobile platform (e.g. iOS – Swift, Objective-C, Android – Java, Kotlin) with the use of the best software practices and project templates. I believe that if you’re considering software efficiency it’s pointless to go into the details of cross-platform solutions as e.g. Xamarin or hybrid ones using HTML5. That’s even if, in the case of simple software, we can assume that the efficiency of a solution based on Xamarin will be comparative to the native language.

I’m aware of the fact that I won’t be able to discuss all aspects of efficiency of mobile applications and factors shaping it. However, I’d like to focus on the most important ones.

Devices

The first and probably the most frequently forgotten factor concerns the devices themselves. Depending on the platform and version of available software, it’s useful to put together a list of devices on which the software will ultimately be installed.

Those devices not only determine the user interface, but mainly how particular software layers will operate on older mobile devices. These can include devices with worse units (weaker processor, less RAM). You should also consider the availability of the devices, especially those older ones. Most frequently, programmers use simulators, additionally one or two mobile devices. This should be a warning signal for testers to start their tests with the oldest devices. Negligence can lead to expensive rewriting of functionalities which operate incorrectly on particular devices due to efficiency reasons. In any case, this doesn’t justify the programmers, who often copy the wrong project templates out of laziness, and start the applications only on the newest devices – ones that deal with processing complicated operations without any problems. In such cases, we usually learn about efficiency-related inconveniencies from the final user.

Networking

Another point comprises networking and, in particular, when and how often the application uses the Internet connection. The most frequent errors directly affecting performance result from the app asking the server for data too often, or a bad structure of storing the data in cache. Here, the best solution turns out to be planning generating data well, whenever it is necessary, and caching server answers.

Data-generating operations should be executed asynchronously – by not blocking the main thread, which is responsible for rendering the user interface. While downloading images, one should remember two things: to save them on the hard disk and about proper compression.

Moreover, it’s also worth ensuring that the application operates well offline, unless it’s not required in the specification included in the documentation. From my experience, problems sometimes occur due to a lack of explicit information that the application is to operate oï¬ï¿½ine. Sometimes, re-developing an already complex application can be very risky, as this can generate additional errors (which are difficult to solve). I think that this problem concerns developing the layer of communication with the server in business more so than in games, which, as can be assumed, should operate oï¬ï¿½ine. By ‘offline’ I also mean a poor Internet connection, such as 3G or EDGE, which isn’t always 100% sufficient.

We should also consider the effectiveness of the server’s communicative layer. It’s particularly important when our application generates a high traffic of questions regarding the server part. The problem can be further complicated due to e.g. audio or video streaming. Unfortunately, in this case, we don’t always have a direct impact through ongoing development. Nevertheless, I think it’s good to have this in mind as well.

Third parties

The third point involves the use of libraries of external companies. This has become very popular recently. Anyone who’s dealt with a large project that involved libraries which weren’t updated on an ongoing basis (especially the open source ones!) will know what I am talking about. They facilitate the development process and accelerate it, especially if they’re complex. They provide functionalities that would usually take a lot of time to be written by a programmer from scratch.

The development itself can be supported with additional devices. These can enable proper monitoring – of the efficiency of application, occurrences of breakdowns and an app’s sudden closing, or additional logging of application’s events. Such devices include e.g.: Fabric, Crashlytics, Flurry, HockeyApp, AppDynamics, New Relic. They should be added and used from the beginning of the project.

Summary

To sum up, we should remember that all elements listed herein make a whole and ultimately determine how the application is seen by the final user. The efficiency influences user interface as well as their general feelings related with using the application. Therefore, we should not let them feel the need to immediately uninstall our newly developed software or, even worse, feel that they have an old phone and they should replace it.



Source by Jacek Grygiel

Mobile Application Development – Current Technologies

Smartphones are a huge success story of the past two decades – and the devices get more powerful each year. Many businesses achieve significant benefits by using mobile technology – including those in both industrial and commercial markets. Deploying applications to mobile users involves a unique set of challenges and choices.

This article provides a background on the current mobile technologies available.

Types of Application for Mobile

The fundamental consideration with delivering business applications over mobile phones is the huge number of devices, and the wide variety of features on these.

Successful mobile application development often involves a combination of technologies and techniques. This is where a diverse skill set, together with an understanding of the mobile landscape, is essential to provide businesses not only with development services but also effective guidance in this time of accelerating change. The challenges at this stage in mobile technology are mirrored by an ever-increasing range of opportunities for businesses to implement new and improved processes.

In general, there are two main approaches to delivering business solutions over mobiles:

(1) Web

The mobile Web has undergone enormous advances over the past few years. According to recent research, around a third of adults in the UK are now using a smartphone – it seems fairly safe to assume that this will only continue to increase. Many more mobile users have some kind of internet access. Although the functionality of mobile Web browsers is now at a good level, there are still considerable restrictions in terms of network connectivity and speed – this is expected to improve over the next couple of years as 4G kicks in, but for the moment remains a serious constraint.

Many organisations create mobile versions of their sites and Web services, with minimised content designed to cope with mobile hardware and data connectivity limitations. One potentially valuable prospect in the mobile Web will be the advance of HTML5. This technology is still very much under development, but with major sites such as the Financial Times opting to use it rather than targeting specific mobile platforms it does look very promising. HTML5 offers a range of benefits including facilities for offline support, multi-media, interactivity and location awareness.

(2) Mobile Apps

Native mobile applications are software solutions deployed directly onto devices such as phones. Many mobile applications link to internet services, with the application, or “app”, handling user interaction natively. Mobile apps have the advantage that they provide a deep level of interactivity that is suited to device hardware – for example, using gestures or sensors like GPS. The difficulty with using mobile applications to deliver business services is the range of platforms in operation. As of early 2011, Google, Apple and RIM together occupy around 90% of the smartphone market. However, the mobile landscape is still in a state of change and there are other players including Windows and Palm – it would be unwise to make any predictions about how market share will look even in a matter of months as things stand.

Microsoft have replaced the Windows Mobile system with Windows Phone 7, with an increased focus on consumer use. Although Microsoft currently has a reduced position in terms of smartphone market share, the upcoming Mango release is looking very promising, and is being received quite well in early testing.

In terms of technologies for mobile apps, the list is long, and depends on which platform (or platforms) you choose to target. Among the most commonly used programming languages for mobile applications are Java, Objective C and C++. Each of the major platforms has a specific Software Development kit, with its own tools to help with the design, testing, debugging and deployment.

The complexity of mobile application development is such that targeting even a single platform involves extensive testing. Some businesses maximise on development resources by balancing native user interaction with cross-platform resources at the back-end, in which case a mobile app can effectively function as an interface for a Web application.

SMS

Aside from targeting specific mobile platforms through software and Web development, there are additional ways to exploit mobile contexts for some business processes – SMS is one such case. In this model, services are delivered as SMS text messages. This has the benefit of generally working across all phones, and payment can be handled via users bills – but it’s a very limited form of interaction. SMS also has a problem that message delivery is not guaranteed. Integrating SMS message handling into Web applications is quite simple – and support for processing SMS messages from users is widely available.

About Android

Google’s Android operating system is going from strength to strength at the moment. Having initially been seen as a platform of interest mainly to geeks, Android now occupies around a third of smartphone market share. Android’s growth is partly down to the openness of the platform, which is available on phones across the market range and from various hardware manufacturers, making it accessible to a more diverse range of users than iPhone.

Apps available through the Android Market are also subject to very little control, which produces a great deal of variety and flexibility but naturally results in a higher proportion of poor quality applications in circulation.

Google’s approach is the opposite of Apple – which retains significant control over its mobile phone operating system. Google’s initial idea was to make a new phone operating system which would be open and free. Their hope was that this would encourage innovative development of both phones and applications. Google has invested in Android because it expected that Web searches would increasingly happen on mobiles, and it wanted to be able to advertise to mobile users.

Although Google’s position within the mobile world seems very strong right now, it is still difficult to say how things are going to progress. In terms of users and applications, Android has, in the past, been seen by many as more focused on consumer services than enterprise use when compared with Apple and RIM, but there is some evidence that this is changing. The Android system is offering a good level of integration with business services such as Microsoft Exchange, and the open nature of the platform makes integrating with existing enterprise applications potentially less troublesome than for certain competitors.

About iPhone

The iPhone was of course in a dominant position as the advance of the smartphone took shape, and the platform is still in a very powerful place. Although business users naturally tended toward Blackberry in the past, both iPhone and Android have continued to make considerable headway for enterprise as well as consumer use, while Blackberry has started catering more to the consumer user as well. The result is that all three of the major smartphone platforms are now occupying some of the same space.

The iPhone offers support for external business utilities such as Microsoft Exchange and, unlike Android, iPhone apps are subject to serious vetting before users can deploy them. The natural downside to this increased level of control over the platform as a whole is a lack of flexibility, but for business applications the plus side is a very high guarantee of quality and reliability for the end user – and ultimately for any business processes being implemented through the technology.

With the hugely popular visual designs and interaction models the brand is famous for, the iPhone is certainly an attractive platform for commercial applications. Apple have been responsible for developing innovative features whose success has prompted other platforms to emulate them, such as multi-touch interaction.

There are some serious considerations with iPhone development:

  • Apple does not permit users to directly install applications onto the iPhone – all applications must be bought from the Apple Store, and Apple takes a 30% cut. There may be some way around this in the future, but at present we are not aware of it.
  • For certain applications the fragility, financial value and battery life of the iPhone may pose problems.

Of course, these obstacles apply mostly to commercial / industrial applications. They are not particularly a problem in terms of creating end-user applications. Blueberry has the Objective C skills necessary to develop iPhone programs, and we would be very interested in discussing this with customers.

Although iPhone has lost considerable smartphone ground to both Blackberry and Android, it is generally still seen as the platform to beat, and continues to be a market leader in many ways.

About RIM Blackberry

RIM’s Blackberry platform was long regarded as the mobile system of choice for business and professional users, a perception that still persists to a certain degree. Over the past few years Blackberry has also made significant advances in the consumer market, introducing handsets that have proven especially popular among young smartphone users.

Like Android, Blackberry hardware is very varied, so users can access mobile sites and applications via differing screen sizes and controls – increasing the complexity in any development project. The Blackberry platform delivers a wealth of enterprise services as standard, with Blackberry Enterprise Server seen as a major asset for corporate users. Email on Blackberry is particularly strong, so users who are dependent on a high level of security and reliability in messaging (and communications in general) naturally tend towards this platform.

While iPhones are focused on touchscreen interaction, as are Android devices to a slightly lesser degree, Blackberry handsets are most likely to provide hardware keyboards for text input. This can be a key aspect in the potential of the platform for certain application categories.

A possible issue for mobile Web applications targeted at Blackberry is that the Web browsers on the system have, in the past, been significantly less advanced than those on both iPhone and Android. However, more recent models have addressed this issue by including the latest WebKit browser

Native apps can be deployed through the Blackberry App World marketplace, which has, to date, not occupied as central a role for users as the app stores on iPhone and Android, although the brand is clearly focusing extensive efforts on developing this aspect of usage.

About Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 represent Microsoft’s foray into the mobile world, which has enjoyed varying degrees of success in the consumer and industrial markets.

From the consumer point of view, at the moment some of the high end smartphone brands such as HTC and LG are producing handsets with the Windows Phone operating system deployed on them, with networks including O2 and Orange providing mobile services. Nokia and Windows have reached a major deal in which the manufacturer is dropping its Symbian platform entirely to focus on Windows as its operating system of choice.

In 2011, Microsoft is due to release a major new version of the mobile Windows platform named Mango. This much anticipated release could alter the position of Microsoft drastically within the mobile world, partly on account of the Nokia partnership and partly since the system is set to include a number of new features such as increased support for HTML5.

At the same time, Windows Mobile has also been adopted strongly by manufacturers of industrial PDAs and mobiles – portable computing device products designed for commercial rather than consumer use. This has seen Microsoft exploring various industrial contexts for mobile processing, with Windows Mobile 6.5 particularly successful in such environments, and hardware produced by various manufacturers including Motorola. Windows Mobile is therefore a natural choice for many mobile workplace needs, including warehouse and delivery services.

From a development perspective, Windows Mobile has very strong advantages. Microsoft has provided a rich platform of development tools – including the C# language, which is much easier to use than C used on other mobiles. Microsoft also includes tools for communication between software on the phone and central servers, and they even include a small database engine.

The strong development tools and wide availability of different devices make Windows Mobile a particularly valuable platform for delivering business applications. At Blueberry we have a uniquely high level of expertise on Windows Mobile systems, so are well positioned to deliver solutions on this platform.

Mobile Solutions

Blueberry Consultants ( http://www.bbconsult.co.uk ) has the development skills to build and deploy applications targeted at any of the mobile platforms and hardware manufacturers in use today, having developed a diverse range of mobile projects, including many on Windows. The team is also well placed to provide tailored approaches involving multiple technologies and programming languages where necessary.

With our skills in Web and client-server development, we can design a complete system that integrates field staff and office workers. Whatever your business process or context, Blueberry has the expertise to provide bespoke, comprehensive solutions to mobile integration, enhancing not only communication but also efficiency and productivity.



Source by Raspal Chima

Top 6 Hybrid Mobile App UI Frameworks

Mobile app is the best of both worlds – native and web apps. Hybrid apps are gaining popularity amongst the developers because they have to code apps for once and then run them on any platform with no extra coding.

  • Ionic

Ionic is the pioneer of mobile app frameworks. If your app performance is a major concern for you, go for Ionic framework. Ionic is based on HTML 5 and it mainly focusses on performance. It needs no third party integration with JS library. To make a big interactive app, it can be clubbed with Angularjs. Both frameworks together work really well. Ionic has few reusable HTML classes and a set of inbuilt icons set called Ionicons.

  • Sencha Touch

Sencha Touch is mature framework based on HTML5/CSS3. An enterprise targeted framework, Sencha Touch has its core at ExtJS. It scores high because of the fact that you can create great performance applications with near native experience.

  • Mobile Angular UI

Angular is pretty much the perfect solution for handling data binding. Data binding in Angular apps involves the automatic synchronization of data between the model (or customer input source) and the “view”. When the model changes, the view rejects the change, and vice versa. By cutting short multiple steps, Angular can be a very appealing option.

  • React Native

ReactJS is an exceptional framework for managing the DOM (Document Object Model), especially when when if comes to handling huge amount of data. React works by creating a virtual DOM in JavaScript that acts as an intermediate representation of the DOM. Because of this representation it becomes easier to decide which elements to change in the DOM and what the results may be.

  • PhoneGap

PhoneGap is based on Cordova and is used for comping and packaging to release the app. It comes with set of APIs that can connect to phones basic inbuilt functions like camera, location, contacts etc. PhoneGap community also has an amazing support team.

  • Famo.us

It is quite similar to Phonegap but more lightweight. It uses lightweight javascript to eliminate performance issues on HTML5. This new kid on the block focuses more on graphics. It is used for more sophisticated, graphic rich applications that focus on rendering 2D, 3D graphics, game related animations and stuff like that. This framework is mainly used for hybrid mobile development and not for web based applications. It can be used with Angularjs too.

Hope this article was helpful in learning about the most famous mobile app frameworks. Are you looking for a company to create hybrid mobile app for you? Feel free to contact us. We have an in-house mobile application development services team that is experienced and dynamic to handle all types of applications.



Source by Cris Styris

A Practical Guide to Help Choose a Mobile App Development Agency

In the last couple of decades, we have seen how mobile devices have gone viral. With the technology to support high speed internet access, mobiles have made a global population that is constantly at a tap’s reach to any information. Businesses too have seen the benefits of having a mobile workforce which can co-ordinate very easily between the office and the field work. However, each business is different and hence has its own particular needs of computing applications. For example, a business dealing with warehousing would require a totally different type of app in contrast to a business that services and repairs household electronics. To make the best use of everyone’s time, a professional business has to see this fact and consider getting customized mobile apps developed. Android applications development has ascended very rapidly since its introduction due to the popularity and as such, you should not find it a task to find a good agency of developers who can build apps that suit your exact needs. The following article, discusses some of the things that should be of use to anyone looking to hire such an agency.

Check Their Experience in App Development

The mobile apps field is a rather new one which didn’t quite exist at all a couple of decades ago. This however, doesn’t mean that we are only left to deal with newbie developers. Look for agencies headed by people who have extensive experience in working with apps and their development. A HTML5 developer, for example, who has been in the coding and development industry for a while would have gathered all the skills and knowledge required to address any kind of requirement.

Ask to See Previous Work

This is quite an effective way to decide whether the said agency is the one that gets our project or not. A HTML5 developer without any applications to show might not be the best choice as we are talking about apps for our business. When checking out such sample work, make sure to note your own experience of using it. Although the content is of the utmost importance, the form or design of the app is also important. Agencies that have been building apps for the mobile platform and know what they’re doing will never hesitate to show you their work as they understand that it makes it easier for both the parties.

Find Out About your Point of Contact

Proper communication during the development process is crucial to the success of any app. You need to stay in touch with the development team regarding your requirements of functionality as well as the design. If, for example, you would like to get an app built for android, it is always good if your point of contact is the project manager for the android applications development team. Make sure that you speak to the same person from the time of consideration and on throughout the whole process as this will make it easier to co-ordinate.



Source by Ibraho D. Paul

8 Mistakes To Avoid When Developing A Great Mobile Website

The number of users accessing websites and web applications on their mobile devices has been increasing steadily. Likewise, popular search engines like Google also use mobile friendliness as a key metric to rank websites. Hence, enterprises nowadays focus on enhancing the mobile user experience of their websites. They even require developers to build mobile websites that keep visitors engaged and convert them into customers. The developers can make a website mobile-friendly in a number of ways. They can further accelerate mobile website development by implementing several techniques and best practices. However, it is also important for developers to avoid a number of mistakes to make the website deliver optimal mobile user experience.

8 Mobile Website Development Mistakes Each Developer Must Avoid

1) Not Adopting Responsive Web Design

A developer has option to choose from several mobile website development approaches. But the developer must opt for responsive web design to make the website look good on both computers and mobile devices with a single code base. Responsive web design allows developers to build websites using open technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Also, the single code base makes it easier for programmers to add new functionalities to the website and deliver updated content to users.

2) Not Focusing on Loading Speed

Most users nowadays abandon websites that do not load in 3 seconds. Likewise, Google also uses loading speed a metric while ranking websites. Most users nowadays access websites over mobile internet connections like 2G, 3G and 4G. The mobile internet connections are slower than wired networks and Wi-Fi. No developer can keep the visitors engaged without increasing the website’s performance and speed.

3) Not Optimizing Components for Touch Screen

Responsive web design enables developers to make a website look good on different devices with a single code base. But the developers must enable mobile users to navigate the website seamlessly with a single hand. Also, the users must read and access the website content on smaller screens. That is why; it becomes essential for developers to optimize key elements of a website like buttons, menu navigation, and tap elements for touch screen.

4) Not Optimizing Forms for Mobile Device

The mobile websites also accept user information and feedback through forms. But the developers must optimize the forms for mobile devices to make it easier for users to submit input. Unlike web forms, mobile forms need to be concise. The mobile forms must require users to submit only relevant information. Hence, the developers must remove additional and irrelevant fields from the mobile version of a form. The mobile websites can further accelerate user data submission process by generating information using the built-in hardware features of the mobile devices.

5) Not Including Mobile Icons

Many users nowadays spend more digital media time on mobile apps than mobile web. The modern users even love mobile websites that look, function, and perform just like native mobile apps. While developing a mobile website, the developers must explore ways to make it access the native hardware and software features of individual devices. Also, they can make the website look and function like mobile apps by including commonly used mobile icons and symbols. They must use mobile icons to convey information and instructions, and perform common actions.

6) Still Using Flash Instead of HTML5 Videos

While developing websites, many developers still deliver videos through Adobe Flash. The developers must remember that certain mobile operating systems do not support Flash. Also, most users hate accessing videos with third-party plug-ins and extensions. The developers must use HTML5 videos instead of Flash to deliver videos quickly and seamlessly to various devices. HTML5 further helps developers to embed videos into a web page without affecting its loading speed.

7) Using Too Many Popup Windows

The desktop versions of websites use popup windows to run advertisements, convey special offers, and receive user feedback. While developing a mobile website, many developers still generate popup windows to accomplish various tasks. The developers must remember that the popup windows affect the mobile user experience of the website directly and adversely. They must avoid generating additional popup windows to boost the website’s user experience and engagement.

8) Not Reducing Web Page Weight

While optimizing a website for mobile devices, web application developers often ignore the weight of individual web pages. The weighty web pages direct affects the website’s loading speed and user experience. The developers can reduce the weight of various web pages in a number of ways – optimizing images, minifying JavaScript and CSS files, and compressing frontend resources. But they must assess and reduce the weight of individual web pages to make the website load faster and keep visitors engaged.

In addition to avoiding common mobile website development mistakes, it is also important for the developers to keep in mind the latest guidelines issued by popular search engines like Google. The search engine guidelines help developers to make the mobile websites discoverable and deliver richer user experience.



Source by Arun Kumar Biswal

Developing Mobile Apps With Drupal and jQuery Mobile

Drupal is a highly popular open source content management system that allows you to build websites. Drupal has a large community of contributors and users. Drupal has over 7000 contributed modules or extensions that people can download and install. A number of Fortune 500 companies are using Drupal to build social websites to interact with their users. Mobile platform has a great influence on Drupal web CMS.

The fastest growing technology trend has been previewing of website on mobile devices for accessing online content on the go. We might be stepping into a world where instead of designing for desktop websites first, you might end up designing for a mobile version first and then desktop websites comes second. When people started using iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices, smartphone users are increasingly seen viewing web content. With the phenomenal increase in the consumption of website content on smartphones and tablets, there has been a raging demand for mobile friendly websites. Accessing the mobile version of website has also seen an exponential growth which is keen to match the demand for the mobile devices. More and more companies are adding mobile version to their existing website, which is seen as a natural extension to online space. However, the rise in smartphone visitors has not been as great as increase in mobile-enabled sites. Most of the webpages are not optimized for smaller screens. Developers have shown tremendous enthusiasm in developing a plethora of applications for iPhone and Android platforms. Here jQuery Mobile steps in!

jQuery Mobile is a powerful JavaScript framework optimized for touchscreen devices, which enables developers to create a mobile version of a website quickly to users with full functionality. jQM has a library which leverages CSS3 and HTML5 web standards to develop mobile web apps with native experience. jQM applies HTML5 data-role attributes within the existing template optimized for mobile-enabled website without the need to create separately a mobile version. One of the advantages of using jQM library is the ease of use and simplicity in converting existing content formatted for a mobile browser. jQM addresses the problem of user experience and provides touch-optimized interface elements for multiple mobile platforms.

Drupal is aiming to be the number one platform to build Drupal to mobile web applications. jQuery Mobile and Drupal plays well together. In order to work well on cross platform mobile platform, Drupal and jQM compatibility issues and Module and Theme integration needs to be fulfilled.



Source by Shriram S.

Mobile Web App Development With JQuery Mobile – Pros, Cons & Alternatives

As the name indicates, jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized framework developed based on jQuery library. It enables programmers to create mobile web applications for major mobile platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. The developers can further use the framework to create mobile apps using commonly used standards like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and AJAX. At the same time, jQuery Mobile is designed with features to help developers to create mobile web apps without writing longer lines of code. However, each programmer still needs to evaluate the pros and cons of jQuery Mobile, along with knowing its alternatives.

Pros

JQuery Mobile supports many mobile platforms and devices. At noted earlier, it supports several popular mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Likewise, it also supports several mobile devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions. So the framework makes it easier for programmers to create cross-platform mobile app without writing code for specific devices and operating systems. They are also not required to make changes to code according to the screen size and resolution of individual devices.

While creating native mobile app, programmers have to use a specific programming language. For instance, they have to use Swift or Objective-C for developing apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. JQuery enables developers to create mobile web applications using open and commonly-used standards like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and AJAX. The widely used web technologies make it easier for developers to create a wide variety of apps without putting extra time and effort.

Nowadays developers have to create custom themes to make the mobile app look different and attractive. JQuery Mobile makes it easier for developers to create custom themes using the ThemeRoller. In addition to allowing user to download custom themes, ThemeRoller further allows them to change their look simply by dragging and dropping colours. They can further deliver polished visuals by availing the box-shadow and text-shadow properties of CSS3.

JQuery Mobile further helps programmers to customize form controls, page layouts, page panels, headers and footers. So they can manipulate various elements of a page according to the requirements of the client. Likewise, they can also apply the CSS-based transition effects included in the framework to customize form submission and page links through AJAX.

While planning mobile apps, enterprises have to consider the process of getting approval from various app stores. Many businesses find it challenging to get their apps included in Apple App Store. But jQuery includes the virtues of individual environments. As the framework contains the virtue of Apple App Store, the developers can easily obtain approval from Apple. Thus, jQuery Mobile makes it easier for businesses to launch and promote their apps. At the same time, it enables developers to focus on the application’s functionality and performance without worrying about the approval process.

Cons

The performance of mobile web applications developed using jQuery differs across web browsers and devices. Many programmers have highlighted the apps perform slower on Android operating system and Chrome. But the same apps run faster on iOS devices. Also, the jQuery applications cannot outperform native mobile applications in the category of speed.

Many users feel that the applications developed using jQuery look almost identical. Some users even feel that the design of the jQuery applications is not optimized for tablets and other devices with larger screen. So many businesses have to deploy seasoned UI designers to make the mobile web applications different and appealing.

Despite supporting several mobile platforms and devices, jQuery is basically a JavaScript library. So it cannot access all features of the mobile device like other cross-platform mobile app development tools. The inability to access a device’s native features makes native apps perform better than jQuery applications.

Nowadays HTML5 is used widely for developing both mobile web apps and games. So developers look for frameworks that come with specialized features to speed up mobile game development. JQuery Mobile does not provide any specific features for developing game apps. So it can be used only for creating simple data-driven mobile web apps.

Alternatives

The cross-browser compatibility and too many features make JQuery Mobile bulky. So many developers prefer developing mobile web applications using lightweight frameworks like Snack.js, Zepto.js, xui.js, 140medley, $dom, PhoneJS, Junior, Jo and Davinci SDK. However, a specific framework may to complement the specific needs of each project. So the programmers need to keep in mind the nature and needs of the mobile app development project while comparing jQuery and its alternatives.



Source by Aaliyah Choudhry

Top 5 Cross Platform Mobile Application Development Frameworks

Cross platform mobile application development is a welcome respite for developers that find it hard to manage sizable teams for each of the mobile development verticals. Moreover, developing an application using this much-in-demand platform is a profitable affair as it helps in popularizing the product among a larger section of potential users. The lines below talk about this very topic and discuss various open source tools that developers use to create interactive apps.

Rhomobile

Previously known as Rhodes Framework, RohoMobile Suite is used to build native mobile applications that can function on multiple devices and operating systems. Owned by Motorola Solutions, the open source framework currently supports numerous platforms including iOS, Windows Phone, iOS, BlackBerry and so on. It uses Model View Controller (MVC) pattern where HTML and Ruby are used for writing views and controllers, respectively.

Appcelerator

For developers wishing to create applications for desktops and tablets alongside mobile phones, Appcelerator Titanium is a welcome choice. It supports iPhone, android, iPad and Blackberry based applications and also allows the programmers to use JavaScript to develop native apps for Android and iPhone. Knowledge of Titanium API is important for coders willing to use it.

PhoneGap

It is yet another much sought after cross platform mobile development framework. It lets the coders to use the combination of JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 together with standardized web APIs to build quality applications to run on a slew of OS and devices including iOS, Android, Symbian, BB, Windows 8, Windows Phone and more. Developed by Adobe systems, PhoneGap consists of Apache Cordova as underlying software.

MoSync

Developed by Mobile Sorcery, MoSync provides free, simple, and open source Software Development Kit (SDK) to build a flurry of cross-platform mobile applications. Developers can use it to create native apps with the help of C/C++, CSS, HTML5 and JavaScript. The framework supports iOS, Android and Windows Phone among others. The company also offers to download MoSync SDK and Reload tool right from its website for maximum benefit of its users.

Sencha Touch

Web developers prefer using Sencha Touch to build interactive application UI with the help of JavaScript library together with the combination of HTML5 and CSS3. With this framework, programmers can comfortably and swiftly develop apps that could run perfectly on the devices supported by Android, iOS and BB. The mobile web apps thus developed give the appearance and experience of native applications. An additional advantage with Sencha Touch is that it offers GUI based controls, which further simplify using the mobile web applications.

For companies and individuals into the business of mobile application development, these frameworks promise very cost-effective solutions as compared to the native platforms. Moreover, owing to the fact that the code written in all such tools are reusable, once written, developers can use them as many times as they want. Prominent reasons such as cost-effectiveness and enhanced visibility due to the availability of apps on multiple OS and devices, often tempt the clients from different walks of life to invest in these cross platform mobile development frameworks and rear exceptional benefits in the long run.



Source by Alen Cauller

MEAP Vs Native Mobile Application Development Strategy

Once enterprises decide on a mobile strategy, it’s time to decide between native mobile application development and web application development. Native mobile applications have a lot to commend them. They are native and hence more in sync with specific features of iPhone/ iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, etcetera – resulting in a smooth user experience.

The downside of this approach is the high cost of development and the time and effort spent on recreating a native app for multiple platforms. Moreover, even if you have the required budget and time, it’s not possible to cover every mobile operating system in the market, what with emerging new platforms and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend inundating corporate spaces.

The cost of native application development has led to the rise and growing popularity of MEAP tools or Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms. As the name suggests, MEAP is a platform for developers to develop code once and deploy it across multiple mobile operating systems and devices. It’s economical and faster than native app development. You get features that enable you to build sophisticated apps that can match or nearly match native apps in look and feel. And you maximize your customer outreach.

Is MEAP good enough?

While MEAP offers many advantages over native mobile app development, it has some cons too. Firstly, it is an emerging technology. It is not equipped for all kinds of applications such as those with complicated scenarios involving video, audio, or intensive graphics, and highly sophisticated design. Secondly, MEAP comes with security issues that are addressed differently by various MEAP vendors.

To combat these concerns, many enterprises choose to develop one native application for the major mobile operating system or device used by their employees or customers and MEAP based applications for others. Again, your approach will largely depend on the kind of mobile application you target. Many businesses want purely informational apps or e-commerce portals. These can be easily created with MEAP at reasonable rates and timelines.

Typically, MEAP tools support the leading web development language of today – HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS. HTML5 enables mobile application developers to create impressive user interfaces and designs for high performing apps. The last two years have seen HTML5 grow significantly, with developers and enterprises pitching in to make it stronger and more capable.

It is backed by industry biggies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

When is MEAP the right choice?

MEAP allows enterprises a lot of leeway in terms of development costs, time to market, innovation and flexibility. Once a mobile app is developed using MEAP, the development team can spend time on enhancing the application, upgrading it and introducing new features rather than recreating it for other platforms. Moreover, MEAP is simple enough for web developers to use. You don’t need to hire expensive Java, Objective-C or Android programming experts.

MEAP supports device agnostic mobile app development. Enterprises don’t need to worry about app compatibility with emerging mobile operating systems. Moreover, MEAP is easily integrable with existing enterprise systems such as legacy systems, data stores, CRM, etc., making it a perfect fit.

With increasing interest in MEAP, many small and large vendors have entered the market. Competition has brought down costs and forced vendors to offer more value with their product. Open source options are also available where customers can contribute to the development of secure enterprise or commercial mobile applications.

Not all rosy

MEAP tools, as yet, cannot match native SDKs in all aspects. They also suffer from technology and vendor-specific issues. For example, MEAP solutions are tough to migrate. This can create vendor lock-in.

Though MEAP tools are far better now than before, there is a lot of ground to cover. Web applications created with HTML5 will always be compared with native peers – so choose the right approach judiciously.



Source by Ranjani Rao

Incorporating Mobile Apps Into Service Management

The very nature of service management means that companies are always looking to stay ahead of the game, meet the rising expectations of their customers and find efficiencies in an ever-competitive world.

The latest technology can provide the competitive advantage many service management companies crave. Integrating mobile technology in particular into operations and to support a mobile workforce can deliver tangible benefits and an impressive return on investment.

With the advent of mobile app technology, the opportunities available to service management business as a whole have taken another step forward. Today’s tech-savvy and more social media friendly customers are expecting businesses to interact and communicate with them more openly, particularly online and through technology.

Using a mobile app to support your mobile workforce in their day-to-day work will send a clear message to your customers that you are embracing new technology and using it to improve your customer service and how you manage information and communication across your business.

Mobile app features to consider

There are some great service management mobile apps available. When deciding which one to use, consider the following:

What mobile technology does it use and how will this fit with our business? The best apps utilise HTML5 technology, which means the app can be used on any device and is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. But HTML5 also comes with local storage which means that if an internet connection is unavailable or lost during a job, an operative can continue working offline and the app will update the central system once the connection is regained.

Does it fit with older mobiles so we can avoid costly capital outlay for new phones? This is a question many businesses will ask, and rightly so. Decent apps should work on any device and support all operating systems. What this means is that you are then able to use on older devices. Again, HTML5 apps will work on all devices.

What will the app mean for our operatives day on day? As a rule, it’ll means direct, simple and easy access to the software, workflows, information and tools integral to the app, all of which should be designed to support them in their work. So inbuilt app workflows can guide operatives through gas services, for example, or property information can be viewed within a few clicks.

How is the app installed? Installation is achieved by simply downloading the app from the software provider. Operatives can be up and running in minutes. But do speak to any potential software and app suppliers about the security and resilience of their products. You should look for best-of-breed measure to prevent your data from being compromised in any way.



Source by Sebastian Street