Evolution of Mobile Application Development

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Evolution of Mobile Application Development


Mobile application development is the process used in writing and developing software for handheld devices, such as smart phones or tablets. Like other development procedures, mobile developments also have life cycles & traditional development methods.  The main difference between mobile development and the system or web development is that mobile applications are developed specially to take advantage of the particular mobile devices features. Different mobile applications need to be developed for different mobile platforms. Same application can’t be made to work on all the mobile platforms. So if one wants to develop application for various platforms, he needs to develop them separately.

Today mobile applications are crucial part of our daily life. Whether we want to the check weather or send an email or just want to pass some time, we use our smart phone. As consumer are passing most of their times on mobile now business owners are focusing on this. More and more mobile applications are developed day by day and it’s benefiting users, by giving them the choice to select the application that suites their needs.

The first handheld cell phone the Motorola DynaTAC, have the first mobile phone which contains simple contact application for user interface. In 1998, Nokia put the Snake game in some of their cell phones, which became very popular? After that, Nokia introduced more games in their cell phones like Space Impact, Tetris & Tic Tac Toe. Such application gives a new perspective to cell phones.

The first mobile browser was developed for a PDA of Apple Newton and named as Pocket Web, in 1994. In 1997, first mobile browser had been developed by Unwired Planet with the name of UP Browser. UP Browser was launched on AT&T handsets only.

In 2007, Apple announced “iPhone OS” with iPhone. Later they renamed it to “iOS”, as they planned to extend its support to other future Apple devices like iPod Touch, iPad etc. The first iOS, launched with few preinstalled apps like Mail, Calendar, Photos, Stock, Notes etc along with some high end apps like Google Maps, iTunes & Safari browser but no App Store. The iOS is the first operating system which provides touch screen input in cell phones. First iOS SDK was released in the year 2008, which opens a path for developers to enter in the world of Apple Mobile Applications. Till the end of 2013 App store have claims to have more than 1 million apps. In 2013 iOS7 was launched in which Apple done a major UI improvement.

The search engine giant Google announced to launch its own operating system named “Android” in 2007. In 2008, HTC launched first Android smart phone, the HTC G-1. Android based on the user interface of direct input by touch. Android is the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. The first Android OS provide services like GPS, Bluetooth & some integrated Google services like Gmail, Google Maps and Google Calendar along with Android Market. At the time of launch Android Market (later named as Play Store) contains only 35 applications.

However the first version of Android does not make an impressive impact but it shows an promising potential for future development. As its open source & the main development platform is Java, large amount of developers shows their interest in it. As off, July 2013 Play Store reached 1 million application mark.

The future of the mobile applications is focused on the browser based applications. Browser based applications are the applications with web pages included inside the app itself or an application which provide an UI interface to view the mobile websites. For this responsive design is very popular in web designing these days. It based on quick page load, responsive & touches friendly UI.