How to Get Your App Idea on the Smart Phone

There are many different ways to get your great idea for a mobile app on a mobile device. This blog post outlines approaches from building a mobile friendly Website through Native Apps.

These approaches have difference advantages and challenges. A mobile website is quick to get started and may already be a feature of the template and website engine you are using. The challenge is these sites do not give you access to all the features of the phone such as the accelerometer and may feel clunky and unresponsive to your power users. Native apps are the most powerful approach giving you access to all the features and the snappiest interfaces but is also the most expensive way to go.

Mobile Website

  • Minimal to Medium level of effort
  • Other mobile interactive features with HTML 5, CSS and Javascript.
  • Add device oriented navigation with a javascript framework like jquery mobile
  • Access device specific features such as GPS, Accelerometer, Camera, Microphone, Local Data
  • Works on most all devices (some framework features may not be supported on some devices)
  • Requires internet connection while accessing the content from the phone.

WebView App (Others may use a different name such as Multi Platform App)

  • Small to Large level of effort
  • Use packaging toolset like phonegap.com to package HTML5, CSS, Javascript for distribution as an app via Apple Appstore and the various Android marketplaces
  • Can repurpose your web development skills
  • Use an app framework like jQuery mobile or Sencha Touch
  • Minimum access to local data storage
  • Can be enhance for performance with native plugins for specific views or features
  • Works with all platforms supported by the packaging toolset
  • Need to create app distribution package for each platform
  • After installation does not require internet connection to run the app.

Cross Platform SDK’s and Gamming Engines

  • Medium level to Large effort
  • Corona SDK is an example of this approach for games. http://www.coronalab.com
  • Xamarin is an example for business process and data oriented apps. http://www.xamarin.com
  • Develop code and use the constructs of the SDK
  • Access to all features supported by the SDK
  • SDK translates/generates code into the native implementation.
  • Can be limited in the SDK, but many offer the ability to build native plungins.

Native App

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