Join Joseph Lowery for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding mobile app basics, part of Building Android and iOS Apps with Dreamweaver CC and PhoneGap.
- One of the real success stories in recent years is the emergence of the mobile application or "APP" market. Now, the users of mobile phones and other devices can do so much more than make calls, take pictures and text each other. Highly-targeted apps make it possible to play games, find restaurants, listen to music, get directions, and even learn a thing or two. And the apps market is still growing. Our report, by Gartner Research from September of last year noted that the downloads of mobile apps have increased 37% from 2012 to 2013, and forecast an outstanding 225 billion downloads by 2016.
Before you join the development "gold rush," it's important to understand the difference between mobile applications and the mobile web. Mobile apps are intended for mobile devices. They are accessible via a specific platform venue, i.e., the Apple App Store or Android Play. They are developed for specific platforms such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows. This is where the term "native app" is used.
Optionally, they must be purchased, unlike almost all web content. And they often offer features not possible on websites. The mobile app brings with it many benefits. The key ones are: Uses the latest web technologies. Both HTML5 and CSS3 are robustly supported. There's a single browser focus per project. So you have no more hacks or filters for cross-browser support. There's an improved user experience as well, with multi-touch gestures and advanced form controls, widely available.
Mobile apps also support enhanced device features including geolocation, gyroscope, and even vibratory feedback. Of course, there are also some drawbacks to mobile apps. The access to the market is controlled by others. Unlike the web where you can pretty much post anything at any time, you have to get past the gatekeepers of the App Store and Android Play to make your app available. A separate development for the different platforms means separate maintenance. The app for each platform will have to be updated and our each published separately.
Distributing upgrades is certainly not an effortless affair, whereas you can easily modify a web application and the changes are instantly available who visits the websites. An upgrade to the mobile app has to be downloaded and installed before it can put to work. Until recently, all such downloads had to be handled manually. Increasingly, updates are managed automatically. But, it's still a time-consuming process. Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to developing mobile apps.
- Introducing PhoneGap
- Working with Dreamweaver's mobile starters
- Applying a theme
- Setting up Android work and testing environments
- Simulating the iPhone
- Getting an application ID from Apple
- Establishing a connection from Dreamweaver to PhoneGap Build
- Compiling a native app
- Building a mobile app from scratch
- Creating a data-entry form for mobile apps