Software Development

Having decided that smartphone and tablet apps are where the action is I have been delving into what that really means in terms learning and tools. Intuitively I knew HTML5 , CCS3 and JavaScript were essential components. What I did not understand was all the nuances and combination of components that are active in this realm today.

A basic mobile app just needs a web hosting site and a browser to be minimally functional. No web services per se and no coding beyond JavaScript. No Objective C and no Java either. Given the ability to have local device storage these apps can be quite robust.

A step up from this basic mobile app is to wrap it with JavaScript extensions accessing the device features using a tool like Cordova. This then will yield a native app not needing a web host and having access to the device features like the camera. Further this makes a single source app available for both iOS and Android.

So at this point I stay away from the nitty gritty of the native coding for iOS (Objective C) and Android (Java) neither of which I have had much experience with or interest in. I will continue to use PHP for web host and services. WordPress will continue to be my choice for a Content Management System.

I have discovered Netbeans 7.3 support for HTML5 that is coupled to the Chrome browser for development. Having used Netbeans for sometime and my browser preference being Chrome this transition and learning curve looks to be an easy one. The other major new component is jQuery Mobile which will round out the tool set.

The major difference I see between mobile and traditional web design and development is that the eye candy gives away to an intuitive and action oriented focus. With limited real estate it is essential to deliver results with fewer actions and to transition pages logically, intuitively and smoothly.

Next step is to determine an app that I am interested in doing that has some meaning.

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