Mobile Apps Migration – The Challenges
Today’s consumers are all for mobility, portability, and “smaller is better”. The huge jump in smartphone and tablets over the last year proves the changing preferences of gadget users.
With changing choices comes demand. What earlier users managed happily on their desktops and laptops, new gen consumers demand on their mobile devices … be it personal banking, catching the weather forecast or stock market movement, playing games, checking flight schedules, video chatting on the go … you name it.
If an app developer wants to make it big in today’s times, he/she absolutely must learn the tricks of developing apps for Android and iOS devices, not to mention BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone … maybe not Symbian or MeeGo anymore but if they’re part of your skill set … you’re still a gold mine for migration projects. Expertise in languages such as Objective-C, Java, C#, and C++ are necessary to work inside the mobile development environment.
Besides developing apps from the ground up, there’s a wide range of opportunities in app migration projects – from Windows PCs to mobile, iPhone to Android, Android to iPhone, iPhone to Windows Phone 7 or 8, the list goes on. A number of tools are available to help developers in this path but it helps to know firsthand the challenges that come with the deal.
The main challenge comes in mapping the point-and-click interface which is sequential on PCs to the multi-touch operations that can also occur simultaneously on smartphones and tablets. Besides, a great degree of optimization has to be worked into apps for superior performance with smaller screens and lower processing power than typical PCs. This challenge becomes more obvious when you’re building up game levels that require higher speeds and performance on the multi-touch interface.
The biggest issue faced by developers on Android is fragmentation. Apple’s devices have uniform dimensions so if you’ve got a working app for one model, you know it’ll work and look the same on others. But Android is a whole different game. Its customizability has led to multiple screen sizes, processing power, and various versions of the operating system. Most Android apps come with a list of compatible devices, leaving quite a few out in the cold. Obviously, this has grown into a huge problem for both Google and its customers. The latest OS version Ice Cream Sandwich may bring some changes but that has to be seen.
Google and Microsoft offer migration tools to move apps from other platforms to their own, and third party tools are also available. Various technology organizations also undertake projects to move enterprise apps to the mobile platform.
Another spurt of innovation has come in the form of media players that allow apps built for other platforms to run on a different one. BlueStacks, a California based company has released the Alpha version of an Android App Player for PCs. RIM is also expected to release an Android App Player next month that will support some Android apps and games on the QNX- based BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
Where there’s demand, there’s innovation.
- Don’t Bother Waiting Around For Blackberry’s Android App Player (thegeekpost.wordpress.com)
- BlueStacks App Player released: Run Android apps on Windows (slashgear.com)
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