Iâ€™m way behind the times on mobile development. It is one of those things Iâ€™ve been meaning to get into but just havenâ€™t had the cycles. There is a mobile app on my horizon so Iâ€™ve been looking a bit into how I would go about it. From what I can see there are currently two good options for building mobile applications at the moment. IÂ shouldÂ stop and explain myÂ criteriaÂ before somebody shives on me for jumping to conclusions.
First is that it needs to run on as many devices as possible. Realistically an Android tablet and iPad would be sufficient(sorry, Surface). This is obviously a pretty common use case these days. Â The tablet market has been pretty much owned by iPad but recently Android has been making inroads. I have a Nexus 7 Â which is really a fantastic device. Of course Iâ€™m comparing it with a first generation iPad so things on the Apple side might have come along some way.
Second is that it needs to be easy to develop. Iâ€™ve never been very impressed with Objective C and developing for the Dalvik VM using Java is grim. Iâ€™m really sad about where Javaâ€™s going as of late. There are Java security flaws all over the web as of late and the autoupdate mechanism install highly questionable software along with the updates. I still think that the JVM is a good platform, I just think that Java has lost its way.
With these criteria in mind I think the two great options for developing for mobile are Mono and Phone Gap. Mono started off as a port of the .net framework to Linux but has now really got legs. You can now write the majority of your application in C# and have it run on Android or iOS. Phone Gap allows you to write your application in HTML5 but still have access to most of the underlying deviceâ€™s hardware. For the things that donâ€™t have an API yet you can write bindings, but they have to be doneÂ nativelyÂ and, obviously, they need to be written for every platform.
The mobile space is getting really interesting, far more interesting than it was even two years ago. I bet it will be even more exciting in two years.