Mobile Applications Design and Development

The Mobile Applications market has experienced explosive growth over the last few years, with some reports indicating a 58 % increase in mobile application usage in 2015 (world wide).  The same report indicates that the increase in usage is mostly from existing users (as opposed to new users), which indicates the market is maturing.

The system that will suit your business best (Advanced Website, Windows App, or Mobile App, or all of these combined) will depend on who will be using the system for what, where and when.

We find that if budget is limited, most businesses prefer to first have an advanced website developed before a mobile app.  Most of the websites we develop are mobile friendly, except in special cases where all users exclusively use desktop computers.  When a website is designed to be mobile friendly, it means the layout of the website will dynamically respond to different screen sizes, often having different layouts for different screen sizes.  For mobile friendly websites, we also only use website technologies that are supported on mobile devices. Mobile friendly websites are user friendly, regardless of whether it is used on a desktop computer, tablet, phablet (something in between a phone and a tablet), or a mobile phone. Using a mobile friendly website on a mobile phone is a very similar user experience to using a mobile app – the most obvious differences are that a user might first need to open the website by entering the address (or using a bookmark), log in, and internet connectivity is usually a requirement for websites.  By developing an advanced website first, a business can test the waters, to see how many of its clients (or suppliers) finds the online functionality useful and then fine tune the services, before committing to the development of a mobile app.

The Battle of the Mobile Operating Systems – iOs, Android, Windows

Mobile applications typically run on mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and phablets.  Every mobile device needs an operating system (OS), in the same way as desktop computers need an operating system (Windows for example).  Apple’s iPads and iPhones use iOS (developed by Apple).  Android is an open source operating system (based on Linux) currently driven by Google – you have probably seen their green robot logos used in some smart phones ads.  Most of us are familiar with Windows, who are trying very hard to gain market share in the mobile market, after a late start.  Blackberry OS has been discontinued, so most Blackberries today use Windows.

iOS is only used on Apple mobile devices, whereas Android and Windows are used on many brands. Some well known phones using Android are the Samsung Galaxy, Sony Xperia, LG G5 and Nexus 6 (to name just a few).  Windows is used on phones such as the Blackberry Z10, and Microsoft Lumia.

According to statistics released for South Africa by Vodacom in the first quarter of 2015, Android is by far the most used mobile operating system on smart phones and tablets (58 % market share).  Blackerry OS (26 % market share) and iOS (10.5 %) were losing market share, while Android (58 %) was gaining market share and Windows (5.7 %) was remaining constant compared to the previous quarter, although sales increased for Windows mobile devices.

Cross Platform Mobile Applications Development

We develop cross platform mobile applications, which mean the mobile application will (in most cases) run on all the mobile operating systems mentioned above.  Testing the mobile application for all platforms is more expensive than just targeting one mobile OS in the beginning, so we find many clients prefer to start by only targeting Android (58 % of the market) or iOS (10.5 % of the market).  Even if the app is initially released for just one mobile operating system (OS), we can easily test it and roll it out for other mobile operating systems at a later stage.

We develop cross platform mobile applications using Microsoft Cordova.  Cordova is an open source project which was developed to give website developers the ability to make mobile applications, using web development scripting languages that they are familiar with when creating websites (HTML, CSS and Javascript).  Microsoft embranced Cordova and integrated this open source technology into its Visual Studio development suite.  Microsoft aims to increase the amount of Windows applications available for mobile devices, by embracing technology which makes it easier for developers to develop mobile applications for multiple mobile operating systems, instead of just one.  This technology allows us to use our web development expertise in the area of mobile application development.