Shifting to Mobile Development

In recent years there has been a boom in mobile application development. Personally I never got involved in it. From what I understand it has to do with using X Code on the Mac, which I am not at the liberty of asking.

There must be a huge profitably market in mobile application development, one question is where this mobile market is? As far as I understand it’s mainly focussed on the App Store and/or the Android Store.

In terms of creating those applications, I’ve also noticed there are two categorised, the gaming/recreation category and the purposeful category. e.g. like finding the quickest route, or listing the closest hotel for instance. The first catagory would be easier to maintain, however the second one would be harder as all this data changes. How would one maintain this data and keep up to date with things?

Apologize if those questions sound silly, it’s just not something I’ve got involved in, but if it’s a profitable enough I would not mind looking into this.

I think i’d change up how you categorized your different types of apps, but to the question: Those applications that require constant updates (finding places around you) are simply using some sort of tool already out there. This area of mobile apps will already be well covered, and the larger corporations with the manpower to maintain them will always prevail.

I think there are still plenty use “purposeful” app opportunities out there that will not require constant updates (any type of logging apps, reminders, etc)


Cool. Well I certainly need to get into apps. I was thinking of games development, which would be pretty amazing!

Hi Sega,

I’ve never really got into native apps, I’ve only ever bought a couple of games. The best two apps available are Safari and Chrome :wink:

If you want to develop native iPhone apps then you’ll need to use the iOS SDK, X Code and the code is Objective C.
The Android SDK however is cross platform and the code is in Java.
I believe games are far more complex to build than typical applications with forms / lists etc.

however the second one would be harder as all this data changes. How would one maintain this data and keep up to date with things?

You can fetch data from the web.

There’s certainly a market for apps, but I don’t actually want to develop using their tools or their deployment / approval model.
I know that’s not a question you asked but it’s the reason I strictly build web apps and wouldn’t consider building native.

The web will win.

If you’re thinking of purely games development you’d be better off with one of the many game specific frameworks/IDEs rather than coding directly in objective c/java. Game programming is heavy on maths, optimisation/acceleration etc and rather than reinventing the wheel, all good frameworks will have the technical aspect as well as common game mechanics (animation, collision detection, physics, scoring) available via simple apis rather than having to write 100s of lines of boilerplate code. Have a look at these: corona, unity3d, cocos2d, sparrow, moai, gamesalad, shiva3d. Many of the top char hit games are written using these types of tools, plus in some cases you have the advantage of being able to cross compile across platforms.

I also have the same goal. I more want to make sure I gain extensive knowledge of Java for other purposes, and if game development comes along with it and it happens to provide a fun hobby that could bring in some extra coin, then that would be just great!

To EastCoast’s point, you should look at a framework, but after you have a little knowledge in programming without it. One he didn’t mention that I hear should be leading the pack soon if it isn’t already is jmonkey.


Makes sense. I recently heard a speech by the biggest co to do with web apps here, and those mentioned that they only develop HTML5 because it works on all devices. They do not develop native any more as many clients don’t pay for native. Personally I am not too sure, if you want an amazing game would you not have it coded natively so you can have all the cool effects? HTML5 would be way easier, but I am not sure if it’s better in the long run, as I don’t feel devices would be dropping their native apps any time soon.


I too am from the East Coast :smiley: Cool name. The one website which stood out for me, from the examples you provided is this one, I have no idea how easy or hard it is to code an application. I am somewhat puzzled to the obstacles I might find. I am sure I will find much training material for CoronaLabs, should be pretty cool to get involved though.

:slight_smile: great minds think a-like.

If you have ambitions to get further into game programming, then corona might be a good choice as it uses lua, a language commonly used in both desktop and console game development. Their forums are pretty active so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting help when starting out.

Shifting to mobile game development would be a great idea because, if you successfully develop an interesting game, it could serve the purpose for a longer time. For this you could hire up some software development company or buy softwares and develop the games.

The Objective C and Cocoa Touch are necessary tools to be used in iPhone Application Development.

Not entirely true as I understand it, depending on how it is being published. Though if it is, I will refuse to go out of my way to develop a separate edition for iOS. Though it wont happen, I wish the worst things on them and hope the company goes under. IMO they are one of the worst things to happen to hardware industry other than spur some competition. Locking down your OS and forcing the use of their own hardware is evil. </rant>

Or HTML/Javascript using PhoneGap or Appcelerator. Or Adobe Flex. Or Ruby. To name a few other options.

Objective C are absolutely not necessary tools anymore to developer iOS applications. There are so many other options available now.

I personally think the mobile market is quickly becoming saturated by the big players, so to make any inroads in your “purposeful” category, a narrowly-defined niche market is the way to go.

Regarding native vs. web-based, check out this study: Students prefer apps to the Web when using smartphones

Eh, I completely prefer web to apps. Just need a good browser such as Dolphin.

I’m with you 100%, but which will be more successful…an app you build to please yourself, or an app to please users? I hope it swings the other way as bandwidth to mobile devices increases.

I am currently into VoIP app development. I use an SDK for this task <snip/>. I think there is potential in Mobile app development.

This is true if you are talking about native coding for the Apple Devices. For other devices, you’ll use other coding languages.

One common complaint I read on the Apple iOS forums is people who do not take the time to learn Xcode are looking for a shortcut to get into building apps. (There is some truth to that. I’m one of those.) So when they find their apps not looking so smooth as the native apps, they get discouraged.

Also the Amazon app store :slight_smile: The mobile market is also focused on converting fixed web sites into mobile versions so they work well on smaller screens. (Search for “responsive web design.”) If you are a web site developer, this is one area you should look into. To see if a client needs these services, just look at their logs to see what percentage of visitors are viewing the site on a mobile device. If the percentage is significant regarding real daily visits, then a mobile version may be feasible.

Apple sees several more categories, and addresses them in its HIG guide, and gives recommendations on how to approach coding each one.