What is Mobile App Development?
With the rising popularity of smart phones, mobile application development has become one of the most sought-after areas of software creation. It is mainly because it is an opportunity for a software development team to build a usable and meaningful app in a relatively short time.
Mobile application development is the art or set of processes and procedures by which a mobile app is developed for small, wireless computing devices. Just like web application development, the development of a mobile app also draws much of its roots from traditional software development. However, one significant difference is that mobile apps are specifically written to take advantage of the features that a particular mobile device offers. It could be for phones, smartwatches, tablets, and other wearable devices that run on some mobile operating system.
Popular Mobile App Development
There have always been a few different mobile application development platforms throughout computing history. However, until recently, there had not been any dominant platforms that had existed.
There was a time when Blackberry looked like it was going to dominate the world, and it did for a time. But today, there are two leading platforms — iOS and Android — which have a significant share in the mobile and smart devices market.
iOS is undeniably one of the major app development platforms. After all, it was the platform that revolutionized the idea of mobile software and mobile devices, when it was introduced way back in 2007. iOS runs exclusively on all Apple products — iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches, and Apple TV.
To build iOS apps, you don't particularly need Apple's development tools. But you do need to have a Mac running OS X to build your application. iOS applications are typically built on either Objective-C or Swift.
Another dominant player in the market is Android. Technically, Android has the largest user base in the smart devices market today, as almost all non-Apple devices run on Android. It has around 80% of market share as compared to iOS's 18% share.
The huge difference in the user base is because Android — which is backed by Google — is open. Anyone can build on Android devices and the operating system is designed to run on various hardware platforms. There are many manufacturers in the market that run different versions of the Android operating system. The source code for Android is open-source and is released by Google.
Like Apple, Google also provides development tools for building Android apps. But then again, you don't have to use them if you don't want to — the native development platform for Android OS applications in Java.
When it comes to mobile apps, you have the most popular apps available for both Android as well as iOS, and some are even available for other less popular mobile operating systems like Windows Mobile and Blackberry. While Android users can download apps from the Google Play store, the iOS users can get their apps from the Apple App Store. Both these platforms offer apps for practically every purpose, and every day, thousands of apps are being added by app development firms.