Options For Cross Platform Mobile Development

There are about a dozen mobile platforms out there but only three worth paying attention to- iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. Even though this number seems low, it is almost impossible to develop an application that supports all three market denominators (unless you’re a behemoth company). This leaves most developers in the same situation: pick one platform to focus on, then if there’s time, pick another. As a prospective developer, this doesn’t seem like best possible scenario. Many agree. The result has been cross platform solutions. In the rest of this blog post I’ll introduce you to a few of the major options out there.

Titanium Mobile by Appcelerator

Appcelerator logo

(http://www.appcelerator.com/)

This personally is my favorite. I’ve doodled around with the ‘hello world’ tutorials and found the interface to be very intuitive. The package comes with the SDK (only supporting Android and iOS) and a really nice personalized IDE derived from Eclipse. The SDK is JavaScript based, like most cross platform options. But the really cool thing is that the code compiles down to native code, depending on which platform you are compiling for.  It has a great support, documentation and large user base. Try it out.

Mono for Android & Monotouch for iOS by Xamarin 

Mono for Android

(http://xamarin.com/)

Xamarin brings us another great cross platform option with its product, allowing for Android, iOS and sometimse Windows Mobile development using only C# and .NET. Obviously this would be the obvious choice for people with C# and .NET experience, but, if you know Java, I doubt the learning curve is too high for someone dedicated. One downfall though is that if you start professionally developing with this platform there is a licensing fee.

 

 

 

 

 

jQuery Mobile & Dreamweaver

jQuery Mobile logo

(http://jquerymobile.com/)( http://www.adobe.com/)

This combination, although surprising, can work wonders. With the release of Adobe Master Collection 5.5, Dreamweaver came installed with an option for mobile development. This includes some pretty nice template pages, SDK integration and a few predefined widgets. The real magic though lies with jQuery Mobile. If you aren’t familiar with jQuery, it’s a library written to simplify common JavaScript functions. The mobile derivative is optimized, not surprisingly, for mobile devices. Being well documented, fast and reliable, this is definitely a viable option.

Now, there are dissenters out there who say that the HTML5 technologies aren’t quite there yet, but I would answer that this is a mistake. Do more research. There are some buggy platforms out there that fall short of the true native experience, but this does not hold true for the top cross platform options.