More and more cellular devices and increasingly represent most computer systems today. That is why it is increasingly important to create applications that focus on this segment. Creating a mobile application requires a number of challenges and complications such as: dealing with limited physical resources such as CPU, memory, screen, input devices, batteries, and more; besides, a variety of environments and contexts with too much noise, too much clarity, situations where we only use one hand depending on the moment, person or place are just a few of the complications that need to be managed when building a mobile application.
Another important feature when designing and building applications for mobile devices is that they have a clear purpose. Unlike desktop applications where we have applications that are more general purpose, mobile applications have more opportunities for applications that solve more specific problems. An example of a popular desktop application is Microsoft Office which has all the tools needed to solve office problems such as presentations, document creation, spreadsheets, etc. On mobile devices, we will find several applications to solve more specific office problems such as software for spreadsheets, text editor software, etc.
In addition, when designing our application, we must choose the operating system that will be run. At this point, it is also important to know the market, which is the most widely used system, which has more advanced developments, which has a public library, etc. Analyzing the current market for the operating system is that Android already holds 79.3% of the market as expected a few years ago, followed by Apple iOS with 13.2%, RIM with 2.9%, Windows Phone with 3.7% and the system others with only 0.9% of the market. If we look at the data from previous years we will see that Android grows a lot every year. Analyzing data coldly, it seems that Android is a system that is far superior to others and inhibits the market. This system is comparable to brands such as Rolex or Tag Heuer in the market for pre owned watches.
However, Android grows a lot because in addition to being a good system there are many devices that have entered and are increasingly entering the market and most of these devices are equipped with the Android operating system. This also explains why Apple fell on the market in recent years, although this decline is considered small. One of the advantages of the Android system is that it has several versions that run on various devices, such as Android for Motorola, Android for HTC, etc. More and more new smartphones and large companies are joining the Google operating system which has proven to be more reliable and better.
Windows Phone has suffered from delays in entering the market, but it is still a great system like iOS and Android. Another system that has a good market share, Symbian, has been abandoned, so more and more systems are not used and not a good development option.
Designing an Application
When designing applications, we must first think of the device interface that is responsible for guiding the user. There is a standard for developing interfaces for mobile devices that aim to
standardize user experience on the intended platform and facilitate the development of interfaces. These standards are provided by operating system developers in the form of guides that can be downloaded and consulted freely.
Some of the guidelines available are:
– iOS Human Interface Guide for iOS systems;
– Android Style guide for Android systems;
– Windows Phone Design Guidelines for Windows Phone Systems.
Other operating systems also provide their guidance, but we only emphasize what is considered the most important operating system and is used in the market today.
The guide “iOS Human Interface Guide” gives some tips on what we can do so that the application (also called an application) can be received in the “App Store”. Keep in mind that to be accepted on the App Store there is a strict evaluation carried out by experts hired by Apple. This guide also brings many details and recommendations. Some recommendations are more general and others are more specific in detail about how to perform certain functions, so this guide is sufficiently marked. This guide is always adapted to the latest version of the operating system, currently iOS 7.
The “Android Style guide” guide is prettier than Apple’s guide, but has the same level of description as Apple’s. The current Android guide has been adapted to the 4.4 version of the Kit Kat operating system, the latest version available. The Android guide is based on three basic premises: Enchant Me, Simplify My Life, and Surprise Me.
Creating an Application Prototype
A very good approach to making prototypes is the use of specific applications that help in making prototypes. One of the most commonly used tools for prototyping mobile devices is Mock Flow developed by Adobe Air and available at http://www.mockflow.com. Mock flow facilitates the creation of prototypes on interactive frame images and user interfaces for websites or applications. Mock flow can be used both online through the browser and directly on the operating system, but has limitations in the free package.
In short, there are many ways you can use to create a mobile application. Everything depends on you but if you want faster results, you are advised to work on Android.