Mobile communication is presently so integrated into our lives that a large population of people feel very uncomfortable without their cell phones. Back in the day, a phone’s most popular functions were just making/receiving calls and sending/receiving text messages. However, with the advent of smartphones, the functions increased to include learning new things and being entertained. All these functions have been made possible with the development of numerous mobile applications. A mobile app is a software application/ computer generated program that is developed and designed to run on Smartphones, iPhone, tablets, and other mobile devices. Most devices are sold with some apps in the pre-installed software like calendar, web browser, mapping program, email client and an app for buying or getting more apps or music. Here is a brief history, development, usage and framework of mobile applications.
History of Mobile Apps
The history of mobile applications dates back to the end of the 20th Century. In general, they were ringtone editors, small arcade games, calendars, calculators, and so forth. The new millennium saw the start of a swift market development of mobile applications and content. Operating systems for most smartphones (Symbian, Android, RIM, Mac iOS, Windows Mobile) allow the advancement of third-party software. This is different from the traditional programming environment of the ordinary cell phones.
The first ever recognizable mobile apps came about with the range of handheld computers from Psion. These were mostly PDAs that used the EPOC OS. In the early 90s, 16-bit machines (SIBO) were running on EPOC and allowed the users to access programs like Word processor, spreadsheet, database, and diary. Later on, models in the same range but running a 32-bit OS came with 2MB RAM that allowed users to install more apps through software packs or download if they were among the lucky few modem owners. EPOC was programmed in Open Programming Language (OPL) and allowed its users to create their apps.
In the past, phone manufacturers guarded their trade secrets aggressively, and outsiders could not access such information. However, manufacturers quickly realized they needed to change these policies and exposed their internal workings a bit. This led to the emergence of some proprietary platforms, and the developers are busy creating applications for them. Among the first were the Palm OS and RIM Blackberry OS. Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola developed Symbian OS. The iPhone iOS by Apple came about in 2007, and Google’s Android came one year later.
When developing a mobile app, it is important to consider the features and constraints of mobile devices like a tablet or smartphone. Mobile devices run on a battery, and their processors are less powerful than the personal computers as well as more features like cameras and location detection. At Legibra, we consider the diverse screen sizes, configurations, and hardware specifications. We also consider mobile device detection to accommodate the various changes in mobile software due to competition in the industry. Mobile app development requires the use of special integrated development environments. They are first tested within this environment by use of emulators before undergoing field testing. Emulators provide a cheaper way to testing applications on phones, which the developers could not have easy access to.
Mobile apps are so popular with iPhone and smartphone users today due to the ease of access they guarantee as well as making life easier. There are so many mobile apps available today that serve diverse uses. There are apps for travel, banking, health, calendars, social networks, games, fitness, news and so much more.
Mobile users are always demanding for more choice and opportunities to customize their smartphones as well as add more functionality. This is the reason more mobile operators are developing more mobile apps to offer value-added content to subscribers in a lucrative and manageable way. Mobile app development has been identified as a key method of ensuring that mobile users are fully satisfied with the services they get as well as have their horizons expanded. It is now possible to do and learn more on a tablet, Android smartphone or iPhone powered by iOS thanks to the availability of an app for every function.
Do you need a mobile application for your customers? Talk to us, we are always happy to help 🙂