Seems like mobile development is all the rage lately. Hard to read technology news without seeing it. Tough to even get through a print publication without spotting a QR code. Difficult to watch TV without being shown a smartphone ad.
What is a mobile device?
In the simplest sense, a mobile device is small computer that you can carry around. It can be “smartphone”, which is simply a cellular phone enhanced with computer-like functionality. Also can be a tablet, a touch screen computing device about the size of a paper notebook. Normally these devices are connected to the internet through a cellular network or wifi.
Should my business be doing mobile?
Well, according to Gartner, by 2013, more people will access websites through mobile phones than through desktop computers. That’s huge. You need to be thinking about mobile users.
What are the different options?
There are a few different options:
One option is making a mobile app. There are two schools of thought on this. One is a native app. A native app will run on the device great, and be available for distribution in places such as the Android Market and Apple iTunes. The other option is a mobile web app, which will run through the mobile device’s browser. This will have 80% of the functionality of a native app, but will not be available in iTunes or Android Market. A mobile web app is easier (and cheaper) to build though.
These are websites where the content is easily accessed by mobile devices. They are normally built into your site. The mobile device will see a smaller, simpler or simply different version of your site that fits into the device screen better.