In the past I have mentioned that I want to do more mobile and cross platform development. I really believe that cross platform is the wave of the future. We are seeing the PC, tablet and phone markets merge in a big way. Sometimes that merging involves the user interface such as we see with Windows 8.1, the Surface, and Windows phones running a interface that looks and feels similar to the user across all of the devices. We also see corporations and end users that want to run the same software o their mobile devices as they run on the corporate or home desktop. Microsoft announced their universal apps at their Build Developers Conference last week along with a supporting Visual Studio 2013 RC update
As I move deeper into mobile and cross platform development I thought I would keep a diary of my progress and blog about some of the tools I try out. Some I end up discarding for numerous reasons and some become permanent additions to my developer’s toolbox.
The greatest issue facing developers looking to create apps for IOS, Android and Windows platforms is how to avoid multiple code bases (and multiple expensive development platforms etc.) yet still get the performance and access to the hardware such as the GPS or camera etc. There is some code that can be common between the platforms but your UI and your hardware interactions will differ for each platform and require you to maintain separate code for each platform.
But enough of the issues. If you are reading tis then you probably know hurdles that a cross platform developer must overcome.
I have spent lots of time investigating PhoneGap, Sencha Touch, and Xamarin but for several reasons I have left those out of my toolbox, though PhoneGap still plays a support role and Xamarin may yet be added.
Another approach is to create a hybrid or a native app that runs on the phone or tablet using a framework like the ones I mentioned above. This is the approach I decided to take and downloading lots of 30-day trials, looking at video n Youtube and PluralSight I settled on the Telerk Platform. I’ll go more into which of their products I am using and why in Part 2 of this series. My goal is post an update about once a week describing my progress as I become proficient with the tools.