Mobile apps can be complex
12 December 2012
Jade Communications software developer Rebecca Lawrence offers 10 tips on writing mobile applications for logistical operations You've decided to invest in mobile devices to improve the speed, agility and efficiency of
You've decided to invest in mobile devices to improve the speed, agility and efficiency of your logistics operation.
Budgets are tight and as your own IT team successfully developed applications for your desktop and server environment, it might be tempting to let them do this.
However, this could be far costlier in the long run. As an experienced developer of mobile applications, Jade is regularly called in to analyse and help fix a problem with in-house applications that have stalled. Often these problems can be fixed in hours or days, while months have already been wasted.
Programming for a mobile environment is completely different from a desktop environment. Knowing and understanding these differences can save companies countless hours. Key considerations include: Development environment: Desktop and mobile environments are different, plus there is often a multitude of mobile environments to consider.
Application resources: There are fewer off-the-shelf applications for mobile devices than for desktops.
Device memory:While the memory of most mobile devices has risen considerably in recent years, it is generally still a lot less than desktop or laptop computers.
User interface: Although it may seem obvious, often overlooked is that mobile user interfaces generally have smaller screens, with less colours, lower resolution and poorer image quality than desktop computers.
Data transmission: Rates are a lot slower for mobile environments compared to wired networks.
Synchronisation: Consider that the effectiveness, speed and ease of use of synchronisation are more critical in certain applications than others.
Power settings & battery life: Many aspects of application design can adversely affect battery life.
Security: All too often security considerations become an afterthought.
Persistence: If a device runs out of battery, perhaps because it was misplaced on the charger overnight, it is important to ensure any essential data is stored in the right place to ensure persistence on the device.
Testing: Regular, sustained and thorough testing of your application within the software development life cycle is crucial.
An awareness of these differences helps to avoid pitfalls, while using a software developer can provide a customised application that meets the needs of your business.