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How to Choose the Right Mobile Platform for App Development

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Several new mobile apps enter the market every day, developed by coders at all levels, using multiple platforms. Developers can now choose from various mobile platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, Qualcomm BREW and Sun J2ME. This is great for developers, both creativity-wise and money-wise.

The important thing here for the developer is to choose the right kind of mobile platform, analyzing the pluses and minuses of each one before going ahead and creating the app. Here is a how-to on choosing the right mobile platform for developing your mobile application.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: A few days of research

Here's How:

  1. Think of the audience you intend to target. If you are looking at the non-business market and are targeting the mass market, the iPhone and the Android are the best platform for you. If you are looking to target the business community, who would like constant Internet access and other features on their phones, the RIM BlackBerry platform will be your most sensible choice. Remember, the size of sales is important, but not always the ultimate thing. The end user has to be given priority over everything else. So put your potential consumer’s needs first.

  2. Decide on the technical features you want your app to include. Are you looking to create something simple for basic users? Or is it going to be a complicated app that quietly runs in the background and helps users on the move with their every little task? If it is the latter, you would be better off choosing something like the Palm OS rather than the iOS. If impressive graphics are what you want your app to provide, you could look at Maemo instead of, say, Windows Mobile. Understanding what technical features each mobile platform provides can help with much of your workload while developing your app.

  3. The financial aspect is the other important thing. Though developers stand to make a lot more profits these days, you should understand that each mobile platform offers different income opportunities. If you are looking for good money flowing in regularly, target the mass market with a large audience for your product. But also know that higher priced products may also work out good, if they are targeting the high-end niche business user, who will not flinch to buy more expensive apps, if they are useful enough to him/her.

  4. Look at the future prospects for the mobile platform. Is it stable? Will it survive tomorrow? With the mobile app industry bringing so many changes on a daily basis, you should think long-term. For instance, Microsoft, which was considered the leader just a few years ago, now seems to be giving way to the current hot favorite, Google Android. So understand the long-term consequences of choosing a particular mobile platform.

Tips:

  1. Decide on the target devices you want your application to reach. This itself will ensure that you choose the right mobile platforms for your application.

  2. Look at scalable UIs, before selecting your mobile platforms. Ensuring scalability of different orientations and resolutions will require more hard work, but will ultimately pay off great dividends for you, as your app will be able to target a lot more mobile devices, thereby increasing the sales potential of your product.

  3. Decide on the level of security you want to give your app and then choose your mobile platform accordingly. This will help you out more than you can imagine.

What You Need

  • Knowledge of mobile platforms
  • Study of the latest platforms
  • Clear thinking and processing
  • Systematic documentation
  1. About.com
  2. Industry
  3. Mobile Devices
  4. Kind Attn: Devs
  5. Apps for Mobile Systems
  6. Deciding on a Platform - Mobile App Development

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