Definition

mobile application development

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: EA in transition: Guide to keeping up with disruptive technologies
Contributor(s): James Denman

Mobile application development is the set of processes and procedures involved in writing software for small, wireless computing devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Mobile application development is similar to Web application development and has its roots in more traditional software development. One critical difference, however, is that mobile applications (apps) are often written specifically to take advantage of the unique features a particular mobile device offers.  For instance, a gaming app might be written to take advantage of the iPhone's accelerometer.

One way to ensure that applications show optimum performance on a given device is to develop the application (app) natively on that device. This means that at a very low level, the code is written specifically for the processor in a particular device. When an app needs to run on multiple operating systems, however, there is little -- if any -- code that can be reused from the initial development.  The application must essentially be rewritten for each specific device. 

In the future, it's expected that a majority of mobile application development efforts will focus on creating browser-based applications that are device-agnostic. Browser-based applications are simply websites that are built for mobile browsers. Such sites are built to load quickly over a cellular network and have finger-friendly navigation. 

 

 

This was last updated in October 2011

Next Steps

Learn key factors to consider when buying mobile app dev tools

Learn how cloud helps alleviate mobile app development challenges

Learn more about the Salesforce1 Platform

Discover how to use Oracle MAF

Everything you wanted to know about Google's Android Studio IDE 

Is Xamarin Platform the right mobile app development platform for native and cross-platform apps for Android, iOS and Windows devices?

Streamline your cross-platform app development with SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Continue Reading About mobile application development

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Join the conversation

8 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Developers are ignoring tactics that make apps more easily discovered, particularly on the web: Deep linking and Google app search.

Are you looking for a mobile development position that will not only challenge you professionally but also provide a good work/quality of life balance.. here you go!

Thanks!
Cancel
I have been to some VERY bad mobile sites for very well known companies. After a few minutes of frustration I forget the tablet and log-in with the laptop. There is more desktop real estate to work with and the functions and features can be very different then what the mobile version offers. Some do not even offer a link for the full site.
Cancel
Todd, it's funny that you mention how well-known companies have poor mobile sites. You think such organizations would be more up-to-speed!
Cancel
It is more when you in 2017 and they are still have old sites))
Cancel
I am totally agreed with you, I thinks according to market research now a days there are huge demand of smart TV and the android application development and iphone Application development.
Cancel
Nowadays, most of the website are mobile friendly. Developers should recommend the clients to develop website according to mobile friendly guidelines. Majority there are more machine user compared to mobile users. But, we need to develop website mobile friendly and if possible develop or design application for the Mobile and specific platform. It will also help you to get more visibility.
Cancel
Hi, 
For those of you who are interested in developing mobile apps and games, you can check v-play.net 

V-Play is a cross-platform development tool for mobile app and game developers. It’s available on all major operating systems and can be used to launch an app or game to all the major app stores. The major advantage of V-Play is that you can move seamlessly between developing apps and games. The QML and JavaScript programming languages allow you to do both with the same knowledge base. It’s also component-based, so it’s very easy for new developers to learn and use.  
Cancel
Nice blog! It's very informative. Thanks for sharing.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchSoftwareQuality

SearchCloudApplications

SearchAWS

TheServerSide.com

SearchWinDevelopment

DevOpsAgenda

Close