Cross-Platform Applications

So you want to make a mobile application do you? Who’s your targeted audience for said app? Only iPhone users? Well you’d be cutting out half your potential audience by restricting release to only iPhone. Which not only denies half the consumer market from using your awesome application, but also prevents you from reaping the monetary benefits approximately 50% of your potential customers. Bet I have your attention now.
So what’s the solution? Build apps native to every platform? The current hard-hitters in the smart phone industry are Android, iOS, Windows 10 and Blackberry. So are you prepared spend the time and money to create four different applications using four different programming languages, IDEs and hardware? If the answer is YES, great - all the best with your future app developing endeavours. If the answer is a resounding NO, we may just have the solution for you!
Over the past couple of years, developers have been introducing new platforms that attempt to bridge the gap between operating system specificity and software compatibility. Some honourable mentions include such platforms as; Phone Gap, Cordova and Xamarin. While Phone Gap and Cordova offer the ability to develop web apps using web technologies such as HTML, Javascript and PHP, Xamarin offers support for high level programming languages such as; C#. This includes the added benefit of getting closer to native app level of hardware integration, tapping into core functionalities including bluetooth. For this reason, this is the platform we chose to develop our Cross-Platform Bluetooth Beacon Applications.
Xamarin offers a powerful IDE comparative to the love child of Mono Develop and Visual Studio with built-in features for packaging the final product application for roll-out to different devices. It also offers some basic templates that remove the hassle of setting up login screens or side menus to allow for rapid development of the the important stuff.
Well that’s about it for the first look into the technology we’ll be using for our Beacon applications. At the current stage we’ve set up the work environment, including downloading and installing Xamarin, Xcode (for iOS) and Android Studio (for android). We’ve also downloaded some handy bluetooth virtualisation apps for testing; Locate (for iOS) and ScanBeacon (for Mac).
- Cross-Platform is a good thing. It’s a VERY good thing
- Use Cordova & Phone Gap for web apps and Xamarin when more hardware control is needed
- Bluetooth virtualisation applications are super handy
We took a pretty big gap from updating the blog (whoops), but now we’re set up on our shiny new site check back regularly to keep up-to-date with our progress or to learn something new (hopefully). Thanks for reading!