Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have no mobile application development experience, I don't even own a rich mobile device (I can send text messages with my cellphone :) I have strong web, .NET, and Java experience but am open to develop with any language / platform. I need to target at least iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices. I am seeking some guidance on the right set of tools for developing an application targeting these devices given my requirement. An easy deployment model would be a big plus. I have some notion of the difference between native apps and mobile apps on devices, and the later seems like it may be a good choice in terms of cross-platform support and easy deployment, but I do need access to some device information.

I currently have a fairly simple Java Swing application which is backed by JSON web services. The application is launched automatically when a user logs into their computer via a login script (it's deployed on corporate-like network). The user is presented with some html formatted information, and they click a button to answer a question. That's about it!

Core Requirements

  • Must be able to get user identification information from the mobile device and send it to the server; the Swing client sends the Windows account and domain name.
  • Would very much like to retrieve the local date and time of the mobile device and send it to the server
  • Must be able to have the GUI workflow described previously: present content to user, user "clicks" a button to respond.
  • Must be able to communicate with the JSON web service; if needed, could use some other data encoding, but just need to be able to communicate over HTTP (unless things are very different in the mobile world and I don't know what I'm talking about!)

Nice to Have Requirements

  • Render HTML fragments for the content (if not possible, could strip it down to plain text)
  • Be able to "click" on a link to send an email someway for help / feedback
  • "Click" link to a web site with information on how well the user is responding to their questions; could also build this into the app if it is a mobile app.
  • Be able to build some kind of user options "dialog"
  • Render small pictures along with the content; currently the pictures are just http resources.

Thanks in advance!

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It looks like your needs are pretty limited in terms of access to the device itself. I would suggest one of the cross-platform, web-ish platforms. There's a couple of them out there, such as PhoneGap http://www.phonegap.com/.

See http://mashable.com/2010/08/11/cross-platform-mobile-development-tools/ for some other options, and to make sure it supports the platforms you require.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for phonegap. It's the best combination of reuse (HTML5/CSS) and native (hooks to contacts, accelerometer, notifications and more on the device itself). –  Ryan Hayes Aug 30 '11 at 0:42
    
Wow, PhoneGap looks really impressive and a really nice fit for my requirements. Thanks! –  Stephen Swensen Aug 30 '11 at 3:44
add comment

Check out ZooLib. It can build BlackBerry and iOS Apps from a single set of C++ sources. I don't think it yet supports Android, but it could be made to do so without a whole lot of work.

Until recently Android Apps had to be written in Java, but I understand that recent Android releases support Apps that are entirely native code.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.