Mobile is no longer on the sidelines. If you’re not already thinking mobile first, you should at least consider it. Let’s go over compelling data that demonstrate the importance of focusing on performance for mobile devices.
In 2000, The FWA (a popular website awards program) gave their prestigious Site of the Year award to Look and Feel New Media, shown below. Visit the site for some context of what I’ll be discussing, but turn down your speakers or headphones because it has background music.
Mobile does not just mean smartphones anymore. The word has metamorphosed into an all-encompassing term for any computing device not permanently tied to a wall outlet.
While there are a billion phones in use worldwide, over 52 million tablets were sold in the last quarter of 2012 alone, and tablet sales are predicted to overtake notebook sales by 2016.
Tailoring your website to offer an optimized mobile experience that automatically adjusts itself to multiple device types will very soon be a requirement rather than a feature.
There’s a debate over which technique of creating mobile-ready websites is the best.
Google advocates creating responsive web designs, while Jakob Nielsen, a renowned usability consultant, endorses the creation of dedicated mobile sites (but he was subsequently slammed by some web designers).
A third option is also gaining in popularity, where the web server renders the appropriate HTML and CSS from the same URL depending on the device a web page on the site is being requested from (which has been referred to as responsive design + server side components).
This year at FreshBooks, we released our first iPhone app.
Our company’s been around for almost 10 years, and this is truly our first new product since the launch of our cloud accounting web application.
We treated the development of our iPhone app like a blank canvas where we could apply some of our team’s most recent design principles. We also wanted to reinforce the lessons we’ve learned during the development our product.
But ultimately, the creation of our official iPhone app was an opportunity for us to learn and grow.
As users shop the Apple App Store looking for new apps to buy, they judge their potential purchases based on design.
We’re told early on in life not to judge a book by its cover, but without a way to trial an app, screenshots are one of the few ways a user can judge the quality of it.
Since it’s not possible for someone to judge ease-of-use (usability) or code-quality just by browsing the App Store, judging entirely based on design makes sense, and so apps with better design tend to be chosen more often when compared with competing apps.
Is this an exciting time to be developing mobile apps? Short answer: Yes.
With tons of tools already available — and more springing up all the time — there seems to be a solution for any mobile app developer out there (experienced and novices alike).
In this article, we look at 10 solutions for building cross-platform mobile apps. They were chosen for their varied levels of complexity, price, features and documentation. I’ve tested each of them.