Mobile Development

David's picture

Over the past few weeks I have been debating mobile application development. Should apps be developed naitivly or should you use a 3rd party software to create an app that can be deployed on multiple phone platforms. I have come to the conclusion that it depends mainly on what you are building. If you are building an application that relies heavily on a server to do most of the work then naitive is your best option since the client code base will be less. This will give the client a more uniform use interface with the device and simplify testing since everything will be standard and more likely to work. Now on the other hand if you are developing a highly complex app like a game the code base can become quite big. Everyone will argue that native will give better performance for games but most games can run fine with a 3rd party framework.

Recently I have been giving Adobe Air a whirl. Since I have been along time flash developer it seemed like something I should atleast look at since it is the future of Flash. Yes, Flash is dead in the browser but Adobe is working on reinventing it for universal application development. They are trying the "code once deploy everywhere" moto of Java. For desktop applications I would say that Adobe Air will never replace Java but it might have a nice fit on mobile phones specificly for games where it use to be the king in web browsers. There are many Flash games out there developed originally for web browsers and now they can easily be migrated to mobile devices.

One of the greatest features of Air recently is the ability to use the GPU to process graphics via Stage3D. I have started an effort to develop a children's learning game as an Android/iOS Air App. I figure it would be a good learning task for me and I have two kids to use as a test audience for the game. They will let me know if it sucks. :) So to take advantage of the Stage3D performace I am developing the game using the Starling Framework and relying on an AS3 port of Box2D for physics. So far it has been kind of fun to develop and I can apreciate the single code base since I would not want to write it twice for Android and iOS. As I get furtur along I will have to leak some screen caps and code snips through this blog. I will try and up the interval time on blog posts. It has been awhile.