At MMT Digital we began developing smart phone apps just over a year ago. From September 2009 until now we’ve climbed a steep learning curve and have now found ourselves in a position of Smart Phone expertise. We have the technical proficiency to develop apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and more. This experience came at the cost of a significant amount of research and a vast amount of experimentation.
In the beginning
Our journey began when one of our newest clients and well-known publisher Simon and Schuster
asked us to develop an iPhone app for one of their most popular series of books. It was at this time that we began investigating all the different ways in which mobile applications can be built.
For our first application Simon & Schuster requested we develop a native iPhone application using Apple’s preferred coding language, Objective C. This gave us an exciting opportunity to experiment with the iPhone’s native functionality and it was the success of this first project which gave us a thirst for more knowledge. We could see many possibilities of how we might make our mark with this new digital trend and, more importantly, we could clearly see how mobile applications could complement the online solutions which we are already well known for.
We decided that the next intelligent step would be to speak to a number of our existing clients about what their companies were most interested in when they were considering mobile apps. As you can imagine we were inundated with lots of information, although we were not surprised to see that the most commonly valued skill was the ability to develop cross platform applications.
With this knowledge we began researching the best possible approach to developing cross platform apps. We were surprised by the vast amount of technologies and techniques that were available in the market and were flabbergasted by the differences between them all. After several weeks we narrowed our investigation down to a handful of technologies. For many different reasons we decided that it was vital to have the ability to develop native applications for Apple Products, using Objective C. We also had to consider Java which would allow us to develop native Android applications too. The other technologies considered in the final five were chosen because of their ability to deploy apps on to multiple mobile platforms, amongst an endless number of other equally important qualities. These technologies consisted of PhoneGap, Elips Studio, Appcelerator Titanium and AIR.
We had now identified our final five and were deliberating the pros and cons of each. It was at this stage that we found it incredibly difficult to pinpoint a clear leader. They all had equally important attributes, which could be utilised in completely different scenarios. We found that one framework was clearly the most cost effective technology to use to develop cross platform applications; using another technology we would be able to integrate more sophisticated animations which we could not achieve otherwise.
We had now come to the end of our journey and although we could tell you pretty much anything about cross platform apps, native apps, mobile technology and the different app stores, we decided it was not the right way forward to recommend one specific technology – they are all excellent in their own specific ways. After considerable research we have decided that each individual technology should be considered on its own merit for each smart phone requirement that we are given. We believe in choosing the technology which allows us to deliver the app in the way that our clients have envisaged and most importantly, in a way that will impress and amaze smart phone users.
Bio: Alix Robertson is the New Business Consultant at MMT Digital and is responsible for identifying new clients and requirements for MMT Digital.