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Table 1 lists a sampling of flexible grid frameworks. However, there are specific toolkits for designing a mobile view, which focuses less on creating a responsive design and more on specifically building a design that's tailed to a mobile device.
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In this example, jQuery Mobile relies on the data-role attribute to identify an element's intent e. The view uses hyperlinks that appear as buttons that redirect between pages or between pages within the view. For more information about jQuery Mobile, see the articles listed at the end of this article and the jQuery Mobile documentation. Other available frameworks function similarly to jQuery Mobile. Table 2 lists these frameworks. Each framework has advantages and disadvantages. Some frameworks cost money but are free if you have a subscription with that vendor. Of course, mobile development isn't just about building mobile websites; it's also about developing mobile applications.
Getting Started with the BlackBerry Mobile Development Platform
A mobile application runs on a specific platform. A mobile app operates similarly to a Windows Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation WPF environment, where the app can persist its data locally because the environment is stateful. Many types of mobile applications can be developed; in the following sections, we'll look briefly at each type. Each mobile application platform has an SDK for developing applications targeting a specific operating system. For instance, Android and BlackBerry apps are developed in the Java language BlackBerry supports some other technologies, too.
Apps for those platforms can be developed on a Mac or PC, whereas iPhone development on the Mac requires using the Objective-C language. Choosing to develop a mobile application using native tools has benefits and drawbacks. Developing an application using the SDK gives you access to the full API and even includes emulators for testing your application.
However, the amount of code needed to write an application for each of these platforms will be much larger and requires additional technical expertise to implement.
A native application means a separate codebase per environment. This dramatically increases the amount of time needed for development, skills needed to develop the application, hardware needed Mac and PC , and so on. Tools are available that can help reduce these costs. For instance, BlackBerry provides a tool for porting an Android-based application onto the BlackBerry platform.
This makes it easier for developers to support BlackBerry devices and provide BlackBerry apps. There are other third-party products that can speed up application development, such as Xamarin's MonoTouch and Mono for Android. MonoTouch and Mono for Android apps can share a common codebase, allowing for additional reuse. HTML5 can be used to develop mobile applications. One such product is PhoneGap. PhoneGap apps don't have to worry about the stateless nature of the web because they are all client-side driven.
Once the application has been built, it needs to be set up in each environment desired for deployment, which creates a mobile application with a browser control. However, a PhoneGap application can also be deployed to each environment using an awesome utility called Adobe PhoneGap Build. This utility takes a PhoneGap project and builds an executable, one for each of the platforms in which you want to deploy.
Motorola Solutions' RhoMobile Suite provides a similar capability. This product comprises an entire suite of tools that let developers create an application using the Model-View-Controller MVC design pattern. RhoMobile Suite also comes with a studio for developing Rho applications and documentation explaining how to deploy to each desired environment. Another framework, Appcelerator's Titanium mobile platform , offers many benefits for a monthly subscription price. Titanium also comes with an editor that supports IntelliSense and provides many other features.
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I could go on and on about other frameworks on the market, and in Table 3 I've included links to some others not mentioned here. Some of these frameworks do much more than just support web or native application deployments -- they are actually mobile enterprise application platforms. These types of platforms provide development tools but also extend beyond that into enabling development of a common back-end architecture as well as offering other services. I've covered a number of mobile device development options here, with the goal of exposing you to many of the utilities available for developing mobile websites and mobile applications.
There's no way a single article can discuss all the currently available tools and frameworks. But after reading this, I'm confident you'll have a good idea of the range of choices you have for developing applications in a mobile environment and also for integrating mobile into a web application, either by creating a brand-new site or using a responsive design.
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