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The Mobile Platform Cheat Sheet : Page 3

With the fragmented mobile development landscape forcing developers to make a number of crucial choices, get a high-level comparison of the different platforms and recommendations for what purposes they fit.


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Development Time
Table 2 describes the development times of the different mobile development technologies briefly and then categorizes them into three groups: fast, slowish, and slow. As you can understand, a lot depends on the experience of the development team.

Table 2. Development Time for Mobile Platforms: Different mobile development technologies require different development times.
Mobile Technology Development Time
SMS and MMS Getting the contracts with your mobile provider can take some time, but the development itself should be fast (if you're fluent with web development). Fast
MIDP Prototypes can be made very quickly. A simple application can be designed, implemented, and tested in a month. Fast
Symbian Symbian is the most time-consuming choice. You most likely need a team of people with experience in Symbian development. Slow
Windows Mobile Visual Basic development is quite fast, even for the beginner, but C++ development takes time. You can also develop with Java, but there are still certain barriers to running Java applications easily on Windows Mobile devices. Slowish
Garnet OS Developing with C is slow, compared with MIDP. The other options are likely faster. Slow
iPhone Developing with Objective-C is more difficult than, for example, with MIDP, but the Cocoa Touch framework makes development relatively easy. Slowish
Android Android claims to be a fast development environment and since it is Java, it most likely is easier to learn than, for example, Symbian. Fast

The Choice Is Yours (Mostly)
This article explored different platform choices for mobile development projects. It introduced some of the most common platforms and their characteristics, and analysed them roughly from the budget and development time points of view. Some technologies are very easy to learn and work with, but they have their downsides. The ones that have more credibility in the market, such as Symbian and Windows Mobile, are harder to master and require experienced developers. On the other hand, the price of the applications is higher.



Mikko Kontio has a background in software development and consulting, and is currently a director in Softera, a software development company focusing on business portals and telecom billing solutions.
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