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Showing posts from October, 2013

cross platform solutions

Cross platform mobile development frameworks. I have tried unsuccessfully many times to pick up Objective C and develop for iOS. A forum discussion with Adobe Flash developers at the Build Brighton Hackspace (2013) opened my mind to the potentials of cross platform development, when they indicated that Adobe Flash contained a facility to compile to iOS, or indeed any number of target platforms.
This chapter reviews the range of cross platform mobile development frameworks.

Cross platform development solutions. My project originally set out to compare the performance of games created using native and cross platform frameworks, with the aim of quantifying the notion that native development would provide more efficient and faster playing games. An initial review of the processes employed by commercial games developers indicated this was a false assumption.
Research papers like Rabeiro and Silva’s (2012) Survey on Cross-Platforms and Languages for Mobile Apps and Dickson(2012) - Cabana: …


Hardware differences.The iOS platform is bound to Apple specific hardware, and has a fixed number of configurations. PrimateLabs (2013) suggest that mobile device release schedules are partially driven by the demand to access the latest version of the operating system, and the latest features, allowing developers to target a workable subset of devices without losing sales, or building to the lowest common denominator and losing features. Apple hardware screen size resolution and aspect ratio.Until the release of the iPhone 5 all devices ran a 3:2 aspect ratio, which meant scaling was relatively easy, the iPhone 5 introduced a longer 71:40 aspect ratio.   iPhone 3/3GS/ipod touch: 480x320px, 163 ppiiPad 1/2/Mini: 1024x768px, 132 ppi iPad Retina: 2048x1536, 264 ppi iPhone 4/4S/iPod Retina: 960x640px, 326 ppi 
iPhone 5/iPod Touch: 1136x640, 326 ppi

Diagram showing Mobile device relative physical screen sizes and aspect ratios.

Android hardware screen size resolution and aspect ratio.Because …

iOS and Android

Range of hardware devices. GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) bound mobile hardware improvement follows "Moore's Law", with chip manufacturers alternately die shrinking their CPU's - reducing power consumption, and re-architecting their processors, doubling the number of transistors. When these improvements are combined with the admittedly slower improvements in the energy density of battery technology, it allows the production of increasingly faster, cooler, longer running and cheaper devices.

Apple. Since launch there have been 17 distinct iOS hardware devices, with storage from 4Gb to 128Gb, and a wide range of system and video RAM, screen size and resolution.
iOS runs on:
iPhone, iPhone 2, iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5
iPod touch generations 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
iPad, iPad2, iPad3, iPad4 (the official Apple designation doesn't use these numbers)
iPad mini
iOS itself is in the 6th major release, with iOS7 available currently to iOS developers …

State of the (mobile) nation

"Mobile first" is an oft heard phrase, and for very good reason. The five years since Apple opened their iTunes App Store on July 10th 2008 have seen the emergence of completely new platforms and markets. Apple(2008) proudly declared 10 million app sales in their first weekend of trading, and by May 2013 Apple(2013) reported 50 Billion apps had been downloaded from the Apple iTunes store.

Graph showing the number of iTunes App sales from July 2008 to date, based on figures provided by Apple:

At the 2013 Google IO conference, Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vivek "Vic" Gundotra (2013) announced 900 million active Android devices and  48 billion app downloads from the Google Play store, and estimated that the current rate of Android activation was 3 times the global birth rate.

Both platforms are powerful and dynamic, and although they share a common architecture based on the reduced instruction set architecture (RISC), an…