Multi-platform development in mobile environment

OData support
Schulcz Róbert
Department of Networked Systems and Services

The thesis's theme is the creation of a pre-determined mobile application for the three popular mobile operating system, Android, iOS and the Windows Phone 8. The application is using a web interface of an existing web service. There are two different type of search modes available to search through the properties. One of them is the normal search mode with the options sent by the server. The other one is a search by geocode feature, which shows the nearest properties based on the user's current location.

Before the start of the development process, I looked for other available opportunities for multi platform application development. There are a few different choices. Of course one of them is to make native applications on all platforms, but this is very time consuming. There is no way to use a platforms code in an another system. For example all of them uses the SQLite database system. But the code to create and access it is very different. Also this is the best way to create an application, because in this way the app can use the platform specific options. The best sample would be with the case of the animation. Because each platform has it's unique time patterns.

Also there are alternate solutions, which try to solve these problems. Part of them are trying to use the web technologies to create platform independent aplications. PhoneGap is a good example. It uses html5, CSS3 and javascript. But the apps developed with this solution never going to perform as great as the native ones. And it is really hard to make the application's complex logics in javascript.

So far the best solution tend to be the Xamarin. It creates native binaries for all of the supported platforms. The common objects can be grouped together and the developers need to create the application dependent stuffs for the different platforms in separate modules. The main core can be the same. It is a new environment, but it is gaining popularity really fast.


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