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Mobile Computing: Operating Systems And Development Tools

1000 words - 4 pages

Mobile computing, whether it is the ubiquitous laptop, smart phone or tablet, has become a necessary part of our lives for both work and play. Presently smart phones and tablets have dominated the market, outselling even personal computers and laptops. The three major companies that develop the operating system software developers use to give us the ability to send, receive and process data while on the go are Apple, Google and Microsoft. The technology is constantly evolving. These companies develop, with the help of other partners, hardware, operating systems and programming solutions that enable us to un-tether ourselves from our desks. Their efforts also give individual developers the ...view middle of the document...

iOS apps are developed in Objective-C, using Xcode which is a suite of development tools. The toolset provided includes support for editing code, building executables, debugging and much more. The Xcode app itself provides the interface for source code development/editing and access to the other tools. The iOS SDK contains everything needed to start iOS development. The SDK contains Xcode, iOS Simulator, Instruments and Interface Builder. There are also several 3rd parties IDE’s (Integrated Development Environments) which allow app development for the iOS. Unity, which is used primarily for game development, is one of them as are Xamarin, AppCode and NetBeans. Most 3rd party IDE’s are cross platform, which allows developing apps for more than one operating system at a time, with minor changes.
Developer programs cost $99/yr. for individual developers and organizations that do not require proprietary apps. They also have an enterprise program for $299/yr. aimed at companies whose needs include proprietary apps needing distribution internally. Best of all, Apple offers a free iOS developer university program that allows instructors the ability to create development teams (up to 200 students). All iOS developer resources are available to students participating. Allowing them to install and test their apps on actual hardware as well as the ability to share apps through email or posting to another website.

Android OS architecture is based on a Linux kernel for device driver, memory management, networking and all other low level hardware functions. Programmers typically have no need to access this layer directly. The Linux kernel is c/c++ code that is called through Java interfaces and includes libraries for 2D and 3D graphics, media codec’s, a SQL database, surface manager and web browser. The next layers include the Android runtime, application framework and finally the applications themselves.
Applications for Android devices are developed using the Java SDK, Android SDK and a plug-in for various IDE’s (Integrated Development Environment). The most popular at this time is the Eclipse IDE using the ADT (Android Developer Tools plug-in) for...

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