Mobile App: Definition, Development & Management

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  • 0:05 Life on the Go
  • 0:35 Mobile Apps
  • 1:15 Development & Distribution
  • 1:50 Examples of Mobile Apps
  • 2:30 Mobile Application Management
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

In this lesson, we'll take a look at mobile applications, what they are, development and creation characteristics, and mobile application management (MAM).

Life on the Go

Mobility is important in today's world. If you don't agree, just look around at your favorite shopping center or mall. How many people do you see talking or texting on their phone, focused on something displayed on a phone's screen, or playing a game on a tablet? Likely, there are many. That's because we're constantly on the go. We want to stay connected to those we care about, informed about what's happening in the world, and productive while we are on the go. Mobile devices and applications allow us to do just that.

Mobile Apps

A mobile application is a software program that is designed to run on specific hardware, namely mobile handheld computing devices such as tablets and smartphones. They are the programs that execute when you press an icon on your mobile device, such as an iPad or Android phone. There are many such applications available, and they fall into three basic categories:

  • Native - a mobile application that runs only on the specific hardware for which it is designed.
  • Web-based - a mobile application that makes use of the Internet's connectivity to provide some or all of its functionality.
  • Hybrid - A combination of native and Web-based apps.

Development and Distribution

As you might imagine, mobile application development is unique unto itself. The devices place significant restrictions on the developers in terms of memory, storage, and computing power. In terms of development environments, they resemble those available for desktop application development. Visual Studio, one of the main Windows development environments, provides the ability to develop software and apps for smartphones and tablets in addition to traditional desktops. Distribution is also somewhat unique, as retailers like Google (Google Play) and Apple (App Store) provide online storefronts specifically for mobile applications.

Examples of Mobile Apps

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of mobile applications available for each mobile platform, way too many to list here. Here are some examples that are available for the Apple iPhone and iPad:

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