The usage of Mobile Apps has been tremendously increasing in the last 2-3 years. There is a lot of scope for expansion in this field. Almost all leading software information mill focusing on mobile app development. However, some time and investment are turning out to be challenging.
An app designed for an Android device won't be suitable for other devices, and the efforts are to be repeated in order to make that app compatible with other devices. This led to the need for cross platform mobile phone applications. These apps limit the efforts of the developer for creating or testing mobile phone applications on various platforms. The theme of those tools is very simple, the developer can create apps using any custom language (java or vb.net or HTML or any other scripting language). When the design and execution of the app is completed, the developers can use an easy function to create exactly the same functional app for any mobile platform form of Android, Blackberry, or iOS or any other mobile platform.
Re usability of code, reduced development costs, and simple deployment are the benefits of using cross-platform networks. There are numerous cross-platform frameworks available. The best ones are PhoneGap, Appcelerator Titanium and Rhodes. Let's discuss the salient options that come with all these 3 frameworks
2) Appcelerator Titanium: Appcelerator is known for their revolutionary product, Titanium, that allows web-developers to produce mobile apps without learning Cocoa-Touch or Java. Titanium is actually an API and run-time which allows you to build a web application and deploy it to some mobile phone, or run it on the desktop. A Titanium Mobile Web app is designed to be run from a web server. You are able to successfully run it from the browser as a local file also. The main drawback with Appcelerator is it doesn't have Android Emulator, a virtual mobile phone that runs on your pc, which lets the developers to build up and test Android applications without using an actual device.
3) Rhodes: Rhodes is definitely an Mobile App Development framework from "Rhomobile" that allows developers to develop sophisticated mobile apps that may be deployed on all the major mobile platforms like iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android.
Rhodes uses HTML for user interface development. Thus, rather than having to get the UI in Objective C, C++, Java, or.NET for each device, one can get it done once in HTML and deploy on all the devices. Rhomobile claims that, "You don't even need to know much about Ruby. HTML was chosen due to people's familiarity with it." This approach accelerates the development process, even though you only want to launch on a single device. Their developers claim that using Rhodes to build up a mobile app takes about 1/5 the time of creating it natively using the device's standard tools.
Rhodes is dual-licensed underneath the GPL and a commercial license. Open-source Developers make their apps by using the GPL form of the framework and want not pay $ 1 to Rhomobile. However, the commercial developers may license the commercial form of Rhodes and negotiate either a revenue share or per-seat fee with Rhomobile.
With that said, the cross platform mobile development tools are still not considered be panaceas. Even though most of these tools continue to be evolving rapidly the mobile platforms are evolving much more rapid pace. Major platform vendors are competing against each other to bring lots of functionalities and capabilities alive. You may expect some surprises when testing exactly the same functionality on different platforms/devices. Cruising to consider when creating a new functionality that does not appear in the cross platform might take much more time to its cross platform counter part. When the application gets complicated and time to generate new enhancements, you can't assume it would be breeze anymore.
Even though it is better to construct evidence of concepts and prototypes with such cross mobile frameworks, we should better assess the nature from the app, users of the app, performance requirements and ease of maintenance and adapting enhancements.