Mobile Development Issues: Things to Consider

MEST, Monday February 21st 2011

Mobile Development Issues: Things to ConsiderIn a previous post, I shared lessons learned from Jim Kaubisch’s lecture ‘Developing mobile apps’.  The post attempted to spell out what is and what’s not a mobile app. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing some basic but important issues you might want to address before developing your mobile app.  These are a continuation of lessons learned from Kaubisch’s lecture and experiences learned from interactions with startups in the MEST Incubator and the general developer community in Accra. The ‘issues’ have been put into two categories, namely: technical issues and business & legal issues. Please bear in mind this is not the complete list.

Technical development issues

  1. The device supplier determines the development environment: For example, developing on an Apple device means learning the ‘objective C’ programming language i.e. if you are not familiar with the language already.

  2. Developer is forced to follow device supplier’s hardware / software version updates.

  3. Cope with version behavior differences e.g. you need to find out if you need one of each device’s versions.

    • For example, developing on an iPhone 3 platform does not mean the same application can run smoothly on an iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4 or the iPad.

    • Find out, do I need one of each operating system (OS) versions? Your application can behave differently on the various operating system versions e.g. IOS 3.1, 4.1. or 3.56 (iPad).

Business and Legal Issues

  1. Contract limitations with 3rd party services: For example, the Flurry instrumentation agreement, the Google location service agreement (if you are considering developing a location based application, using Google map).

  2. Contracts with the ‘Apple Store’: You must abide by the Apple ‘Standard’ requirement in order to be able to sell your application on the AppStore.

  3. Last but definitely not the least; consider the standard privacy regulations for your application.

Thanks for reading; I hope this provides you with some fundamental factors to consider when developing your mobile app. Please do let me know what you think and what else developers should be considering.