Apps creation for mobile phones is rapidly gaining widespread popularity. Almost everyone today owns a mobile phone, cell phone or smartphone. Downloading new apps for your smartphone has become a popular activity. Have you ever wondered how these apps are developed? Continue reading to learn more about the behind the scenes steps apps creation developers take to bring new apps for you to download to your smartphone.
The two most popular platforms for apps creation and development are the iOS and Android. Apps developed for Apple iPhones run on the iOS platform. The languages used for iOS development are the older Objective-C and the newer Swift. Android app developers use Java. Apple’s iOS Dev Center and Android Developers Training are the two best places to learn how to code for either iOS or Android mobile phone devices.
Both of these platforms are based on object-oriented languages like Java or Swift. Key concepts and terminology of object orientation includes classes to encapsulate (wrap together) data (attributes) and methods (behaviors). Encapsulation enables objects to hide their implementation from other objects. Objects hid implementation details. Each class contains a set of fields (variables) and methods that manipulate those fields.
Examples of objects include people, plants, planes, buildings, cars, computers and mobile phones. Java programmers define the data type of a data structure and the types of functions or operations. The data structure becomes an object that includes both data and functions.
Apple first introduced the Swift programming language at their Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in 2014. This newer coding language replaces Objective-C that first appeared in the 1980s. Swift makes error-free coding easier and more concise. Apple introduced Swift 2.0 at the WWDC 2015 conference.
Learning the Swift programming language is much easier than learning Objective-C. This makes it more appealing to iPhone app developers. Apple wins by obtaining more support for Apple’s platforms and products. Apple also has the flexibility to change, update and add functions to the Swift programming language. Swift makes it more difficult to move apps across various mobile platforms. This means that Apple’s ecosystem offers content that is more exclusive and less portability.
Apple uses Swift to build their operating systems for their products. Developers use Swift to develop mobile applications and programs for Apple’s iOS, tvOS, watchOS, OS X and tvOS platforms.
Java is the official language that Android mobile app developers use. Sun Microsystems first introduced Java in 1995. Both smartphone and mainframe computers run apps and programs developed using Java.
Java relies on a “virtual machine” that translates Java bytecode. Each platform that runs Java requires a virtual machine (VM) implementation. Dalvik is the VM Android devices use. The virtual machines interpret the bytecode. Bytecode is a set of instructions that the CPU processor uses to execute the Java programs. VMs use technologies such as just-in-time compilation (JIT) and ahead-of-time compilation (AOT) to speed up program processes.
Java programs are comprised of classes. Classes include methods that perform tasks and return information. The java compiler translates the Java code statements into bytecodes. Bytecodes are instructions that the Java interpreter recognizes.
Java can handle a variety of data structures. Arrays are data structures consisting of related data items of the same type. An array is a group of variables (called elements or components) containing values that all have the same type. One-dimensional and multidimensional arrays are fixed-sized data structures.
A single if selection statement is a structure that lays out different actions for the program to follow. Another app development tool is the while repetition statement or a looping structure. This statement directs the program to repeat an action while a specified condition remains true. Other control structures include counter-controlled repetition, for repetition statement, the do…while repetition statement, the switch multiple-selection statement and the break and continue statements.
Windows, Linus or OS X are the development platforms for Android apps. The Java compiler will convert the source code into bytecode. The VM built-in to Android executes the bytecode. iOS uses a native compiler to turn Objective-C into ARM machine code. Here is one place to learn mobile app development.