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Mobile Application Development -
Mobile Application Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office has taken an interesting initiative; in collaboration with Google they have launched a contest for the PMO’s Mobile App on 4th March, 2015. Over the period of the Ideation Phase of the contest, which was held from 4th March to 23rd March 2015, over 9,000 entries were received on the government’s crowdsourcing platform

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘SMART policing’, Delhi Police is working on a web-based app for its beat constables to reduce paperwork and make them more efficient. With this ‘Beatbook app’, police wants to replace the beat register where a constable has to make entries about his day-to-day activities with an electronic log book. In police terminology, a beat is the territory that a police officer patrols. Armed with a smart phone loaded with ‘Beatbook’, a beat constable would be connected to a centralised server through which he can seamlessly update records and fill logs from wherever he wants.

On 30thJan 2015 addressing the 18th National Conference on e-Governance through Twitter, Prime Minister has said “I urge you to explore ways to provide as many services as possible through mobiles. Let us bring the world into our mobile phones! While we look at e-Governance, let us think about ‘mobile first’ and thus give importance to m-Governance (mobile governance)”.

Mobile application development is a process of developing software for mobile phones or smartphones and tablets. These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing (e.g. JavaScript) to provide an “application-like” experience within a Web browser. In India interest in mobile app development has increased because use of mobile phone is rising and customers are demanding unique, creative, interesting and entertaining applications to meet their interests and to ease up their daily tasks. As per the reports from IAMAI and IMRB International, by June 2015 India will have nearly 213 million mobile internet users.

Mobile Application Development Platform: Mobile application development platform (MADP) is a software that allows for the building and testing of apps/programs for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).

Let take a look at top mobile application development platforms:

Xamarin: Xamarin is a San Francisco, California based software company created in May 2011 by the engineers that created Mono, MonoTouch and Mono for Android which are cross-platform implementations of  Microsoft .NET. With a C# shared codebase, developers can use Xamarin to write native iOS, Android, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms.

PhoneGap: PhoneGap is a mobile development framework created by Nitobi. Adobe Systems purchased Nitobi in 2011. It enables software programmers to build applications for mobile devices using JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3, instead of relying on platform-specific APIs like those in iOS, Windows Phone, or Android. It enables wrapping up of HTML, CSS and Javascript code depending upon the platform of the device. It extends the features of HTML and Javascript to work with the device. The resulting applications are hybrid, meaning that they are neither truly native mobile application (because all layout rendering is done via web views instead of the platform’s native UI framework) nor purely web-based (because they are not just web apps, but are packaged as apps for distribution and have access to native device APIs). Mixing native and hybrid code snippets has been possible since version 1.9. PhoneGap is probably the most well-known cross platform development brand within the development community. It is based on the open source Apache Cordova project and is completely free to use.

Appcelerator: Appcelerator is a privately held mobile technology company based in Mountain View, California. Its main products are Titanium, an open-source software development kit for cross-platform mobile development, and the Appcelerator Platform, an enterprise software suite for mobile app development, testing, deployment, and analytics. It is an enterprise-focused development platform that lets developers write JavaScript with its Alloy MVC framework. The use of JavaScript is helpful, as many developers will already be familiar with the language, reducing the need to spend time getting to grips with unfamiliar code. Appcelerator also offers a virtual private cloud option for enterprise customers.

iFactr: iFactr is designed mainly for enterprises looking to quickly build out apps for their mobile workers. Its platform offers a very low learning curve, allowing developers to get to grips with the basics within two to three days of training. iFactr also promotes its robust prototyping features, allowing companies to rapidly create prototypes for their employees to test out. The iFactr platform uses Xamarin to compile its native apps on iOS and Android, while PhoneGap is also built into the tool.

Kony: Kony offers a range of tools as part of its enterprise Mobility Platform to help business create apps from a single codebase. The Studio platform uses JavaScript and features simple drag and drop reusable widgets and the ability to import existing or third party libraries. Furthermore, Kony recently launched its Mobile Fabric platform, which it claims is the first enterprise app development solution to bring together multiple cloud service and middleware tools. Pricing for Mobile Fabric starts at $15 per user, per month.

SAP: SAP has long been a player in the mobile app development space, last year the company released version 3.0 of its SAP Mobile Platform. The tool lets developers build cross-platform enterprise apps from a single with HTML5 codebase.

Alpha Anywhere: Alpha Anywhere’s enterprise-focused solution lets you build apps for the major mobile platforms, as well as for PCs and Macs. The tool uses JavaScript and HTML5 and helps companies manage the complete end-to-end app development process. The company recently launched built-in support for offline apps, which allows mobile workers to use enterprise apps without an internet connection, ensuring that they properly synchronize when back online and resolve any conflicts in an intuitive manner. Alpha Anywhere starts at $1,999 for a one year contract. Businesses can also purchase a one month trial version for $199.

5App: 5App is a fairly new player in the sector; the London-based company offers two main services. First there’s an app building tool that uses HTML5 and JavaScript to create native iOS and Android apps. Then there’s the enterprise app store service, which is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) management tool that lets IT departments create an internally curetted app store for employees. 5App’s premium service is priced at £2.50 (roughly $3.75) per user.

FeedHenry: FeedHenry made headlines recently after it was acquired by software company RedHat last month for around 63.5 million Euros. The company offers a mobile backend-as-a-service platform and cross app development platform, letting enterprise users build and deploy iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps via public clouds and on-premises. FeedHenry uses Node.js and a MongoDB-backed database for fast scalable network apps.

Sencha: Sencha offers a variety of tools for cross platform app development such as Sencha Architect, Sencha Animator, and more. Its main product for enterprise users is Ext JS 5, which lets developers create HTML5 apps, which can then be converted into native apps with PhoneGap. Sencha’s HTML5-focused approach allows its apps to run across browsers as well as the latest touch-based devices and has attracted clients such as Google, CNN and Samsung. The platform is priced at $3,225 per year for up to five developers and then $12,495 per year for up to 20 developers.

There are good number of Mobile App Development Companies in India: Sourcebits, OpenXcell, Konstant Infosolutions, TechAhead, QBurst, Affle AppStudioz, Contus, Cygnet Infotech Pvt. Ltd, Riktam,  Arkenea LLC, Software Developers Inc (SDI), Innoppl Inc.

Chinese eCommerce Giant Alibaba and Bangalore-based mobile and analytics solutions company Globals ITeS are coming together to start a startup incubator in Bangalore. The incubator will solely focus on mobile internet and mobile commerce, considering the rise in the mobile industry in India, an incubator focusing on mobile internet and m-commerce is the need of the hour. The most prominent reason for Alibaba to concentrate more on m-commerce is the increased smartphone users in India. India at present is one of the most promising markets for foreign investors. With over 1.25 billion population and 930 million mobile subscriptions, India is the fastest growing mobile market in the world. By end of 2014, 199.6 million units of smartphones were shipped in India and this market is expected to grow at a rapid pace in 2015 due to the introduction of low-priced, yet power-house, entry-level smartphones from newcomer Xiaomi, Lenovo and such brands.

AppsDaily Solutions Private Limited, India’s leading Mobile application development and Distribution Company has raised INR 1 Billion from Zodius Technology, Ru-Net Ltd, Indo US Venture Partners (IUVP), and Qualcomm Ventures.

Moonfrog Labs a mobile gaming start-up, raised $15 million from US-based venture capital (VC) firms Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. In June last year, Sequoia Capital had invested an equal amount in Octro Inc., which makes digital versions of the card games Rummy and Teen Patti, with 30 million registered users. Octro was the first Indian gaming start-up to receive such a large amount from VC investors. Moonfrog Labs, Octro and other game developers are attracting interest from VC funds as increasing smartphone penetration and falling Internet data charges prompt Indians to spend more time consuming entertainment on their handsets.

The International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-Bangalore) and Peesh Venture Capital (PVC), a NASSCOM investment partner, have entered into a strategic partnership to accelerate and fund India’s Internet of Things and Mobile App start-ups. The goal of this public-private partnership is to produce successful Indian mobile app companies from India.

During last 2-3 years a good numbers of mobile app startups have emerged in India, here is a list of some of them:

Appknox: It’s a Mobile app vulnerability detection and security certification startup. Appknox helps developers and enterprises to uncover and fix security loopholes in few minutes. Appknox provides an easy-to-use security auditing tool for both source code and application binary file analysis by regularly scanning the mobile apps automatically both before and after they are published and alerts them about vulnerabilities as and when they are identified.

Orobind: Orobind is a marketplace to discover personal fitness coaches around and book their sessions. Users can set weight loss goals, earn rewards on progress and monitor progress discussing it continuously either with Orobind’s in-house coaches/motivation experts or the personal coach. User also gets unlimited access to nutritional experts and algorithm driven workout plans.

Squadrun: It is a mobile marketplace helping businesses outsource micro-tasks that require human intelligence. From the user side, SquadRun is a gamified app that allows anybody with a smartphone to make money on a per task basis. Mobile-first approach leverages ‘dead time’ of people which acts as a massive cost arbitrage and also attracts higher quality workforce. It is useful for – Content moderation, Data tagging, Categorization, Surveys, Sentiment Analysis etc.

Voconow: Voconow’s mobile technology offers a highly scalable platform for businesses to build interactive, intelligent and connected print media campaigns, and manage them from the cloud.

Voonik: Voonik has built a personal shopping app only for women. Voonik is one of the most loved online fashion apps for women. It helps you find clothes that suit your body, skin tone & budget.

Walnut: Walnut is a smart personal digital assistant which is always in auto-mode and deeply understands the users SMS Inbox. It provides intuitive visualizations and smart insights and auto-magically tracks banks, credit cards, bills, and a lot more. It helps users save time and money. Currently available on Android, Walnut already has 10k+ downloads after launching in October.

Xenon: Built by a team of automotive retail experts, Xenon automotive technologies offers apps for dealer sales, car owners and also service.

Avaz App: Avaz is a picture-based communication app, specially developed for children with autism. It is a full-featured AAC app, developed for children who are non-verbal or who have difficulty speaking. Avaz has been designed with the vision of making every voice heard! Avaz’s built in vocabulary has 5000+ words, and takes only seconds to personalize with new words.

CultureAlley: aunched in November 2012 by Nishant Patni, Intap Labs runs a language-learning platform The platform enables interactive language learning through self-paced audio-visual lessons and can help one learn any language including English, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese, Italian, French and Korean.

Haptik: Haptik is a smartphone application that allows users to chat with companies and their experts over messaging for any query related to any company or service. The user can download the app, pick a company from the preloaded list, and send a message. Company representatives or Haptik agents will receive the message, and send a response. The other key area Haptik addresses is search. Many users spend a disproportionate amount of time on searching for information on the web about services provided by companies. And this process is especially painful on the mobile. Via Haptik, users can get this information as well.

Mosambee: Mosambee is Mumbai-based mobile point-of-sale solution that enables you to accept payments anywhere. Alok Arora is the CEO of the company and they provide payment services that are safe and easy for everyone. The EMV swiper device comes with EMV Level 1, Level 2 PTS and SRED certifications, and enables chip and pin swipe at merchant end. It is currently being integrated at various banks and rollout will start soon in Mumbai region.

Nautilus Mobile:Nautilus Mobile is a mobile gaming studio based in Hyderabad. Spearheaded by Nicolas Beuvin, Nautilus Mobile is an independent mobile gaming studio founded in early 2013. The company‘s goal is to deliver top quality games built by avid gamers. Nautilus Mobile will be delivering games on all top mobile platforms – iOS, Blackberry 10, Android & Windows.

Nextdrop: NextDrop is a social enterprise which provides accurate and reliable information about water delivery in regions with intermittent supply. It improves access to water for residents in urban India by providing residents access to timely and reliable information about piped water supply, and establishing a feedback loop to inform better water management for the water utility.

Scandid: Scandid is a barcode scanning based price comparison app for India. With Scandid, one just needs to scan the barcode present on the product box or search by product name and instantly see the prices and coupons from all online stores. Scandid searches millions of products across hundreds of online stores in India to help you get the best deal.

Teewe: It enables consumers to watch digital content like movies,TV shows and live streams on their TV. Teewe provides a way to access your media at the tap of a finger. Online or offline. Laptop or smartphone, all your media in one place. Teewe allows users to watch YouTube videos, phone media, media on your laptop, the latest trending videos all on your phone.

Trip38: Trip38 is a smart location-aware mobile app which automatically creates local guide on your smartphone based on your flight ticket or hotel confirmation email. It organizes your complete travel itinerary including flight e-ticket, hotel upgrade offers, things to do, restaurant options, local events, weather, embassy/consulate info, helpline/ public utility info, directions and many more local content.

Y-Cash: Y-Cash aims to provide leading edge & maverick solutions and services using mobile technology. They are predominantly focused on the mobile payments space, as a RBI authorized mobile pre-paid wallet issuer. Y-Cash has introduced a QR code based mobile POS devices. Their services are aimed at providing convenience and easy fulfillment of a consumer’s payment needs without compromising the underlying security of the transactions.

Lastly if you are not familiar with any terminology related to Mobile App Development, you can use this link…


Devsena Mishra promotes advanced technologies, the startup ecosystem and government business and technology related initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and Startup India through her portals, articles, videos and books.