Software Development: How Developers Create Software for Multiple Platforms
The development of software has drastically changed for developers over the past two decades. In recent years the devices that a user predominately uses has grown from pc’s to tablets, cell phones,smart tv’s, and more. People want to use different devices for different task and expect the experience to be seamless across different platforms. With the technology growth, it is a challenge for developers to develop software that will run across multiple platforms effectively and efficiently (Manmohan, 2015). This research aims to gain insight into the challenges like planning, user interfaces, development tools, and creating a good user experience.
During the planning stage of software development, developers must seek to understand what platforms the users will use when running the software. Different platforms will have differences that can make or break the success of the project. It is likely that the operating systems will be different across the different platforms. A laptop may be running a Windows operating system, while a mobile device may be running an Android operating system. Also, screen resolution will also have an impact on how the user views the user interface. A laptop may have a screen resolution of 1920×1080, while a mobile device may have a screen resolution of 720×1280. It is important to stay well-informed on the different screen sizes and resolutions to ensure the software has good appeal, which ultimately creates an enjoyable experience (Media Genesis, 2020). A developer can use viewports to scale down the versions of resolution to make a more consistent look across multiple devices (Media Genesis, 2020).
For a developer to develop software that will be competitive in today’s market, they must think about the different devices the user is likely to use. The user interface on all these devices will likely be different but should work together to make it feel seamless (ROWLAND, 2020). A user interface for a PC may use different input controls than a mobile device due to having a keyboard and mouse (2014). The use of shortcut keys will likely be different because of the same reason mentioned previously. Mobile devices may have auto populated fields to help the user quickly access what they need (2014). A cross platform user experience (UX) should be a priority to a developer (ROWLAND, 2020). Developers will usually begin with a key reference device and then adapt the other devices as the go through the process to great a good UX (ROWLAND, 2020).
After deciding the target environment, project requirements, and programming languages the next step is deciding on the tools that will help you achieve project success (SmartDraw, 2020). Like the other phases of software development choosing the right software development tools can make or break a project (SmartDraw, 2020).
Microsoft has an integrated development environment called Visual Studio. It is a commercial software, which means that only Microsoft has access to the source code (ScienceDirect, 2020). Visual Studio gives you the capability to build applications for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, web, and cloud (Microsoft, 2020). It helps you write code faster by auto populating text, debug your code and diagnose any syntax errors based off programming language syntax (Microsoft, 2020). Visual Studio will run on Windows and Mac operating systems (Microsoft, 2020).
Eclipse is another integrated development environment that developers use to develop. It is an open source software, which means that the source code is made available for everyone to study (ScienceDirect, 2020). Eclipse is known for their Java integrated development environment, although they have a host of other open source projects. The developer can add development components which allows he/she to customize the Eclipse platform as an integrated development environment for Java, C/C++, or both (ScienceDirect, 2020). Eclipse will run on the following operating systems Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX (ScienceDirect, 2020).
Android Studio is an integrated development environment for developing applications on an Android operating system (Android, 2020). Android Studio has a visual layout editor that allows you to drag and drop UI layouts (Android, 2020). After building your project in Android Studio you can analyze Android packages files and reduce the size of the project (Android, 2020). Like Visual studio it offers a code completion tool called Intelligent Code Editor (Android, 2020). Android Studio can be installed on the following operating systems Windows, Linux, Mac, and Chrome OS (Android, 2020).
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