Mobile phones are  not just phones anymore with only voice and texting functionalities. Mobile ecosystems are being sensitive and responsive to every move the different vendors are playing. Device manufacturers have invested heavily on their technologies and services such as app stores, UI, multimedia, batter life and user experience design.

The war between Apple, Google, Microsoft and Adobe seems to be never ending. There is a possibility that Apple will never use Flash, Google never uses Silverlight and Microsoft does not use Java or Flash. With Gartner’s forecasts about the worldwide downloads in mobile application stores to surpass 21.6 billion by 2013 and multiple mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile 7, Symbian and many more, cross platform development seems increasingly relevant.

Cross platform development enables maximum market reach to the mass market. With new handsets emerging every month, one of the biggest challenges for cross platform development is fragmentation. There are different aspects for fragmentation:

  • Hardware
  • Operating Systems
  • Application Environments

Screen resolution, interaction with the network, keyboard type, sensors like touch capabilities etc. are different hardware aspects. iOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry etc. play the major role in operating systems. Application environment is the key for the development environment. The application environment is fragmented based on J2ME, Flash Lite, Native, Widget and Web based. The success of cross platform development lies in embracing fragmentation.

With increasing capabilities of devices and mobile OS, web based development is getting popular due to ease of use of its browser components.

Related Links

Gartner says consumers will spend $6.2 billion in mobile application stores in 2010

5 popular cross platform mobile development tools

(References: Smartface developer zone)