What You’ll Need for Working on Mobile Web Apps

Right now, my responsabilities inside my company have been a real roller coaster, but I’ve enjoyed the degree of knowledge this has given me over the past couple of weeks. Up to now, I can pretty much mention all the tools you’ll need to get your own mobile web app project going, what these tools can do for you, why you need them and in what order you will be needing them.

Interested yet? Let’s take a look.

Stencils, printed wireframing sheets, or mock-up applications

First, you need to find the quickest way to start brainstorming app layout ideas.

Personally, I find a printed and hand-sketched way the most useful of all, sometimes the machine is just slowing us down or limiting our creativity. A pencil won’t do that to you. If you decide to listen to me and sketch everything yourself, go ahead and choose the sketching sheet of your preference to do so. And you can even get yourself a couple of really cool stencils to get you through this matter in a more orderly fashion.

Need aditional help? Yes, you can always work on the computer. There are a lot of tools that enable you to do so, like Balsamiq Mockups, Mockflow, iPhone Mockup, and a new one I just recently discovered called Tiggr. I’ll be soon posting a review on that one.

An image editor and platform GUIs

The image editor of my own personal choice is always Adobe Photoshop. I have tons of PSD mobile GUIs I’ve gathered to make my job easier, you can pick some out yourselves. I’m actually currently working on a Blackberry 5.0 GUI since I haven’t found one in that format and I’ll be needing one soon. I’ll post it here when I’m done.

Once you’ve got your GUIs and high quality wireframing kits, you can go ahead and design the final accurate layout for your mobile application. And then, the tough part.

A mobile development framework

Yes, getting to the development part. And hey, I’ve had my share of that, too. There are a lot of frameworks you can choose from to aid you in this matter, but my framework of preference is JQuery Mobile.

I’ve worked with JQuery before, it was my framework of preference when working with websites, and I have to say JQuery really does simplify your job when it comes to mobile apps. You can check out the documentation and demos yourself and make sure of it.

The mobile device of choice or an emulator software

Ok, so let’s assume you got to the development phase and got started on your app. You need to constantly test it, of course. I’d say the best way to test it is to browse through it with the device itself, but since we don’t always have one at hand, we can go get a useful emulator and save ourselves the geeky shame of having to buy every device (although I have to admit it would be cool).

Right now I’ve been viewing my work directly on my iPod, but you can also use an online iPhone Tester to get the job done. If you want a desktop application to do this, though, I can recommend iBBDemo2. I just downloaded it myself, it’s really good and it includes iPad emulations and orientation changes.

And of course we can always get to the Android alternative, or the Blackberry alternative.

If you have a passion for tech, check out online it courses.

Well, that’s it for now on mobile resources, but I will keep this up for a while.