Multi-platform development of applications for mobile devices

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Programvara och systemLinköpings universitet/Tekniska högskolan


This bachelor thesis has been performed at Combitech, a technology, development and management consultancy company. The purpose of the thesis is to investigate the possibilities for multi-platform development of applications for mobile devices, as well as actually developing a simpler application using multi-platform development. The application is supposed to have functionality for sending an expression of interest for work and thesis work at Combitech, and should be available both as a native application for the Android and iOS operating systems as well as in the form of a web application.

The thesis begins with an investigation of the possibilities for multi-platform development of applications for mobile devices. It is concluded that there is a wide range of available development frameworks that target several mobile platforms. It is decided that an HTML/CSS/JavaScript-based framework is most suited for the application to be developed. Therefore four HTML/CSS/JavaScript-based multi-platform development frameworks targetting mobile devices are analyzed more closely, namely jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, Sencha Touch and Appcelerator Titanium.

jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap are chosen to develop the application, and the thesis describes the development work as well as the resulting application. It is concluded that HTML/CSS/JavaScript-based frameworks can provide a nice touch screen optimized user interface that is consistent across platforms with e.g. jQuery Mobile, as well as access to native features and the possibility to package a web application as a native application with e.g. PhoneGap. It is also concluded that jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap can be used to create a modular application that, with well defined interfaces, can be run both as a web application and packaged as a native application on different mobile operating systems with no or minor changes to the code.

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