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Developing Mobile Applications

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Game reviews for the iPhone continues to occupy much of Technobrains webspace. Mobility in general is not just about the iPhone or IOS applications but also includes these platforms:

  • Symbian
  • BlackBerry
  • Android
  • Windows  Mobile

I have been involved in Windows Mobile development in the past and would like to get back into developing some games and productivity applications for the Android Tablet. Looking into the available tools and SDK for the Android has lead me to a couple of options. One is Basic4Android and the other is Corona. Basic4Android is a Windows based Basic language that is relatively new and aggressively being developed. A review of Basic4Android by Eric and myself will be coming soon. Corona is a MAC based development tool which is considered a cross platform tool that compiles applications for Android and the iPhone.

Corona is  the most flexible of the two for those interested in getting into both Android and iPhone development simultaneously. Basically since this is a cross platform tool, you can create the underlining code once and easily create both an Android and iPhone version of the same application. Using Corona means less coding compared to using the developer SDK and supporting language tools provided by the operating system manufacturer.

The Corona SDK (Software Development Kit) is based on a language called LUA which is easier to learn compared to C or Java. Programming or coding applications using Corona takes advantage of prewritten code segments which perform specific functions like moving graphics, accessing sound files, physics routines, accessing the web, GPS, camera and manipulating the user interface. The overall Corona framework includes these features plus others which reduces your coding time.

  • Vector based graphics
  • Dynamic content scaling
  • Accelerator support
  • GPS support
  • Native Facebook Connect integration
  • Multitouch support
  • Webkit/html5 integration
  • Integrated physics engine
  • Integrated graphics engine
  • Sprite sheet based integration
  • hi-res image swapping
  • Instant preview of iPhone,iPhone 4, iPad, and Android based devices

Developing mobile applications using tools like Basic4Android or Corona is not limited to experienced software developers only. Anyone with the interest and time to learn an intuitive programming language can create something in days or even hours. A game called Bubble Ball was created by Robert Nay who is only 14 years old using Corona. This video below show how the start to a game can be coded in 8 minutes with Corona.


This video below shows how sprite sheets can be easily used to create animation suitable for game use in Corona.


Overall, any type of application can be created using Corona and is not limited specically to games. The animation and graphics manipulation is also suitable for map and GPS related applications. Developing mobile applications has beeen around for years and is still a growing market. Anyone with a great idea can take the idea and create an application that works on a mobile device with minimal effort. There is a good Resource Section for Corona and a good support group  in the Community Section. Check out Corona or Basic4Android and bring your own ideas to life on the iPhone or Android device.

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