As part of the development process, mobile user interface (UI) design is also essential in the creation of mobile apps. Mobile UI considers constraints, contexts, screen, input, and mobility as outlines for design. The user is often the focus of interaction with their device, and the interface entails components of both hardware and software. User input allows for the users to manipulate a system, and device's output allows the system to indicate the effects of the users' manipulation. Mobile UI design constraints include limited attention and form factors, such as a mobile device's screen size for a user's hand(s). Mobile UI contexts signal cues from user activity, such as location and scheduling that can be shown from user interactions within a mobile app. Overall, mobile UI design's goal is mainly for an understandable, user-friendly interface. The UI of mobile apps should: consider users' limited attention, minimize keystrokes, and be task-oriented with a minimum set of functions. This functionality is supported by mobile enterprise application platforms or integrated development environments (IDEs).
Mobile UIs, or front-ends, rely on mobile back-ends to support access to enterprise systems. The mobile back-end facilitates data routing, security, authentication, authorization, working off-line, and service orchestration. This functionality is supported by a mix of middleware components including mobile app server, mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), and service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure.
The platform organizations needed to develop, deploy and manage mobile apps are made from many components and tools which allow a developer to write, test and deploy applications into the target platform environment.
Front-end development tools
Front-end development tools are focused on the user interface and user experience (UI-UX) and provide the following abilities:
Back-end tools pick up where the front-end tools leave off, and provide a set of reusable services that are centrally managed and controlled and provide the following abilities:
Security add-on layers
With bring your own device (BYOD) becoming the norm within more enterprises, IT departments often need stop-gap, tactical solutions that layer atop existing apps, phones, and platform component. Features include
Many system-level components are needed to have a functioning platform for developing mobile apps.
Mobile app testing
Mobile applications are first tested within the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones to which developers may not have physical access. The following are examples of tools used for testing application across the most popular mobile operating systems.
Google Android Emulator - an Android emulator that is patched to run on a Windows PC as a standalone app, without having to download and install the complete and complex Android SDK. It can be installed and Android compatible apps can be tested on it.
- eggPlant: A GUI-based automated test tool for mobile app across all operating systems and devices.
- Ranorex: Test automation tools for mobile, web and desktop apps.
- Testdroid: Real mobile devices and test automation tools for testing mobile and web apps.