Smartphone Application Programming

March 9, 2009

smartphonesSince about 2001, I’ve been developing applications for the Microsoft Pocket PC and now Windows Mobile devices. It’s been a part-time effort, where I spend evenings and weekends creating the Windows-based applications. Since the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile OS is basically a slimmed down version of Windows, all the programming structure, function calls, etc. are the same. So, if you know how to develop executables for the Desktop Windows machines, it’s nearly the same thing for the Windows Mobile devices.

Originally, writing Windows programs meant you needed to use a C++ or Pascal Compiler to create binary executables. After a few years, Microsoft introduced their .NET product which was suppose to make it easier for developers to create applications that will run on both the Desktop Windows systems and Windows Mobile systems. I never got into the whole .NET thing, since it required certain libraries, DLLs, and modules to be installed on systems to run the .NET applications. I liked the executable method, since you can compile everything into a single, compact application executable. The only problem with that approach, is that the binary executable you create will only work for a specific CPU processor, but fortunately Microsoft standardized on the ARM processor after 2003 for the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile devices.

Moving forward to 2009, you don’t see many people using Pocket PC devices. Instead, they use their cell phones (or, smartphones) for tracking appointment, emails, and reminders. Although some smartphones run the Microsoft Windows Mobile OS, there are plenty of other devices running the Blackberry OS, Nokia OS, Apple iPhone OS, and Android OS. Read the rest of this entry »