True multi-platform apps: for iOS and Android

App Building, Mobile News Liz Bollema 5 Feb 2013

With AppMachine you only have to create an app once; it will then be immediately suitable for both iOS (iPhone) and Android. Needless to say this requires some prior programming efforts at AppMachine. This time we’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at multi-platform apps.

How it works

Apps are created on the AppMachine website using the app CMS (Content Management System). Their features are defined only once in the app CMS. So how can you generate an app that runs both on iOS (iPhone) and Android? Aren’t these totally different platforms?

Well, AppMachine has integrated both iOS and Android intelligence into an app, which retrieves its data from the app CMS. These two different apps (for iOS and Android) ensures that the information from the CMS is displayed properly on the end-user’s mobile phone. This approach also ensures that the app in question conforms to the default characteristics of the target platform. For instance, iPhone apps feature a ‘back button’, while in Android this feature is integrated into the device’s hardware. This means one app in the CMS has two different manifestations! AppMachine’s intelligent software thus ensures that you only have to create an app once, which will then immediately work perfectly on both iOS and Android.

First for iOS

When a new function is created in the form of a building block for AppMachine, the AppMachine team will embark on the development on iOS. This is the platform on which the prototypes are built, reviewed and tested. Once the functionality has taken shape and the alpha stage has been completed, the feature is also developed on Android. AppMachine uses products by Xamarin for the programming: MonoTouch and Mono for Android. This platform makes it possible to reuse 80 per cent of the iOs code for Android directly. The only items needing to be redeveloped are the screens for Android. However this will go unnoticed for AppMachine users. They will simply build one app, and receive two.

Multi-platform apps: catching up on Android

In the first half of 2012, AppMachine spent a hefty amount of time building new features, initially for iOS/iPhone. In other words, the apps developed in this period first became available for the iPhone. In December and January, we did a major catch-up for Android, levelling the entire AppMachine platform. Everything available for the iPhone is now also available for Android, making AppMachine a true multi-platform solution.

Android apps

In one fell swoop, the catch-up operation for Android has launched a wave of apps now suddenly available for Android as well. These are the following:

Ferry Corsten

The app by popular DJ Ferry Corsten. Fans can now listen to Corsten’s Countdown and even vote which music they want to hear in next week’s show. They can react via the official social media channels and try to see if they are featured in the photos of live shows.

Markus Schulz

The app by Markus Schulz keeps fans posted on all the latest on Markus. You can find his tour dates, new singles, photos and his weekly radio show, the ‘Global DJ Broadcast’. Fans can also provide feedback through Facebook and Twitter.

AppMachine Showcase

AppMachine’s own app shows you what’s possible using AppMachine; all its twenty building blocks are featured. The app also shows the flexibility with which you can design apps. For instance it features its own custom-built buttons.

Travelvalley

The app by Travelvalley, the lifestyle blog on travel and gadgets. This app brings you travel news and lets you connect with Twitter, Facebook and Travelvalley’s own video channel.

NauticLED

NauticLED is a supplier of LED lamps that can be used aboard ships as a replacement for existing light

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