Going mobile? Think it through…:-
Nokia Lumia just took a plunge in the Indian pool of mobile devices. It had been much anticipated and awaited by cellphone enthusiasts and now it’s here. As the gargantuan demand for cellphone continues to persist in the Indian market, their variety is far from limited. You can find mobile devices that are as cheap as 750 Rupees and as expensive as 50k (and even more). It’s not only the price that varies but several other things like features, technology, operating systems and quality of hardware.
Now, every mobile device has a number of aspects that affects its popularity. One of the most important factors today is the availability of applications in their respective marketplaces. Android today happens to be one of the most popular operating systems for mobile phones today. As in December 2011, Android marketplace has 380,297 applications on it. 67% applications on Android marketplace are free. There have been over 10 Billion downloads. This huge variety of applications has made Android very popular. The fact that it is based on embedded Linux and is open source, makes it easier for hardware manufacturers to get involved.
So far so good, now here’s the troubled part. Android allows third party packages to be installed on your mobile device. Which means that a developer can design an application which claims to be a music player or a fun game, but in reality notes down your credit card number and makes calls on your expenses. A developer can potentially piggyback malware on a harmless looking application and cause a great deal of harm. This is dangerous and cannot be ignored.
How often is it that you do a transaction or access your net banking portals using your android device? I’m sure not many use mobile devices for this purpose, but a great deal of people who run Android on a tablet PC use internet banking for online shopping and booking of tickets. Now if an application is logging your keys, or in any way compromising your private data, the next thing you see is an empty account with no idea whatsoever who did it. Android is exposed like anything. Now you must decide what’s more important to you, a beautiful UI or a secure OS.
Windows phones on the other hand are some of the most robust devices available. They haves a great amount of security features. First of all, security is a responsibility that the developer must accept for Windows Phone apps. You cannot install an app in any way other than downloading it from the Windows Phone marketplace. Any app, before it is made available for download on the marketplace, undergoes a week long rigorous testing procedure, so as to avoid any malware-in-disguise entering your device. The certification process of applications is very efficient. They sandbox your app and make sure that the application does not act in a way that can potentially harm you. They check what services (data, location etc.) the application is claiming to use and what services it is using in reality. It means that an app claiming to be a music player cannot be recording your GPS coordinates.
For example, you are a celebrity. There’s a reporter who wants to know where you go and what you do. If you are using an android phone, what he would do is, plant one of his own applications in your phone. This application would stay in your phone in the disguise of a music player, but could actually log your location and pass it on to whosoever is interested in it, potentially compromising your privacy. What if this person is not a reporter but a criminal? Think about it.
It is very easy to develop apps for WP. All you have to do is download Visual Studio (available for free to students via dreamspark.com) or Visual Studio Express (free for everyone) and install suite for WP. The drag and drop features of visual studio make it very easy for anyone to design basic apps. If you want to learn more about WP app development, there are plenty of resources and samples available on msdn.microsoft.com. You can also use Silverlight via Microsoft Expression Blend 4.0 (again, free for students) to add numerous animation effects in your applications
. In a nutshell, it is so easy to start developing for Windows Phone that you’ll start out like a pro in no time.
Marketplace is a really rewarding place. The applications I designed got downloaded by over 700 devices within 15 days of their launching. This renders it doubtless, the fact about the availability of potential buyers of your apps. Especially when the phone is being launched in India, the customers would increase multifold.
Windows Phone marketplace registration is a very easy process. You just need to produce the scanned copy of any of your identification documents and you’re good to go. It is free for students. Microsoft retains only 30% of the revenue made by your app and lets you have the remaining 70% once your total revenue count crosses USD 200. So, if you are a student, there’s some serious money you can make out here.
Summarizing, I would like to say that WP is a secure platform that has tremendous future. It is much easier to develop for WP. I think if you are into mobile device development, here’s a great opportunity to get yourself a great career. Start programming for WP7 now!!!
About the author:-
Shashank Ashtikar is a final year student of SRMMicrosoft Student Partner. As a part of his responsibility as a MSP, he has organized several technical sessions on a variety of technologies and topics, Windows Phone development being one of them.You can reach him on Shashank@ashtikar.in or http://www.facebook.com/shashank.ashtikar.