One doesn’t need to look far to realize that smartphones have quickly become the defacto way that many people access the Internet. For a growing number of people, it’s the only way that they interact with the web.
The growth is astounding.
- In 2013, mobile data traffic grew by 81%!
- 91% of the people on this planet now have a cell phone.
- 56% of those cell phones are smartphones
- 50% of smartphone users using their phone as their primary means to access the web.
The problem is, most web sites, designed before the (latest) explosion in mobile (like, say, 18-months ago!), look fine on a desktop but do not present in an optimal way on a mobile device. While many sites have a “mobile version” available, they tend only to be accessible to visitors who are willing to squint and jab at miniscule hyperlinks and, once-accessed, they often lack much of the content and functionality of the main sites.
Most of the application development projects that we have been involved in over the past year have had a requirement that the application run on a mobile device. The native apps tend to be easier with regard the predictability of how the interface will appear and function when deployed to a mobile device.
Applications that need to run equally as well on both desktop and mobile browsers can provide a few more puzzles concerning their predictability.
One way we’ve met this challenge is through the use of AngularJS, an open-source Javasript MVC framework. Angular allows us to create rich and responsive internet applications for both desktop and mobile environments with the same codebase.
One of our lead developers, Alex, has been a huge proponent of Angular. When asked to share some of the biggest reasons why he likes to use it, Alex says: “AngularJS allows us to essentially create rich applications that run in the browser. Similar to a smart phone application, once the application is loaded in the browser, the user interactions are very fluid and responsive. The quality of applications are similar to what we used to create with Silverlight or Flash, except that Angular applications can be run in any HTML5 compliant browser, including mobile browsers.”
Some other notes about Angular —
- It’s open-source, but it is also maintained and backed by Google, suggesting a certain degree of support, community size and activity, which are important considerations for selecting open source frameworks.
- The MVC framework allows us to easily unit test the business logic of the application by writing tests against the controllers and models. Having unit test allows us to have shorter release cycles with higher quality code.
As a result of our use of AngularJS, we have been able to deliver high-quality web applications to our clients that meet the needs of an ever-increasing mobile audience.
If your company has a web presence, you need to ensure that you can reach the large number of users out there who are surfing the web on their mobile devices. Contact us. We can help!