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Mobile Electronic Commerce by June Wei

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161
chapter nine
Enhancing electronic commerce
with hybrid mobile application
development architecture
Edward T. Chen
9.1 Introduction
Mobile device technology is evolving at an unbelievable rate. The use
of cell phones to only make phone calls has become a thing of the past.
Cell phones have been replaced with mobile devices, and they have been
packaged with enough hardware to run applications that were previ-
ously conned to desktop computers. Everywhere you turn there are new
devices, applications, and ideas ooding the mobile market. It did not take
long for corporate America to take notice of the shift in consumer interest
and take advantage of the mobile market (Smith and Chaffey, 2005; Chang
and Chen, 2009; Serrano etal., 2013).
Contents
9.1 Introduction ............................................................................................161
9.2 What is hybrid mobile application development architecture? ..... 163
9.3 Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid mobile application ....... 166
9.4 Practices of hybrid mobile application development ....................... 168
9.4.1 Cambridge iReport ................................................................... 168
9.4.2 Dolphin Tale .............................................................................. 168
9.4.3 Lotte Awards ............................................................................. 169
9.5 Frameworks and tools of mobile application development ............ 169
9.5.1 PhoneGap ................................................................................... 170
9.5.2 Corona SDK ............................................................................... 170
9.5.3 WorkLight .................................................................................. 171
9.5.4 Appcelerator .............................................................................. 172
9.6 Future of hybrid mobile applications ................................................. 172
9.7 Conclusion ..............................................................................................174
References ........................................................................................................ 175
162 Mobile Electronic Commerce
Mobile applications have been poised to be the singular most inuen-
tial new software technology in the last two decades. Next to Microsoft
Windows, no other software innovation has garnered the attention,
success, and nancial backing that mobile applications have recently
experienced. Navigating the mobile application landscape is challeng-
ing for organizations (Gavalas etal., 2011; Ko, 2013; Nicolaou, 2013). While
organizations may still be struggling to recognize the full potential of
mobile applications, many have come to the realization that mobile appli-
cations are a necessary evil and one that customers have come to expect
(Deng etal., 2010; Li and Yeh, 2010).
As with any new technology, there have been growing pains, and
organizations have had to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing mobile
landscape. What works today is not guaranteed to work tomorrow. This
mantra is apparent in the mobile application eld. Mobile application
development as an industry is still in its infancy. As new device operat-
ing systems and software packages hit the market, mobile applications
as well as organizations are struggling to keep up with the proliferation
of devices, backwards-compatible applications, and consumer demand
(Mahatanankoon et al., 2005). Even with the wide range of challenges
and growing pains, the mobile application space is currently the most
innovative and exciting area of technology today (Nicolaou, 2013; Serrano
etal., 2013).
With the current batch of mobile applications, we are witnessing the
end of the rst generation of mobile applications. This rst generation of
applications due to hardware, software, and vendor constraints were lim-
ited to run only on a single operating system. For example, Instagram, one
of the most successful mobile applications today, can only be installed on
devices that operate Apples iOS. This group of mobile applications is clas-
sied as native applications. They are built to run on code that is native to
the device (Charland and Leroux, 2011; Serrano etal., 2013).
The rst generation of mobile application was an important step for
the electronic commerce and many lessons were learned from it. However,
organizations in general do not want to develop different instances of
the same application for each mobile platform that exists in today’s mar-
ket (Hasswa et al., 2007). Each mobile platform has its own development
language, nuances, personnel commitments, and hardware requirements
(Zheng and Ni, 2005). Whether the application is developed in-house or
outsourced, it is generally an expensive endeavor. When combined with
maintenance costs, short application life cycle, and other fringe expenses,
some organizations are questioning whether native mobile applications are
the right choice for them (Charland and Leroux, 2011; Serrano etal., 2013).
Hybrid applications combine the development speed and exibility
of web-based applications with the feature-rich environment and perfor-
mance that only a native application can provide. This second generation

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