Developing mobile educational apps: development strategies, tools and business models

Serena Pastore

Abstract


The mobile world is a growing and evolving market in all its aspects from hardware, networks, operating systems and applications. Mobile applications or apps are becoming the new frontier of software development, since actual digital users use mobile devices as an everyday object. Therefore also in an educational environment, apps could be adopted in order to take advantage of mobile devices diffusions. Developing an app should not be a decision linked to the trends, but must follow specific strategies in choosing target devices, mobile platforms, and distribution channels that in these contexts usually go through e-commerce sites called stores (e.g., Apple Store, Google Play, Windows Phone store). Furthermore the design of an educational mobile app requires a careful analysis on the methodologies to be adopted and the available tools especially if the aim is to build a successful and useful app. Very often there is a tradeoff between the costs associated with the development that requires a lot of technical and programming skills. The economic return is neither high nor guaranteed considering the business models offered by the major stores. The paper deals with the approaches to apps development analyzing methodologies, distribution channels and business models in order to define the key points and strategies to be adopted in an educational context.

Keywords


Mobile apps development; cross-platforms mobile tools; native apps; e-commerce; hybrid apps; Sencha Touch; Apache Cordova

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