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Synergy Mobile: Behind the Scenes

Daniel Streicher Blog 0 Comments

At Synergy, one of our core talents is providing mobile solutions for our customers. Traditionally, this has involved projects that task us to produce data-driven, interactive web applications. While these applications are still bound to be viewed through a website, one way we are looking to branch out our services is by developing native applications for phone and tablet devices. Much like you can download a great fitness tracker app from the app store on your phone, soon you will be able to download an app made by folks at Synergy! Looking forward into our commercial ventures, I want to give you a technical dive behind the scenes—specifically, how we are using our talented web developers to build phone and tablet apps.

When it comes to building web applications for our customers, our web developers make use of CSS stylesheets and rich JavaScript frameworks that can render dynamic HTML content. These types of content (CSS, JavaScript, and HTML) are the fundamental building blocks of the websites you see and browse every day. For building native applications, we are making use of a specific library to leverage our expertise in web apps: an open source library from Apache called Cordova (https://cordova.apache.org/). Cordova allows us to build mobile apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which happen to be the same types of content our web developers are familiar with! This allows us to apply our knowledge to the world of native phone and tablet apps. Another advantage is being able to build for multiple platforms with one code base; rather than having to build specific versions for say, iPhone and Android, we can use the same for both. What Cordova does to make this possible is provide us with a skeleton of a native application, which then renders a web view in full screen to display our content and provide user input. This is similar to a browser app you might have on your phone (i.e. Safari, Chrome). Cordova also provides us special plugins to enable device specific content, like your photo library or contact list. With all these new tools at our disposal, we have been hard at work extending our capabilities to develop even better mobile solutions.

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