Android, iOS, BlackBerry, HP webOS, Symbian OS, Bada from Samsung, and Windows Mobile support typical application binaries as found on personal computers with code which executes in the native machine format of the processor (the ARM architecture is a dominant design used on many current models). Windows Mobile can also be compiled to x86 executables for debugging on a PC without a processor emulator, and also supports the Portable Executable (PE) format associated with the .NET Framework. Windows Mobile, Android, HP webOS and iOS offer free SDKs and integrated development environments to developers.
Each of the platforms for mobile applications also has an integrated development environment, which provides tools to allow a developer to write test and deploy applications into the target platform environment.
Mobile applications are first tested within the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones to which developers may not have physical access. The following are examples of tools used for testing application across the most popular mobile operating systems.
It is Android Emulator which is patched to run on a Windows PC as a standalone app without having to download and install the complete and complex Android SDK. It can be installed and Android compatible apps can be tested on it.
It includes a mobile device emulator which mimics all of the hardware and software features of a typical mobile device (without the calls).
MobiOne Developer is a mobile Web IDE for Windows that helps developers to code, test, debug, package and deploy mobile Web applications to devices such as iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and the Palm Pre.
It is a web browser based simulator for quickly testing iPhone web applications. This tool has been tested and works using Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2 and Safari 3.
It gives a pixel-accurate web browsing environment and it is powered by Safari. It can be used while developing web sites for the iPhone. It is not an iPhone simulator but instead is designed for web developers who want to create 320 by 480 (or 480 by 320) websites for use with iPhone. iPhoney will only run on Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later.
There are a variety of official BlackBerry simulators available to emulate the functionality of actual BlackBerry products and test how the BlackBerry device software, screen, keyboard and trackwheel will work with application.
Several initiatives exist both from mobile vendor and mobile operators around the world. Application developers can propose and publish their applications on the stores, being rewarded by a revenue sharing of the selling price. Most famous is Apple's App Store, where only approved applications may be distributed and run on iOS devices (otherwise known as a walled garden). With extraordinary speed Google's Android Market counting (at the moment) the 2nd largest number of apps and which are running on devices with Android OS. HP / Palm, Inc have also created the Palm App Catalog where HP / Palm, Inc webOS device users can download applications directly from the device or send a link to the application via a unique web distribution method. Recently, mobile operators such as Telefonica Group and Telecom Italia have launched cross-platform application stores for their subscribers. Additionally, mobile phone manufacturers such as Nokia has launched Ovi app store for Nokia smartphones. The Windows Phone Marketplace is the fastest growing application store in history, with more than 100,000+ apps (including Xbox games) available as of 7-11-2012.
There are many patents applications pending for new mobile phone apps. Most of these are in the technological fields of Business methods, Database management, Data transfer and Operator interface.
On May 31, 2011, Lodsys asserted two of its four patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,620,565 ("the '565 patent") on a "customer-based design module" and U.S. Patent No. 7,222,078 ("the '078 patent") on "Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Units of a Commodity Across a Network." against the following application developers:
Wulven Game Studios of Hanoi, Vietnam