Web Development on Tablets – How Apps Have Changed the Game


Tablets have been labeled as media consumption devices. Watching videos, playing games, browsing the internet are regarded suitable for tablets. So can these gadgets be put to use for heavy-duty working, like web development and designing? Do they have the potential to replace laptops and computers in this field? Let’s delve deeper…

Laptops and Computers Preferred…

Most designers were already accustomed to using physical input devices, like mouse and keyboard, when tablets came into the market. A sudden switch to a full touchscreen device, for designing activities, posed several inconveniences. Scrolling/navigating and hence debugging, were much simpler using a mouse or keyboard, than using a finger on the touchscreen. Mouse and keyboard clicks were more precise than finger taps. Many developers also had qualms with working on tablets because of the onscreen virtual keyboard, which had limited keys, and which occupied a considerable amount of space, obscuring the display. Using tablets with docks or Bluetooth-mouse/keyboard was definitely an option. However, one still preferred using laptops and desktop computers, which had larger screens with higher resolution. Plus, these older devices were more powerful in terms of specs – processor, GPU, RAM, and so on.

Apps Changed the Game…

And then one fine day… Bang! And in came the Apps! The advent of the Apps turned the tables around in the game. Tablets, which were once typecasted as content consumption devices suddenly found doorways to being used for productive work. The 2 most common tablet platforms – iOS from Apple and Android from Google, both support their own sets of applications, which simplify plenty of tasks.

What Apps Can Do…

Talking in terms of web designing and developing – here are some essential tasks involved in this field:-

  • 1) Coding
  • 2) Content creation
  • 3) Multimedia creation – graphics, videos and so on.
  • 4) Hosting and Maintenance related tasks.
  • The Android Market and the Apple App Store offer ample apps for the execution of these tasks on tablets. While some of these apps are free, others come for a fee.

    Coding – HTML, CSS and JavaScript editor apps are available for either platforms, where web developers can create, edit and test web pages. In case developers want to brush up on their HTML and CSS skills, there are look-up apps or cheat sheets as well. There are apps for viewing the source code of webpages too.

    Content Creation – A number of Text editors are available for content writing. Apart from these editors, there are certain apps that convert speech into text, which can specially come in handy while traveling. WordPress apps for content uploading are present in either of the online stores as well.

    Multimedia – When it comes to hardcore creative work, like artistic drawings, laptops and computers definitely have an edge over tablets. However, one advantage that tablets have over computers is the rear camera. Most tablets feature a reasonably high resolution camera for capturing images and recording videos. Then again there are specific apps for editing these images and videos, making changes to them, like cropping/trimming, rotating, adding special effects and more. Thus, working with images and videos, and even uploading them to websites is simplified on tablets.

    Hosting and Maintenance – FTP apps can be found in both virtual stores, for accessing remote servers on which websites are hosted. These apps offer full-fledged features like transferring, editing and modifying files. With SEO being the buzz of the town these days, there are several applications which provide search engine metrics (like visitors, page views, visits, pages per visit, bounce rates) and other stats, that can help with SEO activities.

    Thus most web designing and development tasks can be accomplished with tablets. So are these gadgets ready to replace laptops and computers? Not yet. Despite the fact that Apps have brought a productive aspect to tablets, these gadgets are not yet ready to oust their grand-dads from the market. The older generation is easier to use in certain cases and more powerful than the tablets. Most developers and designers however, use both computers and tablets for work. At a desktop they rely on their computers and at other times, the tablets come into action. So what about synchronization? The handy apps take care of that as well. Cloud-based apps are available for synchronizing files and other data for anywhere access. Thus, while they are not fully fledged web designing and development gadgets, tablets along with apps, have definitely brought in more flexibility and time saving options into the field.



    About the author
    This post has been written by Trinity Nick, who is a blogger. A technology-freak, she has contributed technical articles to several websites. Currently, she is working on a project on the website – minecraftserverhosting.org.

    • August 21, 2011
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