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Application Authentication with JSON Web Tokens

Published on July 22, 2010 at springbox.com

As the power and proliferation of mobile devices increases, mobile applications are increasingly an effective and easy way for companies to extend their services or products to existing customers — and obtain new ones.

iPhone apps are often the first thing people think of when talking about mobile applications, but there are numerous other options. And, as the power of these other options increase, it becomes just as a good idea to make apps for other devices as it is to make an application for the iPhone.

Let’s say you have a website that provides a service. Instead of producing an iPhone app, it might be better to develop a mobile web app, an application that runs in a mobile browser. A mobile web app would reach almost every mobile device because almost all mobile devices have a browser to access the internet. And with most mobile browsers being just as powerful — if not more powerful than desktop browsers — it’s very easy to make a version of your web app into a mobile app.

Technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and SQLite simplify the process. Yes, many mobile browsers have database support built in, so you can store and retrieve data using JavaScript. Frameworks such as jQuery make it very easy to create powerful, more streamlined mobile apps.

Android mobile devices are increasing in popularity because virtually every cell phone carrier offers an Android-powered smartphone. Tools such as Appcelerator make it easy to create Android apps in no time. Plus, the Android Market has no wait time to have your app ready for users to download.

Up to this point, I’ve only mentioned smartphones. They’re only part of the mobile device equation. The next time you’re thinking about a mobile app, consider some devices such as: