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Objective-C versus Java for Smart Phone Applications

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Innovations in Computing Education

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.985.1 - 25.985.18



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Paper Authors

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Mohammad Rafiq Muqri DeVry University, Pomona

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James R. Lewis DeVry University, Pomona

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Objective-C versus Java for Smart Phone ApplicationsThe language of choice for iPhone development is Objective-C, while Java is primarily used fordeveloping applications on the Android platform. This paper compares Objective-C and javaprogramming techniques for smart phone applications and attempts to explain the differences inlanguage, platform, programming model, integrated development environment and the ease oftesting and integration for both Android as well as iPhone applications development.Objective-C is an elegantly reflective language based on C with added Smalltalk style objectoriented concepts which optimizes Model-view-Controller (MVC) software architecture. It isoften used in tandem with a fixed library of standard objects such as the proprietary Cocoaframework which is Apple’s native object oriented application programming interface for theMAC OS X or with GNUstep which features a free cross-platform, object oriented developmentenvironment.Android ships with a set of core applications including an email client, SMS program, calendar,maps, browser, contacts, etc., which are written using Java. Every Android application runs in itsown process, with its own instance of the Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM). The virtual machine isregister-based, and runs classes compiled by a Java language compiler. Android also includes a setof C/C++ libraries used by various components of the Android system through applicationframework.Despite the strong and supportive development community many students get overwhelmed withthe abundance of information for Android as well as for Apple. With so many tutorials andavailable reference guides, learning a new programming language that targets the smart phone ismore fun to teach in a class room environment.This paper demonstrates that building smart phone applications is not just limited to games, butalso how students can use it to build applications that inform and educate which can also exposestudents to even more topics which are not traditionally covered by conventional software courses.This paper thereby serves as an innovative way to expose technology students to this fascinatingtopic and give them a forum for creative development which challenges them to enhance theirskill-set through active learning in preparation for the forthcoming capstone senior projectengineering course sequence.

Muqri, M. R., & Lewis, J. R. (2012, June), Objective-C versus Java for Smart Phone Applications Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21742

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