Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-20-106


A mobile app runs on small devices such as smartphones and tablets. Perhaps, because of this, there is a common misconception that writing a mobile app is simpler than a desktop application. In this paper, we show that this is indeed a misconception, and it's the other way around. We perform a small experiment to measure the source code sizes of a desktop application and an equivalent mobile app written in the same language. We found that the mobile version is 19% bigger than the desktop version in terms of the source lines of code, and the mobile code is a lot more involved and complicated with code tangling and scattering. This coding overhead of the mobile version is mostly due to the additional requirements and constraints specific to mobile platforms, such as diversity and mobility.