The mobile app industry is an emerging and exciting field to watch out for. It has grown by leaps and bound over the last decade and would continue to do so in 2016 and beyond. What would mobile app development entail in the future? What can we expect, given the current state of the industry and with knowledge of how it has evolved over the past few decades?
Here are the five rising trends that we believe will define the future of mobile app development.
Cross-platform and Cross-device Development
When it comes to mobile platforms, we tend to default to iOS, Android, and to some extent towards Windows Mobile. Even as iOS maintains its firm grip on the high-end market, Android seeking to dominate with devices at lower price-points and Windows Mobile grows steadily. We’ve reached a stalemate in the war of the platforms. However the range of mobile devices is ever increasing. However, Android devices alone span over 18,000 different types in the year 2014, according to a study held by Open Signal.
Creating apps that work easily on multiple platforms and devices is a challenge which is fast becoming easier with cross platform and cross device development. Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to mobile app development, we’ll be seeing a rise in cross-platform mobile development tools such as HTML5 to build hybrid mobile apps that work well across different platforms and devices.
Mobile App Development for the IoT
Development of mobile app is no longer limited to mobile phones and tablets and now extends to wearables and Internet of Things. We’re heading right into an era of cloud computing powering Smart-Everything and one in which our smart devices do not simply live in isolation. Mobile app development for the Internet of Things is expected to be the next big milestone to look forward to.
With the rising popularity of Android Wear and the big launch of Apple Watch into the smart watch market, we’re seeing a shift away from phones and tablets. We’ve only just started to explore the true potential of wearables.
We’ve seen examples of other IoT products such as the self-driving car by Google, the Nest thermostat, the Ring that controls everything, the fridge that reads your tweets and so on. As devices start to get even more interconnected, the opportunity for software to add value to these smart devices becomes ever greater.
This research by Vision Mobile published in earlier this year on the state of mobile app development reveals that about 53% of mobile developers are working on IoT projects.
Tools for Developers
The future of mobile app development will see more developers building specialized tools for developers. The market of mobile app development tools is already on the rise. Powerful cross-platform tools that make it easier for developers to build mobile apps across multiple platforms are on the rise.
There are third-party tools for almost every step of a mobile developer’s workflow, from cloud servers, app analytics to MBaaS or Mobile Back-end as a Service. A relatively new model of cloud service that enables developers to connect and manage the back-end of their mobile apps via the cloud, MBaaS is a trendy fast-growing business. Another future trend is the evolution of smarter mobile deep linking tools that will transform the user experience by better connecting different devices and/or platforms, and enable us to discover new apps via relevant content on the web.
With tens of thousands of apps being released every year, the mobile app development is becoming a race against time. The future of mobile app development will focus on shortening the life cycles of production. This goes hand in hand with the rise of third-party tools that are meant to reduce the tedious work actually performed by mobile developers today.
Businesses are perpetually pushing to launch apps as soon as possible. Brilliant app ideas have to be realised earlier rather than later for fear of some other competitor filling up the market gap before you get there.
The way we approach mobile app development will also change with time. We are already seeing a radical shift with use of lean methodologies, lean UX, and the emphasis on prototyping, testing, and learning before building. We’re starting to work in sprints, to validate our products as early as possible to achieve maximum gain and minimal loss.
Mobile Apps for the Enterprise
The biggest opportunities to be found in the future of mobile app development will be enterprise apps rather than consumer apps. It is more difficult to monetize consumer apps. Businesses, on the other hand, are a lot more willing to part with their cash if the product promises them greater productivity and reduced overall costs.
This study by Vision Mobile reveals that almost half of mobile enterprise app developers easily earn over $10k per month compared to only 19% of developers who work solely on consumer apps. We’ll see a greater number of mobile developers targeting enterprises in the coming years.
Global Development and Outsourcing
Global outsourcing for mobile app development will also rise in the coming years, driven mainly by lower production costs and the improved quality of service and development offered by companies and developers offshore. According to a report by ContractIQ, mobile app developers in the US charge a median of $150 per hour compared to approximately $35 in South America and Eastern Europe. It is increasingly common knowledge that South American and Eastern European mobile developers are very capable of producing quality work.
As mobile devices become a part of everyday life for a greater part of the world, mobile technology will change the social and economic aspects of life across the globe. For instance, a 2014 UNESCO study suggested that mobile technology could help tackle illiteracy and improve education in developing countries. Globally, we foresee that there will be a push for more mobile apps that could help to save lives and improve the quality of lives in developing countries.
Srishti Innovative is a leading technology services company for web, mobile apps and game development. We offer end-to-end services for application development across all major platforms such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry & Windows. We are a team of experienced applications developers ready to take your digital offerings to the next level. We have created over 1700+ applications for our client globally across key verticals such as Healthcare, Financial Services, Retail, Travel, Media and Entertainment, etc.