According to e-marketer by the end of the year 2016, there will be 2 billion smartphone users worldwide. Over half of mobile phone owners will have smartphones by the year 2018. Inexpensive smartphones and majorly free apps have provided a definite shift to the mobile app development landscape the world over. According to Statista, in the year 2017, the number of mobile app downloads worldwide is expected to reach 268.69 billion.
Mobile app development industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Total global mobile app revenue is expected to grow from $45.37 Billion in 2015 to $76.53 Billion in 2017. Certain trends have been emerging. We are going to look at those trends.
Adoption by New Industries
Sectors and Industries that have traditionally been slow in adopting new technology have come around, having realized the value of having mobile applications embedded in the mix of things. Developers are extending the usage of the products beyond what it was meant to be when it left the factory with the help of internet and internet-facilitated applications like electronics, sensors, network connectivity giving new meanings to the term ‘Internet of things’ every day. Businesses in construction, agriculture and healthcare have opened up to the new possibilities of ‘Internet of things’. For example, major consumer technology companies Like Amazon (Echo), Xiaomi, and AT&T (digital life) are vying to make our homes smart. We can expect interesting developments on the forefront of AI and AI driven conversational and interaction platforms.
Growing concerns with Data Management
An enormous amount of data is being generated and there are growing concerns over security and storage of data. Data center managers will need to think of and deploy more forward-looking capacities to enable the business processes especially for the ones that are real-time business processes. They would need to think innovatively to manage both consumer driver personal data and enterprise-driven big data at the application servers. Their monitoring capabilities would be going up a few notches. Managing mobile application server would mainly include minimizing demands on bandwidth and battery.
Addressal of App Security Concerns
App development companies will come together to address the concerns regarding App security. Hacking of mobile apps and leakage of information both personal and corporate can wreak the app economy.
Independent IT security testing authority AV – Test.org took a close look at wearable fitness trackers and found data leakage and poor security. According to a recent report on State of Application Security, when 126 mobile health and finance apps in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan were assessed, 90% of them did not adequately address two or more of the Open Web Application Project (OWASP) Top 10 Mobile Risks leaving them vulnerable. Security of sensitive data will become more important because by the end of the year 2016 more than 50% of Global 1000 companies will store consumer sensitive data in the public cloud. The predictions also say through 2017, 75% of mobile security breaches will be as the result of mobile application misconfigurations such as misuse of cloud storage with enterprise data. Challenging times are definitely ahead for developers and entrepreneurs.
Prominence of Cross-Platform tools
Cross-platform tools are making their presence felt and through 2016-2017 many of them will get more efficient by rounding off their sharp edges which will make them more useful and efficient.
Tools like Xamarin, Sencha, PhoneGap, Unity3D, Appcelerator, Cocos2d etc. are slowly developing their communities and are making inroads. Developers will focus on shortening the development life-cycles and reduce the timeframe from ideation to launch. Quick to market approach will invariably include cross-platform tools. There will be more demand for teams which are multi-skilled, know several languages as there could be one team of developers working on different platforms who share common knowledge. Such teams bring down the maintenance costs. There could be several more rapid app development frameworks and platforms available that could help with cross-platform app development.
DIY Low Code Apps
There is always a shortage of skilled mobile developers. The app development landscape is observing a new approach of developing apps which is a DIY “Low code” or “No-code”. This rapid application development way of app development aims to put app development in the hands of non-coders. It can also be termed as a Citizen Developer’s trend. Solutions that provide low-code or no-code functionalities for app development rely on drag-and-drop functionality, project templates, prebuilt components, WYSIWYG design, and automated services to enable the coders who do not know coding to develop apps.
Aligning with the Low code requirement Microsoft introduced PowerApps – new low code cross platform mobile app development solution, Kony Inc. and Exicon Ltd. came together to provide a “plug and play” solution for enterprise mobile development efforts, IBM entered into a partnership with Ionic to combine the drag and drop design capabilities of Ionic creator with IBM’s Mobile First Platform and Telerik announced the addition of low-code features to its Mobile Development Platform for non-coders amongst others. There are other tools like Como, Appsmakerstore, Appy Pie, Apptive, and Yapp amongst others which can help with DIY app development.
Year of Enterprise Apps
2016 is going to be the year of enterprise apps. Businesses have realized the value of apps and to improve their reach and efficiency they will be focussing more and more on the enterprise apps this year. They have immense potential to improve the bottom lines of the companies. The number of enterprise applications optimized for mobility will also quadruple by 2016. How people do business and how they access enterprise solutions is changing. Soon the days will come when clients will assess and select a new software package from a software company based on the quality of its mobile version. Companies are aware of this fact and therefore, they are investing their resources on the mobile apps.
Mobile app development industry is evolving technologically at a rapid pace. There will be important consolidations and partnerships that will enable all round rapid development in the industry. The industry is expected to be worth 77 Billion in revenue by the year 2017. There will be stress on data collection, management, and data analytics which will provide necessary information to key decision makers. There are not going to be any big surprises and in general, these trends will define and shape the mobile app landscape.
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