With the smartphones becoming cheaper and more capable, millions of people are getting connected to the Internet every year. This increase in the number of smartphone users also corresponds to an increase in demand for quality mobile applications. With Gigabytes of memory and fast processors becoming a norm in even the low-end smartphones, the mobile app development landscape is undergoing a rapid transformation to produce mainstream apps that can be used to do things, which were only possible to do on computers before. With the next billion people predicted to be connected to the Internet in the coming few years, a change in trend could be expected in software development for mobiles.
A large number of low cost smart-phones run on Android and capture a huge market in the low-end segment. However, Apple still has an upper hand in the higher end mobile segment where iPhone with a fixed set of hardware specifications enable the IOS developers to bring their ideas to the IOS ecosystem with greater ease in a less amount of time. On the other end, Android developers still have to develop their apps in such a way so that they offer optimum experience on both the low cost phones and the flagship phones. Google is trying to simplify this process by improving their SDK and by offering upgraded development tools to developers free of cost. Given these trends, the following trends could be expected in Mobile software development in the near future:
- Rise of Enterprise and Business Apps on Mobile:
Most of the enterprise applications used by businesses worldwide remained shy of entering the Mobile segment. Even when they did, the enterprise apps were not of the same quality and did not offer the same functionality compared to their desktop counterparts. However, with increasing availability of cheap processing power on mobile and growth of other computing fields like Cloud, major tech players like Microsoft are now finally acknowledging the Mobile platform by releasing high quality apps like Office Suite on both IOS and Android. Even processor intensive applications like video and photo editing now work seamlessly on Android and IOS mobile platforms. With RIM deciding to adopt Android in their BlackBerry phones, a slew of enterprise applications ranging from basic work management to secure video conferencing are being developed for Mobile platforms.
- Development of Mobile apps for Virtual Reality:
Since Google has introduced its Cardboard VR Kit, a large number of cost-effectiveVR lenses emerged on the market using the same specifications taking VR to the masses. This created a new market for Game and content developers to create new mobile apps for VR. Although, the field of Virtual Reality on Mobile is still in its infancy, with Google aggressively pushing for growth in VR app development, it can be expected to be the next big revolution in the field of entertainment. Mobile handset developers like Samsung and Lenovo are also offering their own variants of Cardboard derived headsets with proprietary tags. The major tools required for app development in VR are already being provided by Google with its Cardboard and Daydream app development programs.
- Greater development of Cloud Based Mobile Applications:
- Increased emphasis on Mobile app security:
With the increase in the number of Mobile applications, users are trying to find a way to securely use these apps without revealing personal data. Many apps made by small developers do not follow safe practices while deciding on the level of the access their application would require. Such applications can have loopholes, which may allow a hacker to snoop in on your mobile device in search of personal information and sensitive data. With the growth that the Mobile segment is experiencing, such security concerns are poised to increase. Therefore, a greater emphasis will be placed on the Mobile security and new features wouldbe introduced in the popular mobile platforms to constantly monitor the activities of all the running applications and detect any deviant behavior. The mobile platforms like IOS and Android can be expected to become much safer for users in the coming future by adopting features and technology, which will enable users to protect their privacy and personal data. Mobile security will also play a large part in the development of enterprise applications since they require greater protection to prevent loss of corporate data.
- Higher Personalization of Mobile Apps:
Many modern day mobile apps use their user data to tweak their app and offer highly personalized experiences. For example, a global news outlet can release a mobile app that caters to all the citizens of the world. This app will be able to offer local and more personalized stories that happen around the user based on his geographical location and personal interests. This will profit both the user and the app developer, as the former will enjoy a more personalized experience while the latter will get an increased number of user views.
There is a major shift in the way the mobile applications are being developed today. With improvements in technology, both software and hardware, a higher number of quality mobile apps could be expected to make debut in the coming future. The mobile app market still has a huge untapped potential in it and has a long way to go before it matures. With increased accessibility to internet and cost effective mobile phones, it sure will be an exciting time to develop software for Mobile platforms.