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The Future of Mobile App Development

The Future of Mobile App Development

The future of Mobile App Development

Over the years, smartphones and mobile devices have become our lifelines. From tracking the weather to reading what was on Elon Musk’s mind last night, we are immensely dependent on our devices for just about everything. Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular, and many businesses are hopping on the app wagon in the hopes of expanding their brands. With the increase in mobile apps came the amplified need for mobile app developers. Mobile app development has rapidly grown within a decade and continues to be a highly profitable tech sector. But will it always be a lucrative field? What does the future hold for mobile app development? Stay tuned to find out.

What is Mobile App Development?

Mobile application development is the process of making software that runs on smartphones and other hand-held devices which use Android or iOS. Like web application development, mobile app development has its roots in traditional software development. The only difference is that mobile apps are written specifically to take advantage of the unique features of a specific mobile device. For example, a health app is written to integrate the mobile’s pedometer to count the user’s footsteps. Hence, the process involves designing installable software bundles (code binaries, assets, etc.), implementing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on the devices.

Mobile apps and device operating systems

iOS from Apple and Android from Google are the two dominant mobile operating systems in the market today. While iOS powers Apple’s iPhones, Android is used by Google devices and many other OEMs to build their smartphones and devices. There are multiple similarities between these two OSes, but developing apps for each involves using different software development kits (SDKs) and development toolchains. Mobile app developers can build a multitude of apps on various devices by targeting both of these OSes.

Types of mobile apps

Before developing an app, mobile app developers need to determine which type they’ll be creating. Here’s a breakdown of the various kinds of mobile app development technologies:

  • Native apps – These apps are built using integrated development environments (IDEs) and languages for several mobile OSes. Native apps also enable developers to customize necessary features for the app.

  • Hybrid apps – These are web apps that act like native apps. They are developed using HTML, JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Hybrid apps can be created faster than native apps and cost less but aren’t as feature-laden as native apps.

  • Progressive web apps – PWA is a website that looks and behaves like a mobile app. These applications are developed with web technologies such as Facebook React Native.

  • Encapsulated apps – These run within a container app. An encapsulated app, such as Microsoft Power App drag-and-drop app creation tool, enables fledgling developers to build a mobile application efficiently.

  • Frameworks and libraries – These contain reusable codes written by other developers and can be used to accelerate the development of an app.

Artificial Intelligence
AI has already started gaining momentum and will continue to dominate the mobile app development landscape way into the future. It will bring more personalized app experiences that respond to users’ needs. Most AI apps will be developed using machine learning and predictive analytics, allowing mobile app developers to deliver a more personalized experience in their applications. Apps will be able to use user patterns to implement necessary actions without a nudge.

Internet of Things
IoT is an internet-connect network of globally-used digital devices that share and transfer data to the users. According to Statista, IoT is predicted to be one of the top trending software development technologies with $1.6 trillion by 2025. Mobile app developers will create an interactive bridge between the IoT progressive tools and the tech-savvy end-users.

Cross-platform development
Cross-platform SDKs such as Facebook’s React Native and Flutter help create mobile apps that can run across multiple OSes. Based on the ‘Write once, run everywhere’ concept, cross-platform mobile app development can reuse code to reduce the development cost. We’ll see a slicker app development on cross-platform apps since more than 50% of apps will be hybrids and run on multiple OSes.

AR and VR
We are going to see a lot more Augmented and virtual realities in our mobile apps. Businesses have started introducing these technologies in their brand’s apps to create a more personalized experience which may help to boost their sales. AR-based Software Development kits (SDKs) have already been released by Apple and Google, so there will likely be a swift rise in AR and VR apps for their devices.

We are as dependent on Wearables as we are on Smartphones. Wearables are at a stage where smartphones stood a decade ago. Statista’s report suggests that wearables had a 441.5 million user base in 2020, a whopping 26.1% year-on-year rise. These Wearables are IoT-enabled devices, and as we mentioned earlier, IoT-enabled apps are on the rise. However, they have separate use cases and a user base that effortlessly utilizes the wearable to complete day-to-day tasks.

Fancy a career in mobile app development?

Mobile devices have become ubiquitous – approximately two-thirds of the world’s population has a mobile device. That’s about 5 million unique mobile users. This also means that using mobile apps for everything from shopping to getting a ride, scheduling appointments, playing games, and tracking health has become commonplace on a mobile device.

As a result, the need for app developers has also surged and will likely increase at a neck-breaking pace for a long time. Startups and small-scale enterprises have also contributed to the demand of app developers by switching to any mobile ecosystems and are willing to pay handsomely to the right professional.

How to become a mobile app developer?
  • To learn mobile app development, an aspirant should first learn popular programming languages like C, C++. C# and Java.
  • Many companies these days look for app developers with at least a formal degree in –
    • Software Engineering
    • Mobile Application Development
    • Mobile Computing
    • Computer Science
  • App developers need to update their knowledge about the industry regularly. The best way to do this is by taking up training courses at intervals and, of course, by gaining industry experience.
What it's like to be a mobile app developer?

With the necessary qualifications and experience, an app developer can boast an annual salary between $110,000 to $125,000, depending on the company’s size and what programs you use to develop your mobile apps. Just like your salary, your responsibilities will also depend on the project and the experience you bring to the table.