Due to various software and hardware ecosystems, as well as irregular internet connectivity and bad app delivery methods, mobile application development seems like an impossible task to many. Even as mobile developers are trying to catch up to the transformation, the market is going to change in the following ways:
- Standalone apps are going to lose their shine
- New opportunities will come up through hardware-driven innovation
- Mobile competition is going towards ecosystems and accessories
- Front-end mobile experience is going to be dominated by composition
- There will be a huge acceleration in the merger of digital and physical worlds
- What all of these require is faster iteration and based on the situation, more interaction with the customer.
So, as per the API design, Forrester says, ‘a well-defined API ecosystem is required for a front-end (mobile or otherwise) experience to be flexible enough to adapt to continuously changing customer demands.’ Without this kind of flexibility, ‘firms are forced to maintain separate back-end architectures for each front-end channel, which is simply not scalable.’
But, the most surprising change in all of this may be the shift from standalone app development, which was considered to be ground zero for mobile development.
One of the big challenges in store for mobile application development services has been the fragmentation of operating systems, devices, screen sizes and a lot more. While the issue is native to the mobile landscape, it is particularly big for Android developers. To a certain point, mobile developers have adjusted to fragmentation by disregarding it. They have optimized their apps for the masses, rather than making sure that their apps work on every device. But, this approach is no longer feasible.
Developers have to think how they can engage customers to use apps few times in a day, instead of them using the apps for 5-10 seconds, many times in a day. For this, development has to focus on widgets, favor notifications and cross-device interactions. All of these can be supported better in iOS 8 with new APIs. Developers have to understand and adjust to the fact that the age of self contained app is over.
Previously impossible, this has now become possible with the help of platform vendors such as Apple and Google, as they are opening up access to device sensors as well as platform services.