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How will the Internet of Things impact mobile application development

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/a-image)

Today, we are in the world wherein mobile apps have dominated the market. A mobile app development software and mobile apps functions more like a bridge for forward-thinking organisations trying to create smarter devices that could boost each and every aspect of people’s lives. It could be said that mobile apps have created the foundation for the rise of the Internet of Things. Developing a mobile application is not only a viable option for businesses to keep up with the rapid pace of competition but also provide convenience to people from all walks of life, wherever they may be located in the world.

Already, the IoT has changed the face of developing mobile apps. In another decade, we could expect thousands of jobs in this space. However, to achieve the ultimate goal of making everyone’s lives easier, developers should first must go through the pains of creating infrastructure as well as platforms from the ground up. Developing a mobile app is the same as developing a web app and has its roots in more traditional software development. Nonetheless, there’s one critical difference and that mobile apps often are specifically written to take advantage of the unique features that a mobile device could offer. Let’s take for example a gaming app could be written to take advantage of the accelerometer of the iPhone.

As the IoT continue evolving at sky-rocketing speed, the concept of smart homes, smart cities, connected machines and cars would flourish. In this environment, mobile devices, including tablets, wearables and of course smart phones function as the main interface through which we could interact with Internet of Things enabled devices. Already, mobile devices are empowered with sensors and applications, which could reveal great information detail regarding the users. Aside from geo-location information, smart phones and tables could trace even light condition, orientation of the device and many more information. Mobile devices come with numerous connectivity choices, such as Bluetooth, WI-Fi, cellular and NFC, which enable them to communicate to other sensors and devices. It’s the default qualities of mobile devices, which put them at the IoT ecosystem’s core.

Technology continues to amaze at as it evolves fast. Nowadays, a smart phone could interact with smart watches as well as a fitness band to ease and boost the user experience further. As a matter of fact, there are already some hotels that have begun replacing card and key based access to rooms with a smart phone. To enter the room, you only have to open the hotel application in the mobile device and proceed. Moreover, IoT also enables operating the office access system remotely and even lets you monitor your garage door from anywhere. Mobile connectivity and built-in sensors strengthen the IoT ecosystem, making a new world of development and opportunities in various sectors in our society, including travel, healthcare, education, retail and a whole lot more.

Benefits of a mobile app

1. Customers need not play the waiting game. Mobile apps offer a much faster option than mobile web browsing. Web browsing requires users to launch a web browser, enter URL and wait for the website to load. In a mobile app however, it only takes seconds since majority of information is stored in the app itself, which make it possible to function offline.

2. Applications boost customer engagement. Customers are calling out mobile apps since they connect them quickly to businesses that they commonly need. Businesses use apps to boost processes and increase the accessibility level. A mobile app connects and interacts with customers seamlessly, making it a valuable tool for contemporary businesses.

3. Applications are constant reminder of the business. Mobile app reinforce the brand through increasing visibility. An app provides more presence, which help build loyalty with customers.

4. Apps lower costs. Applications minimise the costs of SMS messages and paper newsletters. They streamline communications by instantly, securely and directly messaging customers. Applications minimise the staff workload through phone calls and information requests.

It’s about time for app development companies and businesses to come together to create mobile apps that are IoT-friendly. Mobile applications could help create a mechanism wherein information that’s transmitted by objects via integrated sensors would be received by the application in real-time. Mobile apps have revolutionised the mobile environment, acquiring more power in the hands of customers and more business for entrepreneurs. In the dynamic tech industry, the mobile app development market is at its peak. It’s the need of the hour and the latest fruitful trend in business. There are various reasons for a business to adopt a mobile app, but some of the generalised reasons show to us the logical relevance of mobile app development, which are the following:

❖            The world has become mobile. There’s no denying that the world has gone mobile and there’s no turning back. Consumers use their smart phones to look for almost anything under the sky. Unlike traditional websites, mobile apps thrive as an intuitive browsing and buying alternative, making the mobile app presence inevitable for business growth.

❖            Build a direct marketing channel. Reaching customers directly is possible with a mobile app. All information, such as promotions and special sales is right at your fingertips. Through push notifications, you could get closer to direct interaction and could remind customers about services and products easily.

❖            Customer visibility all the time. You know for a fact that the average person spends over two hours surfing apps on a mobile app on a daily basis. Only a few handful apps make up the bulk of the entire usage, but the presence over the device is a future lead since the human brain doesn’t keep things unnoticed.

❖            Create brand and recognition. A mobile app could greatly contribute to awareness of the brand. It’s like a blank billboard sign for marketing content. The more frequently you could get customers involved with the app, the sooner they would be inclined to purchase.

❖            It can become a social platform. With the people’s obsession with social media growing, integrating social features, like likes, comments, in-app messaging and more in the app could help a business boost its social standing.

❖            Better sales and service. Mobile app is changing the way we purchase and sell products and services. Also, it has changed the way customers view and find ways of analysing a product before buying.

❖            Rich date capture in real-time. Mobile application make it easy to gather information on customer preferences on the application. Information could be used in delivering personalised content relevant to the consumer and for making decisions on how to boost the app according to customer behaviour.

❖            Mobile apps are extremely convenient to customers. Usually, apps are designed with the main focus on usability. Apps in fact were for the most part designed to offer usability to the next level. The professionalism revealed in your design reflects building recognition and trust in the targeted audience via the application.

❖            Accessibility. The flexible accessibility of mobile apps is one of the major reasons of its popularity. A mobile app could be accessed 24/7 on any device, anywhere in the world.

❖            Boot customer engagement. Customers could stay engaged via a mobile app through various means, such as messaging within the app that could make a difference in communicating with customers. It could also mean an attractive and innovative animation to keep customers coming to the app again and again.

When mobile apps and interactive physical objects are well-synced, the Internet of Things could add great value to us. Aside from mobile devices, clothes and wearables too are seeing a massive impact of the IoT trend. At present, open source platforms, like Samsung and Thread offer useful tools for developing apps that are IoT-friendly, which contribute to the internet of things ecosystem. Yet, there’s no denying that the Internet of Things is an amateur industry and so many application developers are in a wait-and-see mode right now.

Stay on top of the game in this competitive market with the trends in mobile application development. Trends today and will continue in the days to come include:

➢           The year of small businesses. Industry watchers predict a rise in small businesses in the online space. Self-employed entrepreneurs and small to medium businesses are going online to boost sales and boot brand value. Fat app development tools and a huge app community makes it affordable for small businesses to look for an online presence with efficient and simple mobile web app.

➢           Security is key. The huge number of online payment modes made security a relevant trend. Advanced SSL, encryption and HTTPS ensure that e-commerce will remain safe and trustworthy. The development community anticipates growth in maintenance projects that involve privacy enforcement, storage security, and information confidentiality and secure logging.

➢           Augmented reality and smart apps. Utility apps have their value, but smart applications with augmented reality or AR are the future. AR apps have a wide range of uses and ensure a composite view via superimposing the reality of users with virtual images that are computer-generated. Customer engagement and interactivity are enhanced, thus boosting sales productivity and business brand.

➢           Quick deployment for bigger businesses. Business processes relied on micro-apps that are HTML-based, which assisted in mono-functional, simple and targeted operations. The multi-featured enterprise mobile applications have been efficient in project collaboration and management. It’s now trendy for developers to rely on agile development, deployment strategies, continuous delivery to offer advanced mobile applications with improved features.

➢           Go Apple, go swift. Apple mobile apps developed with Swift have become fashionable recently. The native apps make use of the advanced programming features of Swift to develop high-performing apps that overcome tough competition from JavaScript, Perl and Objective-C.

➢           Android instant apps. The traditional approach to mobile applications involved downloading and installing shareware/freeware followed by a comprehensive app with license purchase. Also, monetisation has been achieved with other marketing and advertising channels. The animation and design of these trendy instant applications ensure a beautiful user experience.

➢           Big Data world. Big data and data mining transformed the information gathering and data analytics landscape. Information experts and technology analysts predicted that this year is a big year of mobile apps and big data integration. Social networking data, mobile sensors and user flows facilitate innovative quality and security assessment exploration for big data in the mobile apps context.

➢           Cloud and internet. Powerful mobile applications with direct cloud interaction will revolutionise the smart phone environment. Phones requiring less internal cloud-based and memory mobile app traffic are on the rise. The UI/UX rules are bound to change with easy integration of smart devices, smart phones, instant apps and cloud storage. The IoT isn’t just real, but it’s big and is a trendsetter today.

➢           Mobile payments that are innovative. New mobile payment options for mobile commerce are unleashed through proprietary brands, like Microsoft, Apple, Credit cards, Samsung, debit cards, PayPal are replaced through Microsoft Wallets and Google and Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as well. Still, security is a huge concern and quality analysts have their hands full today.

The future for mobile apps appear challenging and bright with innovative and enticing possibilities. Keep in mind that quality, always will remain a constant and thus a major component in developing mobile apps, which are futuristic for both mass and niche markets. Whether you are an owner of a business, a coder, designer, quality analyst or an innovative application developer, great times lie ahead in the busy mobile application development world. To wrap up, let me say this that the constant development in the Internet of Things, mobile applications lead to a better connected world. We expect that in the future, majority of the development efforts for mobile apps would focus on creating device-agnostic browser-based apps. We have yet to see how the Internet of Things would evolve in the next five years. One thing for sure though, the world of developing any mobile app would continue to evolve to meet the changing requirements of the people and the world.

Ritesh Mehta, senior Technical Account Manager, TatvaSoft Australia
Image source: Shutterstock/a-image

Ritesh Mehta
Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specialises in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management. Ritesh has a strong ability to lead an entire software development team and manage any project from scratch to final completion within the scheduled time and budget. And of course, his good rapport with clients makes him a trusted technical advisor and IT solution partner.