Monthly Archives: October 2015

You Know You Have Found A Good Mobile App Developer When…

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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According to a recent survey, there are close to 2.4 million mobile app developers (indie developers and professionals from companies combined) worldwide. This whopping figure is often a double-edged sword for people looking to make an app – since all developers are not (understandably) equally good, in terms of professional skill, experience, and even business sincerity. You will know that you have managed to come across a proficient app developer when:

 

  1. (S)he knows all about programming – For instance, an iPhone app development expert should have working knowledge of all the popular programming languages – before (s)he starts working with Objective-C and Swift 2.1 (his/her niche). If you get stuck with a bad programmer, your app might not see the light of day…ever!
  2. (S)he has ample RELEVANT experience – The keyword is ‘relevant’ over here. A person might have a decade of experience of making software for the Android platform – but delegating your iOS app project to him/her would be a folly. Look around for developers who have sufficient experience in handling app development projects similar to your own.
  3. (S)he is prompt in response – When you shortlist a few app companies and request for free app quotes from them – the last thing you want is having to wait for weeks before they get back to you. A company or a freelance app developer who responds to initial client queries within 24-48 hours (max.) is always preferable.
  4. (S)he has in-depth market knowledge – You spend days and weeks to nurture your app idea – the idea that you think is the most unique in the world. An experienced mobile app entrepreneur might, however, be able to point out that similar apps already exist at the stores. A developer worth his/her salt will always know whether a market gap exists where a particular app idea can fit in. Such a professional would never jump at making ‘me-too’ app projects – which are likely to be overlooked.
  5. (S)he stays updated with the latest mobile technology – iOS 9 is out, watchOS 2 is out, tvOS is out, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is out. New versions of the integrated development environments (IDEs) of both Apple and Google Android have been made available to developers as well. Stay well away from app-makers who do not have proper knowledge of the latest development tools, techniques and resources. If the knowledge-pool of a developer is static, the stuff (s)he churns out would be static as well.
  6. (S)he is not vague about anything – If the representatives of a mobile app company says that they will complete your project ‘very quickly’, or ‘as soon as possible’, run a mile from it. What you want is a specific deadline within which your project will be complete (this is particularly important as app development cycles are getting shorter). The same goes for the app development costs. Read the fine print, and if anything seems ambiguous, ask questions.
  7. (S)he has, and can prove, professional track record – Any random indie developer can say that (s)he has developed ‘X’ number of iOS or Android applications. However, only a genuine professional or app development company will actually be able to prove these claims. Never shy away from asking references of the previous clients of a developer company. If the latter is indeed good, it would be only too happy to provide you with such details.
  8. (S)he thinks from the user’s’ perspective – A great coder need not necessarily be a good mobile app developer. Newbies, in particular, have a tendency to try to showcase their coding expertise – and often end up making apps that are overly complicated and unusable. Always hire a developer who appreciates the fact that – if an app is not user-friendly, it is practically worthless. The ability of thinking from the perspective of target users is an important quality. Think of it this way – if a mobile app for kids cannot be operated by children on their own, of what use is it?
  9. (S)he is creative and systematic – Before you delegate your app project to a developer, inquire about how his/her team would be proceeding with the task. An expert app-maker will invariably show you a flowchart of how the development process would proceed – and how (s)he plans to meet the pre-specified deadline. In addition, find out what creative inputs the developer can add to your idea. Coding for apps is sheer drudgery for many people – you certainly do not want to end up hiring one of them!
  10. (S)he is receptive to feedback and suggestions – Even if you do not have the first idea about wireframing and creating app mockups, the process of making mobile applications should not be a veritable ‘black box’ to you. A bit of research will help you find many app companies, who regularly seek ideas, feedback and suggestions from their clients. Hiring such a company would be the best bet – if you want to transform your idea into an app in the way you want.
  11. (S)he does not demand hefty advance payments – Mobile app development is a specialized field of expertise, and a good developer would always know his/her worth. That, however, does not give the license to any company or freelance app developer to charge the entire fee (or a large chunk of it, anyway) in advance. There should be a proper payment schedule – with pre-determined percentages of the overall charge to be paid at different stages of the development process. Avoid making full payments before your app is complete.
  12. (S)he knows how to communicate – The relationship between an app developer and a client is one of mutual trust and understanding. That can easily break down if the former is unable – or is not willing to – communicate with you at regular intervals, providing updates and status reports on your project. From the first couple of email/telephonic interactions, you will get an idea regarding the communication skills of a mobile app professional. If things don’t seem suitable, look for another company.
  13. (S)he respects the intellectual property rights of the app owner – An Android or iPhone app developer is a hired professional working on your idea – nothing more, nothing less. At all points, you retain the ownership and all other intellectual property rights related to your app idea. Many app companies agree to sign non-competing documents at the time of providing app quotes. That’s a sign that there won’t be any intellectual property-related hassles in future.
  14. (S)he does not try to double up as the designer – There are two alternative scenarios here. First, if you have hired a freelance developer, (s)he should be collaborating with a professional graphic designer – while creating the interface and layout of your app. On the other hand, if you wish to do business with an app agency, make sure that it has separate personnel in charge of UI/UX designing, motion graphics and animation. Coding and designing are two entirely different, specialized fields – and different individuals/teams should be handling the two tasks.
  15. (S)he does not charge extra for app upgrades – For an app to enjoy sustained success (read: high download figures), it needs to have new versions coming out at regular intervals, with new features, bug fixes, additional platform support, etc. A developer is not supposed to charge you any extra amount of money for creating and releasing such upgrades. Get things clarified regarding this at the very outset.

 

A good mobile app developer would also be very particular about testing applications (on simulators and devices), before submitting them at stores. If you wish to create a mobile game, look for specialized game development experts – instead of general app developers. Making a mobile app becomes a lot simpler, safer and assured – when you have a good developer working for you.

Xcode 7 for iOS App Developers: What’s New?

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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Best features of xcode 7

 

Within a month of its release, the latest iteration of Apple’s integrated development environment – Xcode 7 – has received the thumbs-up from mobile software and app developers worldwide. Last week, Xcode 7.1 was made available (after 6 beta releases), with extended support for tvOS. In what follows, we will highlight some of the best new features in Xcode 7 for iPhone app development professionals:

 

  1. More robust support for Swift programming – Xcode 7 has a built-in ‘Swift 1.2 to 2.0’ migrator – making the task of upgrading source codes and programs a breeze for developers. The need for making all internal routines public for testing has also been done away with, thanks to the superior testability features of the framework (writing tests in Swift 2 for iOS apps can be done with ‘@testable import {ModuleName}’. Code reusability also gets a boost in Xcode 7, with developers being provided the option to add methods and properties to any particular protocol in their source codes.
  2. Smarter app testing – The all-new ‘Code Coverage’ feature in the latest Xcode version is a really handy addition for iOS app development experts. Small icons are displayed next to the blocks of code that are being tested, which helps coders to write tests for the blocks that have not been checked yet. The entire process of testing apps becomes more systematic, and chances of bugs remaining undetected get minimized.
  3. Testing apps on own devices – Staying with the topic of app testing for the moment – mobile app developers are surely liking this new option that Xcode 7 offers. No longer do they have to shell out an annual fee of $99 to test their applications on their own devices. In Xcode 7, all that developers have to do is sign in with their valid Apple IDs – and create, tweak around, and test their apps (that’s right, the paid Program Membership is no longer required). More power to iOS developers!
  4. Storyboarding gets a lot simpler – The new Xcode 7 framework allows professionals making iOS apps to create one main storyboard file, and store all the separate storyboards and view controller layouts directly linked to it. This, in essence, means allowing developers to work on only the relevant layout(s) at any time – without any chance of getting confused by other layouts (which can be the case in big storyboard files). What’s more, storyboarding in Xcode 7 also supports live rendering, offering coders a useful early preview of the visual features they wish to bake into their apps.
  5. Optimized for multiple platforms – As any Apple app developer would agree, one size definitely does not fit all – when it comes to making applications with Xcode. Xcode 7 includes SDKs for iOS 9, watchOS 2 and OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), and thankfully, the framework has several built-in ‘App Thinning’ tools to help developers churn out apps optimized for the different platforms. The ‘Slicing’ feature is worth a separate mention here – since it allows automated tagging of apps at the App Store, according to the targeted devices for each application. The new ‘Bitcode’ feature in Xcode 7, which allows prompt compilation of app codes into immediate representations, is yet another interesting addition. For applications that require additional content/resources after download, Xcode 7 also has a repository of ‘On Demand Resources’. The downloading and installation process of such resources is asynchronous.
  6. Stack Views in Interface Builder – Interface Builder, or IB, is a smart way of giving greater real-time control to iOS app developers than ever before. By adding Stack Views on the IB in Xcode 7, app developers can get two major advantages – firstly, collections of views can be seamlessly grouped together, resulting in greater code consistency and lesser error risks; and secondly, including all the required constraints also becomes considerably simpler. Since Interface Builder creates a single interface for all orientations and has cross-device support (including Storyboard referencing and the new iPad multitasking), the actual development cycle becomes shorter too.
  7. Test Navigator – As is already pretty much clear, Xcode 7 takes up the level of test-driven development by a couple of notches. The built-in ‘Test Navigator’ in this version of Apple’s IDE is a further proof of this. In the paired editors, the app codes and the written tests can be aligned side-by-side, allowing coders to work on them simultaneously. User Interface Testing (UI Testing) has also been made more comprehensive in the new Xcode version, with the help of the bots that are present on the Xcode server.
  8. Energy usage insights – Although slightly underrated, this feature, when used smartly, can offer valuable information to iOS developers. The ‘Energy Gauge’ for apps in Xcode 7 is a powerful addition in the overall code debugging setup in the framework. With the gauge, developers can monitor and detect how their apps are likely to affect the battery life of the devices they would be installed in. Abnormal spikes in the energy consumption of an app indicate that it would be a battery/bandwidth hog – and coders get an early chance to resolve this issue. In the Xcode build scheme, the ‘Address Sanitizer’ is also a debugging tool that deserves a mention.
  9. Newer, better Playgrounds – The ‘Playgrounds’ in Xcode 7 have a less cluttered feel than the ones in its predecessors. All the markups added to comments are displayed nicely, while the in-line placement of results makes for easier, quicker interpretation. Adding separate playgrounds to app projects is a breeze too – and it serves a range of functions, right from demonstrating the features of app codes, to showcasing how the APIs have been utilized in programs. The revamped Playgrounds also support all .swift files, and are ideal for creating and maintaining documentation while making an app.
  10. Updated support for Objective-C – Even as Swift has taken flight, professional iOS developers have maintained that it is not going to replace Objective-C anytime soon. Xcode 7, in fact, makes it easier to integrate Obj-C and Xcode, while working on app projects. With the ‘Nullability Annotation’ functionality, values (nil or otherwise) can be indicated directly from the source of the Objective-C code. Special ‘type information’ (particularly important when an app developer is migrating code from Obj-C to Swift) can be added to many classes, like NSDictionary, NSArray and NSSet. In place of the hard-coded explicit classes, coders can now work with more flexible constraints – by specifying objects as ‘_kindof’ types.
  11. Metal comes to Xcode – Xcode 7 is geared to be an absolute delight for developers of iOS games. New debugging tools have been built into the IDE, to support Metal – which is now supported on the Mac OS X platform. Rich and immersive scene editing is made possible (on a 3D immersive level), with the help of the impressive ‘Level Editor’ in SceneKit. Add the SpriteKit editors that allow developers to define and edit animations with events and timelines – and you get a perfect framework for mobile game development indeed. Xcode 7 focuses on creativity, and does a good job of it.
  12. More informative crash logs – And what’s more, these crash logs can be downloaded directly in Xcode 7. When an iPhone app developer clicks on the ‘Crashes’ tab in the ‘Organizer’ window, (s)he can view lists of all the crashes his/her applications have generated – along with their frequencies, and the portion of the codes that is causing these crashes. This, understandably, makes problem identification and app debugging a simpler task. Xcode 7 also supports TestFlight beta testing, which lets coders share their apps with target users, and get feedback on crashes.

 

The XCTest framework of Xcode has been bolstered with the UI Testing features of Xcode 7. Specific code snippets can be moved out of a Playground, by using the new ‘Auxiliary Sources’. Xcode 7.1 has arrived with a bundle of additional features – from tvOS support and Swift 2.1 integration, to storyboarding for 3D Touch and 2-factor authentication (apart from, of course, iOS 9.1 support). Xcode 7 is probably the most developer-friendly IDE released by Apple to date, and coders are relishing the challenge of making apps in this framework with the Swift 2 programming language.

12+1 Handy Tips For iPhone App Developers

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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These are exciting times for professional developers who are into creating apps for the iOS platform. The iOS 9 platform has been launched, along with Swift 2 and, of course, Xcode 7. If you wish to make apps for Apple Watch – there’s news for you too, for the watchOS 2 platform is already gaining in popularity among developers worldwide. It would be a folly to assume that simply jumping on the iOS development bandwagon would generate hefty profits though – for there are well over 272000 iPhone app developers worldwide – and the competition is, and will remain, fierce. Here are a few useful tips that would make coding for iOS 9 apps that much easier:

 

  1. Declare Constraints in the new way – The new Apple mobile platform has made declaring constraints much simpler – thanks to the developer-friendly ‘NSLayoutAnchor’ API. For the X and the Y axes, there are different subclasses in the new API, which also optimizes the generics present in Objective-C and Swift programming languages. For ensuring the validity of the constraints, the built-in type checkers of the API are used (the checking process is static).With the lack of warnings, debugging was a lot more complicated earlier – and iOS 9 is a welcome relief from all that.
  2. Do not forget 3D Touch – If you do, you will virtually be passing up a chance to add that additional touch of realism and excitement to your 3D gaming apps. 3D Touch is one of the most interesting new features in the newly-released iPhone 6S – and it opens up the opportunity for mobile app developers to customize their applications in a smarter, more user-friendly, and engaging manner. Integrating this feature in apps is fairly easy, and 3D Touch can (in fact, should!) be used for sketching or drawing-based apps too.
  3. Take advantage of the new multitasking features – This is particularly important if you are planning to make apps for the iPad Pro (which, incidentally, arrives in November). You need to make sure of two things: firstly, find out whether your app remains properly visible in split-screen view. Also, users should be able to minimize your app (particularly important for, say, music playing apps) without any hitch. Split-screen multitasking will enhance app-using experience for iPad owners – your apps have to be tailormade for such usage.
  4. Be aware of the App Transport Security requirements – App Transport Security, or ATS, is yet another new feature that the iOS 9 platform has come with. A common mistake that many iPhone app developers can make is disabling ATS for all domains. This might seem to be the way to go if you are working on an app that is supposed to load random URLs – but keep in mind that all iOS apps are currently required to be HTTPS. It would be advisable to first set the value of ‘NSAllowsArbitrayLoads’ to YES, and then, activate ATS for certain selected domains. Spend some time on learning how to handle the ‘NSExceptionsDomains’ key, and you will be able to do this selective activation of App Transport Security with ease.
  5. Make your apps proactive – The new iPhones have the Proactive feature, so why not make your apps ‘learn’ from user-behaviour as well? Experts from the field of iPhone app development highlight the importance of tracking and monitoring app analytics, understanding the insights, and creating apps that are more ‘responsive’ – that ‘know’ what a particular user’s preferences are. It’s all about providing an immersive, intelligent user-experience.
  6. Factor in iOS 9’s searchability – The metadata in iOS 9 allows for enhanced search features, and offers deep linking options as well. For applications with plenty of searchable content, developers need to work with the innovative Core Spotlight framework. To make sure that your new mobile application remains fully compatible with Proactive and Handoff systems, integrating the ‘NSUserActivity’ support is an absolute must. On iOS 9 devices, apps are discoverable in Spotlight search – and if your app has search-compatible features, it might get automatically suggested to new users.
  7. And then, there’s watchOS 2 – Okay, let’s take a breather from iOS 9, and turn our attentions to WatchKit app development. The new watchOS 2 platform allows Apple developers to create apps, whose main logic resides within Apple Watch. Do some research on the all-new ‘Complications’ feature of the smartwatch (which will be probably of more importance to developers than ‘Glances’ or general ‘Notifications’). A lot more can be done with watchOS 2 than it was ever possible with the old WatchKit extension. Learn how to use Watch Connectivity resource, and start making better Watch apps!
  8. Move away from iOS 7 (gradually though) – iOS 8 has overcome its initial hiccups, and currently has an adoption rate of around 42%. More remarkably, iOS 9 is already present on over 50% devices. The focus of iPhone app developers has to be on making apps for these two platforms – and gradually drop the support for iOS 7 (and older) versions of the platform. Of course, there are popular open source libraries like ‘TZStackView’ and ‘PSTAlertController’ – which you can use for backporting your apps for the time being. You will ultimately have to start using ‘UIStackView’ and ‘UIAlertController’, for layouts and presenting action sheets with view controllers respectively. The former is only for the iOS 9 platform, while the latter works on iOS 8 and iOS 9.
  9. Swift is the ‘next big’ programming language – That is, if it isn’t already. The recently released Swift 2 comes with a wide range of coder-friendly additions. The ‘try/catch’ method of programming that Swift 2 supports ensures that the error-finding process is exhaustive. The ‘guard’ keyword, on the other hand, does away with the need for the manual unwrapping of variables (which is often necessary when coders need to exit variables whose values are nil). The ‘defer’ keyword is another helpful addition, while the revamped measuring strings make things easier, particularly for new iOS app developers.
  10. Don’t make your app a battery hog – This one is pretty much a no-brainer – but it is worth making a separate mention about this in the context of iOS 9 app development. A high point of Apple’s much-awaited mobile platform is its ‘low power mode’ – that allows users to squeeze out that bit more battery juice from their iDevices. During the mobile app testing phase, make sure that your application(s) do not cause excessive battery drain. Smartphone users are, understandably, concerned about the battery performance of their handsets, and they are certain to stay away from battery-killing software.
  11. Option of creating ‘view-like’ objects – Among the several new classes available to developers making apps for iOS 9 platform, ‘NSLayoutGuide’ and ‘UILayout Guide’ are extremely important. With these, you can entirely do away with the requirement of viewing screens extraneously. The Auto Layout constraint solver gets new ‘view-like’ objects – and working with the two classes together is a much simpler exercise than having to make empty views and then declaring constraints.
  12. Use the Storyboard Reference – If you have been making apps for iPhone for any significant amount of time, you are probably already aware of the messy merge conflicts that often crop up during storyboarding. The new iOS version offers a nice alternative to the old cross-storyboard technique of dividing the app user-interface (UI) into small storyboards. The ‘Storyboard Reference’ method, present in Xcode 7 and iOS 9, facilitates the merging of files, while retaining a single-storyboard navigation system. You can even remove some redundant code, in case you are working with several storyboards.  

 

FINALLY, iOS 9 is out, Xcode 7 is already being used by the iPhone app developed community worldwide, there is considerable buzz about CloudKit – but one rule of thumb remains same. While submitting your app at the Apple Store, use crisp, detailed screenshots (that provide a clear idea of the nature/purpose of the app), and describe the application properly. Be careful while choosing the name of the app as well. What you might think to be unique can already have been used by other developers!

 

Working with the new Xcode version, with Swift 2, for the iOS 9 and watchOS 2 platforms is certainly a challenge every Apple developer worth his/her salt is looking forward to. Follow the above tips, and start churning out nice, user-friendly, successful apps.

 

 

Top 10 Mobile App Trends To Look Out For In 2016

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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If the decade of the 2010’s was to be ever rechristened, ‘mobile app revolution decade’ would be a fairly appropriate name for it. This year, the average number of apps submitted by developers at the Apple App Store has consistently been above the 1000-per-day count, with the peak coming in May (1798 apps submitted per day; 53942 total submissions). Couple that with the fact that the total number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to go beyond 2.15 billion in 2016 – an annual spike of almost 13% – and the growth potential in the domain of mobile app development becomes all the more evident. As we step into the last quarter of the year, this would be a good time to take stock of some interesting mobile app trends to look out for in 2016:

 

  • Security takes centerstage – Before the start of 2015, a Gartner report had forecasted that 3 out of every 4 mobile applications will fail basic security tests. This is an issue that developers have strived to address throughout the year – and the focus will remain in 2016 as well. As is the norm with Apple, its new iOS 9 platform has high-end security features – while Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow would also be beefing up its security protocols. With apps increasingly storing highly sensitive personal information (the growing popularity of NFC payments is a classic example), developers simply cannot afford to gloss over security gaps in their applications.
  • Apps for Apple Watch – Google Glass might have come and gone, but interest in wearable technology will remain unabated – thanks to the burgeoning success of Apple Watch. The launch of watchOS 2 (at this year’s WWDC) has significantly upped the challenge for WatchKit developers. The trend will move on, from making app extensions for watch, to applications whose logic resides in the wearable device (fully native apps for Apple Watch are, however, still some way off). A month ago, the total app-count for Watch had hit 10000 – and the figure should at least treble by the end of the second quarter of 2016.
  • Rise of the free apps – At present, around 75% of all apps are free, and according to Gartner, this figure should rise to 93% by the end of next year. The key revenue driver for both Android and iOS app developers will be in-app purchases, and the total number of mobile apps will move very close to 310 billion. Interestingly, hybrid apps (or mobile web apps) are likely to grow in popularity. It remains to be seen how much of that actually occurs.
  • Importance of cloud-based development – Experts from the field of mobile app development predict that cloud-based applications will rule the roost in 2016 and beyond. The reasons for this is two-fold: firstly, cloud-support will allow developers to keep the actual size of applications small (thereby managing prospective memory/bandwidth issues). Also, cloud compatibility will allow people to sync their applications across multiple smart devices. Cross-functionality between iOS and OS X on one hand, and Android and PCs (albeit to a lesser extent) is growing – and this has got a lot to do with increase in importance of cloud-based apps.
  • Apps will be all about user-experience – And this is precisely the reason why developers will have to constantly analyse big mobile analytics data. From the tiny display of Apple Watch, to the steadily increasing screen sizes of the latest iPhones and Android handsets (smartphones and phablets) – an app needs to retain its efficiency and functionality across all devices. This, in turn, infers that cross-platform app development will become more critical than ever in 2016 – and developers proficient in that will have more chances of success.
  • Coding for iOS apps to become more ‘Swift’ – Craig Federighi, the software engineering senior VP at Apple, feels that Swift is the ‘next big programming language’ – and there is not much room for doubting this. For starters, iPhone app developers confirm that using the new language is a lot easier than working with Objective-C, which comes with the entire legacy of the C language. What’s more, Swift 2 has been released with a host of new, developer-friendly features – right from error handling to protocol extensions. Developers should still have a working knowledge of Obj-C before jumping on the Swift bandwagon, but this new language is here to stay.
  • Shorter app development cycles – As the competition grows, mobile app companies will start focusing on rapid development – which, in essence, means shortening the ‘ideas-to-apps’ development cycle. Technologies like ‘just-in-time’ (JIT) will grow in popularity, along with rapid iterations and a ‘Quick-To-Market’ approach to development (without, of course, compromising on the quality of apps in any way). A quicker app development timeframe will allow companies to survive in this fiercely competitive domain. The absence of delays will please clients too.
  • Enterprise apps to soar over consumer apps – By 2016, around 35% of all big enterprises are likely to have their very own app development platforms. Third-party enterprise app developers stand to gain in such a scenario. In fact, at present over 42% enterprise developers boast of a monthly revenue of $ 10000 (something that not even 1 out of 5 consumer app developers can claim). The gap is likely to grow wider over the next year – due to the unwillingness of average users to spend money on apps, and the readiness of enterprises to do so.
  • More apps will have location-based support – Platforms like Wi-Fi MX are coming up, to provide users with an array of localised services, like accurate shopping suggestions. Apple has already shown the way with iBeacons, and the iOS platform will provide greater opportunities for developers to continue making apps with smarter location support. It is also expected that Android will play the catch-up game well, and the number of applications in the Play Store with Wi-Fi support will grow at a rapid clip. What remains to be seen is how mobile app developers manage to come up with integrated location-based services in apps, without causing excessive battery drain on users’ devices.
  • Expenditure on app ads will rise – Like them or not, in-app advertisement will continue to be a major revenue-earner in 2016. The total spend on app advertising has crossed $7 billion this year, and this will only grow (at an even faster rate) over the next couple of years. Developers will have to focus on managing their ad networks so that: a) they get the maximum revenue benefits, and b) the ads do not hamper the app-experience of users in any way.

 

Although around 53% of all app developers are already involved in some form of ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), the latter will be present in a big way in iOS and Android app development in the next year. Mobile-commerce applications (with built-in NFC capabilities) are also likely to come into vogue among users. The interest in mobile game development is also on an upward trend – owing to promising returns and handsome download figures. Developing mobile apps will become a $77 billion industry by 2016, and these trends will be the main drivers in this field over the next 12 to 18 months.