Each year exhibits a different trend for the mobile device industry in general and for mobile app development in specific. Every subsequent year has also seen tremendous growth in terms of mobile consumer activity. While 2010 had been about smartphones and mobile apps for the same, 2011 has been a year of the tablet PC and other mobile devices. The sharp increase in demand for mobile devices and apps; along with the existing variety of mobile OS’; has created a corresponding supply of mobile app developers. Mobile advertising and location-based services are increasing in scope as well. In all probability, they might be the mainstay of mobile in the coming year. Here, we bring you an estimate of mobile app development trends for 2012.
1. Demand for Business Apps
While we have seen steady growth in mobile gaming and social networking apps so far, the spotlight in 2012 will be on serious business apps. More and more businessmen are now increasingly depending on their smartphones and other mobile devices to save time, multitask and generally make life easier for them. The total number of business app downloads has risen exponentially this year, generating a great deal of revenue for app stores, developers, marketers and companies as well.
With so many mobile platforms in existence today, the app developer is faced with multiple problems. The first aspect is to choose the right mobile platform from a wide choice of platforms such as the Android OS, iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows 7 and so on. Once developers make their choice of one more platforms to develop the app for, they then have to look at confirming to all the app submission rules stipulated by each app store, so as to prevent their app getting rejected in that particular marketplace.
App development is getting to be serious business nowadays, with consumers demanding more utilities from them. While gaming apps continue to be popular, the actual focus is now on social networking, content sharing and location-based content. This demand is expected to continue to further expand and grow in the year 2012.
2. Apps for Mobile Payment
Mobile consumers now prefer using their mobile devices to make payments online. Services such as Mobile Wallet are taking precedence over credit cards, debit cards and net banking. In response to consumers’ demand, several banks today are offering beta mobile payment options to them. This process is expected to gain steam in the coming few months.
Companies are looking to use custom-made enterprise business apps that help in a variety of activities. Hence, there is also a parallel demand for developers of apps for enterprise. While this creates immense work opportunities for enterprise app developers and companies, it also creates advancements in the mobile security industry as well.
3. The Mobile Consumer is King
At any given time, the major app stores are crowded with millions of mobile apps of all imaginable types and categories. Hence, the app developer will find it increasingly difficult to get his app noticed in the market. The only way to succeed, therefore, would be to offer something totally unique – an app that would be easily understood, usable, engaging and offer multitasking capabilities, all at once. Mobile marketing would remain at the very forefront and mobvertisers would use every method to pull viewers’ attention to their app and maintain it that way.
The sudden upswing in the demand of Microsoft Windows Phone apps would open up a new market for developers to create metro-style UI apps for these smartphones. The App Hub is now registering steady growth and this trend is expected to continue and virtually boom in the coming year.
4. Emergence of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is in like never before. Almost all industries today are shifting to the cloud and are offering cloud-based services. The market is now showing an increased demand for such services. Naturally, this trend is creating cloud-based app providers and third-party cloud sync providers as well.
This in turn will give rise to enterprise applications which will work seamlessly work across the entire range of the cloud – private, public and hybrid. This trend will most likely encourage developers toward web-based app development, as it would work out much more efficient and cost-effective for them.
Of course, this will also create issues on security. Developers will then have to think seriously in terms of mobile security and related issues while developing such cloud-based enterprise apps. This will be advantageous for the mobile industry as a whole, as it will open up doors for more effective testing and taking quality-control measures for enterprise security and related issues.
5. Developing Location-Based Apps
Through all of the above changes, location-based apps, mobile content sharing and mobile social networking are coming to the fore, now, more than ever. Even enterprise is using social network monitoring tools in order to build their brand image, learn more about consumer behaviour and finally, market and sell their products and services.