The world is going digital, and the key directions of that movement are already obvious — being social, mobile, cloudy and using big data analytics. However, the details are also quite intriguing.
The total number of apps is still growing. More than 1,300,000 applications are available now on Google Play, and more than 1,200,000 apps – on App Store. However, according to the latest data provided by Nielsen, people interact just with several dozens of apps per month and their choice seldom changes.
It means that while spending more time with their mobile devices people rarely tend to change the quantity of time they devote to it as it seems to have already reached the upper level. So, that’s a bad piece of news for mobile development companies. The challenge for a fresh app now is not to be downloaded but to squeeze into those favorites which are regularly used.
The competition between platforms is picking up steam. What’s more, it is now fiercer at the regional level. In general Android supremacy is almost absolute, but at the regional level iOS gets ahead in North America and is still competitive in Europe. That seems reasonable if we take into consideration that Apple usually takes hold of the majority of high-end devices market and American and European markets are of that kind. While Blackberry is desperately and unavoidably drowning, Windows Phone is trying to get its market share from Android at the low end market.
At the same time developers tend to target less mobile platforms. The average number of platforms for a developer has fallen to 2.2 this year. It means developers have already chosen their favorites and only a comprehensive motivation policy will encourage them to move on.
Enterprise mobile apps seem to be a new frontier of mobile development industry. At least well-reputed Forrester thinks they are. Businesses need to keep up with the momentum and go digital, mobile and social. Increased complexity of projected mobile applications and lack of in-house IT-resources make top management turn to outside development teams. However, Vision Mobile - a mobile research company, states in its recent survey that only 16% of all mobile developers stick to the enterprise sector. The reasons for that are obvious. It is more difficult to work with an enterprise. Corporate mobile projects always stand out by their scale, architecture complexity, platform diversity, a long list of other requirements and time spent on coordination and adjustments.
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However both Apple and Google are determined to adopt and digest corporate money, making their respective platforms even more enterprise –friendly. Apple partners with IBM, while Google integrated Samsung’s Knox and bought Divide. Both platforms are ready for a facedown.
Mobile games occupy the greatest mobile application segment, at least if we have app revenues in mind. However, the prospective here is not so shining. In most cases it is necessary to develop at least several games and care about their cross-platform nature to succeed. Only a fraction of game developers make millions of dollars on mobile game development. To get noticed with a new game especially if it’s a paid one is next to impossible.
The life of mobile application developers
is getting harder with every passing year as they have to fight for consumers who have become quite picky these days. However, there are all the conditions to win that fight. Experts are talking about beautification of the Web. 4K TV-sets have been delivered by a range of well-known producers such as LG, Samsung and Sony. That emerging technology alters all the written and unwritten rules of graphic design. 8 million pixels and Retina Display are sharper and more catching. Mobile apps become even more appealing.
At the same time the latest A7 chip from Apple with a 64-bit processor opens new horizons for mobile apps memory and graphics. Mobile applications can become bigger and look cooler. The increased performance will help them compete with regular desktop counterparts. Amazon cloud storage services are getting cheaper and more refined. However, it seems the very moment to say goodbye to the good old time of talented individuals who made lucky shots at the app market and got millions in revenues. Big companies which include many talented developers, significant QA departments and creative marketing managers have arrived. Now it is their time to rule the market.