It can be argued that the development of Mobile applications has been influenced by the trends that were seen in the development of first Desktop and then Web applications. With increasing processor power in mobile handsets, 2012 is seen as a breakthrough year when rich user interfaces and next generation mobile apps and games start to emerge. Tablet devices are also becoming widely accepted and a whole host of new business and educational focused apps are likely to emerge because of the acceptance of this new form factor. With this in mind, we look at some emerging areas where we expect much greater levels of mobile app development to take place.
Apps for all Platforms
Cross platform apps are gaining importance, in particular as the mobile OS wars start to take centre stage and we are likely to see more divergence in the way they operate. With Symbian and Blackberry pretty much disappearing from the landscape and Windows now coming on strong, there are changes expected in the future. This may mean that new apps might be required by companies, banks, institutions etc to cater for their mobile users and could be good news for application developers with new business coming because of these changes. However, many think that a common cross-platform solution may appear which could lead to a simpler web based method to create apps.
Bring Your Own Device
While corporates have traditionally given mobile phones with applications relevant to the business they are in to employees, a new trend is emerging where the employer only provides the apps needed while the employee is free to use the phone of their choice with the appropriate OS powering it. This may lead to more need for applications to be developed for corporates and institutions.
HTML 5 a growing trend of Web Apps
With the diverging OS collection powering smart phones, a unified way to develop apps is very attractive. HTML 5 has long been this promise but so far has not delivered. While this space is still open, HTML 5 is still a contender to provide the web based solution to power the cross platform apps in future.
Hybrid Apps Generation
Native apps are able to access features of the OS which is still not possible for HTML5, but the rich user experience afforded by HTML 5 makes it a contender. This has led to the creations of a a new generation of apps that utilize Html 5 along with native functions in the same application. Developers should be able to enjoy the dream of write once use everywhere with such hybrid apps for many of the UI features.
Not Fully Cooked
There is no significant advancement expected in 2012 at least in NFC technology, not for an end user at least. Average consumers will have to wait for value added services to be introduced before this becomes an exciting enough feature. So don’t plan your apps in NFC until it opens up further.
Nokia and Microsoft’s Joint Venture
A fresh breath for Nokia, which has been under immense pressure, is the launch of the Windows phone 7. It is a powerful OS by Microsoft featured in the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. Will it help Nokia to regain its status of a giant in smart phones industry? Only time will tell.