It is already well-known that trends in app development are forever changing. However, it is up to you to explore how they are changing if you are truly interested in app development. There are plenty of trends that can be found by reading through the information published in the State of the Developer Nation report from the research firm VisionMobile.
With all that can be discovered there, as an app developer or even as a user of apps, you should pay special attention to these four popular trends in app development. These were reported for the first quarter of the year 2015.
Number One: Using Swift
As an app developer or user, you know that even the newest and hottest trends can take a while to catch on. Very rarely will consumers bite onto a new idea just because it is there to be used. A rise in Apple's Swift language is one that should be noted.
The researchers from VisionMobile surveyed 8,000 different top mobile game developers as part of their investigation. One out of five of these developers were using the Swift program after it being on the market for only four short months.
Objective-C had a jump on Swift in relation to iOS devices, and it only has a 39% usage among developers. This type of use is considered to be extraordinary as far as app development trends go.
As many as 25% of Swift developers are considered to be new to the iOS platform. This is considered to be a substantial amount. Even with this large amount of users, VisionMobile states that Objective-C is not going away.
It is predicted that most developers will have both tools available for their program. Experts say that in order to be the most successful on the iOS platform it will be necessary to understand how to properly use both tools in app development.
Number Two: The Growing Popularity of Cross-Platform Tools
It was discovered in the evaluation of app development trends that the use of third-party tools is at the highest rate ever. Among mobile app developers, 83% of those that responded to the investigation are using at least one third-party tool. These tools can be used for a plethora of developments including analytics, crash reporting, and other testing.
One of the biggest jumps of the use of cross-platform tools has occurred within the last six months. During this time, the usage went from 23% all the way up to 30%. The question for app developers is always how to choose the right tools for the successful creation of their app.
The best answer given by those that have accomplished their goals is finding a provider that is well-known and stable. This gives the confidence that they are going to be around to benefit from for a long time to come.
Number Three: Increasing Profits with Enterprise Apps versus Consumer Apps
No matter how popular smartphones and tablets are, there is never any guarantee that any one application is going to make money. Just because users are downloading apps faster than they are being created does not mean that just because one is available that it is going to be purchased by those looking to add to their app collection.
Trends of the first quarter of 2015 show that apps that make money much better are enterprise apps compared to consumer apps. The difference between consumer apps and enterprise apps is not even close.
Research shows that 43% of the app developers that are working on enterprise apps reach or go beyond the $10,000 profit mark each month. Those that are making consumer apps are only in the 19% range when it comes to this type of revenue.
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Most individual smartphone and tablet users would rather get their consumer applications for free instead of paying even a small amount for them. However, businesses are willing to spend a little bit of money to make money. That is why they will spend a few dollars on the enterprise application that is going to help them be more productive and profitable.
Number Four: The Popularity of the Internet of Things and its Slow but Sure Payoff
Many developers are now investing their time and resources into the Internet of Things (IoT). This is something that does not have the quick payoff that many people are usually looking for. Over half of the developers that took part in this research project have reported that they are using the IoT on some level in their developments.
One interesting factor is that many are doing so on a side project or hobby level rather than on their actual project. The areas that have created the largest interest include the mobile platforms iOS and Android. This comes as no surprise because the popularity and sure return that these are going to bring. Areas like smart building and wearable computing markets are among the areas being used.
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Even though IoT is still in the early stages, experts from VisionMobile say that there are huge advantages of the IoT for the developers that are utilizing it. The products that are considered to be in the highest demand have the best software. Through the process of creation, the developers involved are going to be creating more competitive products over time.
After reviewing this information, taking into account what you already know about app development, and doing a complete evaluation, it is easy to see how the mobile development market is going to continue to change and grow at a rapid rate for a long time to come.
Also see infographic on this topic: Trends in mobile industry 2015.
The development is going to occur in all different areas including the tools available to developers, the languages, the various device platforms offered, and finally the economics related to the applications. It is essential as a developer to stay up-to-date on all the changes in developments.
Even though this can be almost as time-consuming and difficult as doing your real job, it is a must. That is why the mobile market continues to be an exciting one to be a part of.