Developers are always looking for the next big thing when it comes to mobile apps. Competition is fierce in the mobile space, and leveraging an emerging trend could be just the thing to set an application apart from others in its genre. While no one can say with absolute sureness which trends will take hold and which will fall away from public consciousness, a few top experts have made their predictions. Let’s take a look at what these industry leaders are forecasting for the mobile app development landscape next year:
Mobile app development focus will shift to accessories
“Performance testing is increasingly key to ensuring that programs meet users’ demands and expectations.”
In the current marketplace, wearable devices are being offered by a rising number of companies and at the same time are becoming increasingly popular among users. However, Forrester analyst Michael Facemire noted that the mobile ecosystem doesn’t end there: It also includes other smart items like cars, televisions and even homes. As a result, developers will have to design programs not just for a singular device, but for an entire connected ecosystem. However, choosing between these ecosystems may prove difficult.
“We predict that while products within an ecosystem will ‘just work’ together, that won’t be the case across ecosystems,” Facemire predicted. “As a result, developers should anticipate that customers will increasingly choose one ecosystem or another.”
Furthermore, when designing for an ecosystem, developers must ensure that their applications ‘just work,’ as Facemire suggested. In this realm, performance testing is increasingly key to ensuring that programs meet users’ demands and expectations.
The shift toward micro-moments
Another prediction from Forrester comes from analyst Jeffrey Hammond, who noted that the mobile user engagement techniques are shifting toward “micro-moments,” and that this transition will continue into 2015. Hammond defines the micro-moments approach as “brief interactions where developers can get customers’ attention – and anticipate their needs.” This shift will result in the need for developers to think differently about their application projects, and ensure that the program will provide a way to connect with users via these short interactions.
“Instead of customers intentionally using apps a few times a day, developers need to think about how they engage customers in a 5-10 second interactions many times a day,” Hammond noted. “As a result, development focus shifts to favor notifications, widgets and cross-device interactions.”
Hammond pointed out that this will likely lead to an end of self-contained, singular applications. Instead, developers will have to utilize messages, notices and other capabilities to their advantage to connect with users in short bursts multiple times a day.
The need for additional security
Gartner researchers also discovered that over 75 percent of mobile apps will be unable to pass basic security tests through 2015. Furthermore, Gartner estimates that 75 percent of mobile breaches will come due to misconfigurations in mobile apps through 2017. As more business users leverage their smartphones and tablets for work purposes, this could potentially put the sensitive data of the company at risk.
“Enterprises that embrace mobile computing and bring your own device (BYOD) strategies are vulnerable to security breaches unless they adopt methods and technologies for mobile application security testing and risk assurance,” said Dionisio Zumerle, principal research analyst at Gartner.
For this reason, developers must place a higher focus on the security of their mobile apps, particularly those created for enterprise users.
However, security testing isn’t the only trial that should take place within an application development project. In order to ensure the overall functionality of the app, proper performance testing of mobile apps is needed. Developers should leverage industry-leading testing solutions, such as TouchTest, a mobile app testing tool provided through the SOASTA platform.
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