How IoT app development is changing the mobile landscape

By Jonathan Crowl

If you’re a mobile app developer, you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that your job will be affected by the IoT. According to ZDNet, there are more than 6.2 million app developers working on IoT applications right now, representing a 34 percent increase year-over-year.

As the mainstream market is bombarded with web-connected devices, there will be billions in the marketplace in the near future, with no end in sight. The need for software connecting to those devices will only continue to rise. IoT app development is one of the developer community’s most significant influences and a demanding area of need for enterprises.

The list of challenges is long. New skill sets will be needed among developers, and not every mobile app developer out there currently has the skills to seamlessly transition to IoT development, especially when it comes to creating blockchain-enabled IoT networks. It’s easy to see a near future in which the app development world faces a deficit of IoT app developers that measures in the millions.

This will leave IoT developers in high demand, and the ones with the skills to handle these projects will be building toward a transformative future in which the IoT is the spark for mobile app innovation.

Enterprise turns to smart apps

Mobile apps are really nothing more than the most recent iteration of the long-running software application. Just as desktop apps gave way to mobile apps, those mobile solutions are about to cede their territory to emerging smart apps.

As App Developer Magazine points out, smart apps are the product of IoT app development. They’re significant because of the emerging technologies they incorporate. Big data, machine learning, web-connected devices, predictive analytics and innovative data acquisition channels are all converging to make mobile apps more intelligent and powerful than ever before.

These smart apps move beyond offering certain functionality to offer an intuitive user experience that predicts behavior and interests and uses available data to “learn” new ways to provide better service, whether in terms of personalization or simply a better understanding of context. This technology is built primarily upon the riches of new data generated through web-generated objects, which serve as new data touchpoints for developers to leverage for new, innovative insights. The high-value and long-range potential of these apps are why enterprise brands are so determined to make them a part of their own digital experience.

Seeking a cure for developer headaches

The new demands of the IoT could be problematic for developers in a few ways. Not only are these new development tasks unlike anything the majority of those professionals have seen before, but they come even as developers are already overwhelmed by their current demands.

Most app developers are already juggling multiple projects at once. Now, they’ll be expected to build additional app solutions that present greater complexity.

As Baseline points out, many developers are also worried that enterprise-wide communication issues would further complicate the development of smart apps, including apps for wearables. Developers believe these enterprises need to develop a better platform for this creation and collaboration that would facilitate better agility and efficiencies — two keys to performance that will influence the success of IoT app development.

Mobile app developers will be busy grappling with the new challenges and demands created by the IoT. However, that hard work will ultimately reap great rewards as web-connected objects change every facet of daily life.

Written By

Jonathan Crowl


Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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