Wearables App Development is a Headache: Kony

Wearables present unique challenges to application developers and designers, according to a new survey from Kony.

internet of things

Kony, which provides an enterprise mobility platform for developers, announced results of a recent survey that shows that developers find creating applications for wearables and connected devices to be a challenge.

The survey that found a majority of designers (69 percent) and developers (65 percent) said they believe that application design and development for wearables and connected devices already is a challenge or will be one in the next six to 12 months.

Wearables and connected devices are considered to be the next frontier for developers. However, according to the survey, developers are faced with unique challenges as they move beyond mobile phones and tablets to wearables.

The survey commissioned by Kony, entitled "The Next Frontier in Cross-platform Mobile Development: Wearables and Connected Devices," tapped more than 230 respondents from leading brands in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Poor communication was cited as a key problem in wearable app development. Indeed, 40 percent of developers said that the biggest challenge of mobile app development is the lack of communication between developers and IT stakeholders, the survey said.

"Forward-thinking enterprises are eager to take advantage of the wealth of new devices and form factors entering the market today, but capitalizing on these innovations remains a challenge for today’s mobile app design and development teams," said Dave Shirk, president of Products, Strategy and Marketing at Kony, in a statement. "To meet this demand, designers and developers need next-generation creative tools that allow them to more easily adapt their apps to a broader range of interfaces, screen sizes, and capabilities."

In addition to poor communication, developers also cited lack of vision as an issue with developing applications for wearables. Nearly 25 percent of developers said they felt that stakeholders had "no clear vision" for mobility. In addition, the "sheer complexity of omni-channel development and testing" was cited as a top challenge by 37 percent of responding developers. Designers agreed, with 51 percent saying that, "designing for multiple devices and platforms" is a challenge, Kony said.

Other challenges cited in the survey include lack of resources and omni-channel design and development. Thirty-seven percent of developers cited lack of time and resources as a problem and 37 percent also cited complexity of omni-channel development as an issue. Those concerns tied as the top two most cited barriers during the development stage of mobile projects. Meanwhile, 51 percent of designers said that designing mobile apps for multiple devices and platforms is a major challenge.

In July, Kony announced the availability of the latest release of its mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) with new microservices and object services technology that enables development teams to set up software "app factories" for easily building new applications from reusable parts.

The latest release of the Kony MobileFabric MBaaS, MobileFabric 7.0, provides this new model-driven approach to mobile app development using microservices, said Burley Kawasaki, senior vice president of products at Kony. New support for object services makes it easier and cheaper to develop and maintain mobile apps, he said.

"Microservices are currently all the rage and it's an area that we think has a lot of promise in terms of how customers build software," Kawasaki told eWEEK. "This release of MobileFabric is all about providing a new capability that we call object services, which really helps you more easily manage the development of microservice-based applications."