Nine App Development Trends That Are Defining the State of Mobility

1 - Nine App Development Trends That Are Defining the State of Mobility
2 - Back-End Data: The New Mobile Dev Problem
3 - Popular Public Data Sources
4 - Tools of the Trade
5 - RMAD Underwhelms
6 - A Need for Speed
7 - It's Hard to Manage What You Can't Measure
8 - Home Is Where the Hack Is
9 - Motives for Development
10 - App Paths to Cash
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Nine App Development Trends That Are Defining the State of Mobility

The interest in emerging tech continues to grow, a recent mobile trend report shows, with automation being a key market for developers.

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Back-End Data: The New Mobile Dev Problem

Getting access to mobile-optimized back-end data is becoming the single greatest challenge to building apps, say 72.4 percent of developers. The most difficult aspect of integration, according to 46.7 percent of developers, is building and deploying mobile APIs.

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Popular Public Data Sources

In 2015, only 19.6 percent of developers reported that they had no need to connect to public data sources. That's down from 25.1 percent in 2014. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Dropbox lead the pack, suggesting that social sharing is still the No. 1 driver for accessing public data sources.

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Tools of the Trade

Mobile leaders are more likely to use a wider variety of development tools on a regular basis. More than 50 percent of mobile leaders report using app user-interface design and cross-platform development tools on a daily basis, while less than 15 percent of mobile laggards report using these tools daily. For laggards, frequent use of other tools—such as unit test tools, functional test automation tools, and so on—is minimal.

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RMAD Underwhelms

Feedback on Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) tools is tepid; only 25 percent of developers described their experience as positive. Still in its early stages, low-code, drag-and-drop app development tools aren't a panacea, with nearly 60 percent of developers reporting that RMAD has its place for certain apps, but that it isn't a cure-all.

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A Need for Speed

Release velocity has become the No. 1 differentiator between mobile leaders and laggards. Forty-two percent of leaders report a weekly or biweekly app release cycle. That number drops to 9.5 percent among self-identified laggards. Mobile laggards are also falling further behind; the velocity gap of those delivering app updates monthly or faster widened 7.5 percent from 2014 to 2015 (4 percent more leaders are delivering monthly or faster, while 3.5 percent fewer laggards meet this pace).

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It's Hard to Manage What You Can't Measure

25.5 percent of mobile laggards say they "don't know" the reason for failure when an app falls short of user expectations. Among leaders, this figure drops to 9.9 percent.

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Home Is Where the Hack Is

Developer interest in emerging tech has increased across the board, which means we can expect to see Internet of things innovation continue, but the No. 1 most interesting market, according to developers, is home automation, which beat out wearables, automotive applications and industrial control devices. Fifty-eight percent of devs said they are very interested in developing for home automation.

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Motives for Development

The top three reasons for developing are to generate revenue, increase customer loyalty and increase brand awareness. Sixty percent of developers said revenue is their No. 1 motive for development, followed by 45 percent who identified "increasing customer loyalty" as their main objective and 36 percent who said they're looking to "increase brand awareness."

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App Paths to Cash

Of those who build apps to generate revenue, 43 percent said that in-app purchases are the best method for making money, while 23.9 percent said in-app advertising is the best method. Only 19 percent said they charge for the app itself.

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