While software and development are constantly changing, in the last few years, developers have definitely found their groove. Apps are more streamlined, functional, and integrated than ever, allowing you to seamlessly stay connected to the world via your tablet or smartphone — and even your TV. As the Internet of Things begins to take off, however, mobile app development is going to undergo some changes. There are a few things to think about as this new technology and new stage of mobile app development begins.
Choosing a Starting Point
The IoT is expansive, and developers many not even know where to begin. This new technology has completely assumed the old process. Instead of asking what the application's function is, now developers must ask what the thing's function is. What particular device are you trying to seamlessly integrate? The whole basis of the Internet of Things is a thing, so developers must now learn the technology of the thing itself before attempting to create an app that controls it.
Developers must now consider how their app is going to connect to the thing itself, or the Internet. Apps now, of course, connect via cellular service, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, but this won't always be the route when it comes to IoT. These apps may have to integrate with a standalone, gateway device that may even look similarly to an old DSL modem. Everything requires different connection protocol, and this is a new way of thinking for developers.
Separating Development Into Tiers
All software development is separated into some type of tiers. For IoT applications, some of the end tiers are somewhat different, and software developers should realize this from the start. The analytics and end-user tier will require much more cohesive work as we head into the new future of technology. It's unlikely to have tools for handling this type of new software integration right away. As a result, coders may even need to develop a new language in order to make sure everything can correlate together.
More Open Source Development
With the introduction of new software development apps from companies such as Microsoft, as soon as the IoT is well-integrated into mobile app systems, novice developers can probably expect more and more programs being funneled their way so that anyone can develop an app. Beyond Microsoft, many companies right now offer many features so that up-and-coming app developers can get their start. For example, users can get app templates on SellMyApp to help jumpstart their development. As the Internet of Things becomes more inclusive in our daily lives, more and more programs will be available so that nearly anyone can develop and code.
Building Platforms From Scratch
Because the IoT is so new, building these programs from scratch is going to take a lot of work. Part of the problem is, right now, there aren't many developers really well-versed in exactly how it works. This forces developers to create from the ground up, and it can be tough. There are very few platforms as of now for the IoT, so this makes it tough for developers to build anything. If there's no web-based platform on which to build a mobile app on, then new software needs to be written and coded.
Development Will Become More Niche
Right now, it's common to have app developers who can create apps across different types of platforms. From Android to iOS, many current developers can code for many different types of platform. As we may head to one unified IoT platform, there may be more of a niche market for developers. With that being said, businesses will need to keep in mind that hiring one developer for everything simply isn't going to work. As IoT becomes more and more prevalent, businesses will have to find at least one developer who absolutely specializes in IoT.
Basically, IoT is going to change most things about mobile app development. It will create more jobs and more positions, and by 2025, the IoT is expected to make everyone's life easier. However, in the meantime, platforms and infrastructure will have to be built from the ground up, perhaps causing a lot of growing pains along the way.