To gather insights for DZone's Native Mobile App Development Research Guide, scheduled for release in February, 2016, we spoke to 18 executives who are developing mobile applications in their own company or helping clients do so.
Here's who we spoke to:
Dan Bricklin, CTO, Alpha Software | Adam Fingerman, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer, ArcTouch | Nishant Patel, CTO and Kurt Collins, Director of Technology Evangelism, Built.io | Tyson Whitten, API Management Product Marketing, CA Technologies | Rajiv Taori, VP Product Management Mobile Platforms Group, Citrix | Zach Slayton, VP Digital Technology Solutions, Collaborative Consulting | Brad Bush, COO, Dialexa | Craig Lurey, CTO and Co-Founder, Keeper Security | Jessica Rusin, Senior Director of Development, MobileDay | Steven Jovanelly, Senior Director, Innovation Lab, PGi | Brandon Satrom, GM Developer Platforms and Tools, Progress Software | Eddie de Guia, Co-Founder and Managing Director, PubNative | Hans Ashlock, Technical Marketing Manager, Qualisystems | Mark Kirstein, Senior Director of Enterprise Software, RhoMobile | Justin Bougher, Vice President of Product, SiteSpect | Carla Borsoi, Software Product Manager and Marketing Lead, 6SensorLabs | Lubos Parobek, VP of Products, Sauce Labs
We asked these executives, "Do you have any concerns regarding the state of native mobile app development?"
Here's what they said:
- Divergence is forcing developers to specialize. There's a divergence of user flow, language, UX, and hardware. You need to choose one platform and become rock solid developing for that platform.
- Accessibility is a concern. People who have food allergies don’t fit into a particular demographic group. As more people have smartphones, they will have different needs. Android tends to have less affluent users which could make app size an issue if these people can only afford phones with limited data and storage capability.
- We need to ensure the UX is consistent across all devices. We also need to determine how to monetize the features of the app and the digital experience it provides.
- We’ve trained customers to think apps are easy and cheap to develop. They’re not. They’re very complex.
- Security is a huge issue and not one that many people pay attention to when the primary focus is getting the app out quicker. Authentication and access control are keys to developing a secure app. We need to develop best practices around DevOps. We can reduce friction along the way by having simplified tool sets that developers understand. We also need to be developing on a continuous basis.
- There's too much focus on native only when you can accomplish a lot more, more quickly, with non-native application development.
- What’s the “inbetween” in learning and playing for kids? Making wearable, non-intrusive devices is key as mobile apps evolve.
- There will be a shake out the splintering of 17 variations of the Android platform. It's inherently inefficient. Apple apps take a long time to get approved. The technology continues to evolve. Mobile is adding features like VR, and NFC codes to unlock hotel doors. I use Echo every morning which is a great example of how apps are expanding beyond mobile to impact our lives.
- I do not have any concerns. There are a lot of consumer apps from which we can take the learning into the enterprise. Mobile is a misnomer at this point as people are interacting with devices that aren’t computers (i.e. Apple TV and Amazon's Echo).
- I don't have any major concerns. The multiple code bases in Android are a pain. They are more standard on the iOS side.
- There are so many different ways to build, people can get confused, get on a path that looks like the cheaper option and then have to come back and rework everything. Because we’re in the U.S. we tend to think bandwidth isn’t an issue; however, it is outside the U.S. and we need to keep that in mind if our apps will be used internationally.
- My concerns are minor - walled gardens. Developers are at the mercy of the next OS update. Will we be allowed to build in an open world?
- How to fit Apple Store approval into the release cadence. Apps are more sophisticated, more important to people’s lives; as such, the quality of the apps has grown in importance.
- No, it’s exciting to see where it’s going. Homekit for iOS. Google's purchase of Nest. It's nice to see the platform’s open structure.
Do you have any concerns with the state of native mobile app development?