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The Future of Native Mobile Apps

Learn about the evolution of mobile apps across IoT, wearables, microdevices, cars, homes, Apple TV, Amazon Echo, et al.

· Mobile Zone

Visually compose APIs with easy-to-use tooling. Learn how IBM API Connect provides near-universal access to data and services both on-premises and in the cloud, brought to you in partnership with IBM.

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, "What's the future for native mobile apps from your perspective?"

Here's what they said:

    1. Launching apps coordinated with the releases of new platforms. Smart developers stay ahead of the curve. Pay attention to the notice that’s being given, embrace the changes and be the first to adopt to stay ahead of the curve.
    2. How to merge information on the phone to create value for the user. Can we use more of the phone’s capabilities to provide a better user experience (UX)? More data visualization to give users immediate and valuable feedback.
    3. Tie systems together on the digital backend. Have a better understanding of the context of the user so you can provide a better, more intuitive UX. Make experiences richer and more user focused.
    4. Automation, analytics and intelligence. Drive new insights into what’s going on. Leverage big data to predict behavior. Data you can capture, understand, analyze and add value with. Tie together learning, analytics and mobility.
    5. The future is with IoT, finance, industry, healthcare and retail. Look for common toolsets across devices to support different use cases. Driverless cars and L’Oreal's “makeup genius” are great examples. L'Oreal's virtual experience provides recommendations based on buyer behavior and what looks consumers like, as well as advice on how to apply makeup in the mirror. Mobile apps are serving as stepping stones to physical devices.
    6. Native apps help to provide a utility for consumers. As behaviors evolve, users expect to do much more with their mobile devices, and the bar is constantly being raised on what can be done with an app.
    7. Realize workers are no longer behind their desks. Use mobile to rethink those areas where people are servicing equipment or customers. Give these people access to data so they don’t need paper, they can place an order on the spot - business-to-employee transformation. Replace paper forms and manuals for less with iPads. Building native could be prohibitive when you need rapid mobile app development. Change is occurring in many corporations  who are using Windows tablets with apps that run on iOS and Windows.
    8. Wearable tech and micro-mobile (e.g. Apple Watch) are great opportunities to enhance and augment mobile applications to create integrated apps that truly become anthropomorphic technologies.
    9. Devices are going away. Mobile won’t be the phone in our pocket, it will be the Apple TV, devices like Echo, and products that have not yet been conceived.
    10. Mobile is evolving to a lot of connected devices that you wear, interact with at home,  and are built into your car. It’s now the “interaction of things.
    11. Mobile is not going away. Keep up with the technology . There’s an opportunity for standards on the Android side. Build apps. Mobile will supplant any unnecessary technology.
    12. Integration with external technologies with the app so data is accessible. 75% of apps are personalized and must be integrated with other things. Apps are becoming increasingly personalized to provide the UX expected by the end user. Make it easier to integrate multiple streams of data into your app for the developer.
    13. We need everything from the website to the app to be integrated. Everything will be a hybrid with multiple solutions. How do we coordinate and communicate across all those devices? How do we centralize management of experience and knowledge so everything can be coordinated for the optimal UX? How do we make the experience consistent across platforms - data must interact?
    14. The definition of mobility expandsto include IoT, wearables, and sensors all providing broader device experiences. How do we build for connected sensors, smarter homes, and smarter cars? More complexity = more opportunity.
    15. We will evolve from mobile to wearables which offers rich next steps and the same challenges. We are on the cusp of new uses through the phone’s accessories - virtual reality and augmented reality using context - camera on smartphone and pan and show in the viewfinder.
    16. More platforms - wearables, Apple TV, IoT, cars - a seamless flow between all of them. Everything will be connected.
    17. Where can users see the most innovative work that will benefit them. In business, apps will be more vertically focused on healthcare, retail, logistics, and financial services. In consumer there will be an app that integrates all of the different social media apps. In app development, automated application testing will be developed to get rid of the bottleneck that is hindering agile development. Currently there’s no automation framework which makes it hard to test on many devices and networks and also hard to explore all of the user paths.

What do you see as the future of mobile applications?

The Mobile Zone is brought to you in partnership with Strongloop and IBM.  Visually compose APIs with easy-to-use tooling. Learn how IBM API Connect provides near-universal access to data and services both on-premises and in the cloud.

native app development,user experience,iot app development,application testing

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