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Mobile App Dev in 2015: 8 Key Changes -- Micro Moments to Replace Isolated Apps

Mobile development has come a long way since its inception. Feature rich mobile applications that were merely a dream in last decade; are now a click away - and you can now turn them into reality, after genuine efforts though. All you need is an innovative partner who can articulate your thoughts and assist you in reaching the goals – the ones that you desire and deserve.We all would agree that mobile development was not easy in those days as well. And with the changing requirements and needs of businesses and clients – trust me – it's going to become harder than ever.I was reading through a very good article about some of the major challenges and 8 prediction by Forrester; which mobile app industry/segment is about to face in year of 2015. I have tried to put in the crux of the entire article, about the changes that will compel mobile app developers to pull up their socks to meet client as well as end user expectations and experiences.Standalone apps are about to lose their charm and valueHardware-driven advancements to capture markets and new opportunitiesAccessories and Ecosystems will drive Mobile competitionFront-end mobile experiences to be well dominated by compositionPhysical and Digital worlds merger to see its peakHigh Definition Mobile Context will be need of the hourEvery development toolbox will be equipped with Service virtualization and API design toolsLow-code platforms will move into the aggregation tier, but struggle to go mainstreamTo cut long story short; we all have been a witness to a variety of hardware and software ecosystems – mobile app development exists as a rocket science for lot of people out there. This barrier also includes those erratic internet connectivity and app delivery methods though pleased the clients; were quite awkward always. And all this is then when a lot of developers are in the notion that they have mastered the skill and are ready to move to the next level.The first and the foremost prediction goes “Micro Moments will be in to bid adieu to Isolated Apps”, and all this to happen while we are yet not finished off mastering application development. The prediction quotes – Mobile apps would be inclined towards more contextually relevant micro moments that are and can be delivered across a wide plethora of devices, which are personalized and fulfill more and more customer needs. (As per point one in aforesaid 8 changes)By now the questions that would have started stirring your head and stomach are: What are these “Micro Moments” and how are we supposed to do this knowledge transfer to our developers – in case if you are heading one of those teams of best mobile application developers.Toward a Faster and More Contextually Relevant Interaction With CustomersWell-defined API ecosystems for front-end, it may be mobile or otherwise, experience that can conveniently adjust to ever evolving consumer needs. It will becomes so very mandatory as in the other cases firms will have to maintain a detached back end platform for every from end channel – which hampers the scalability.Shocking surprising and hard to digest prediction is that there might be a scenario where there would be a total shift of paradigm from standalone app development as ground zero for mobile development. Yes the Micro Moments that we have been trying to talk about since the beginning of this article.The fragmentation of devices – operating systems – screen sizes and many more has been the area of concern & worry for nearly all the mobile app developers in the market. While this issue is wide spread across the mobile landscape android developers, mostly, are really scared of this fragmentation. Visualization would help us better to understand it.Source: OpenSignal (Android fragmentation, July 2013)Enhance your Acceptance Towards Micro MomentsIt would be unfair to say that Mobile developers are not receptive to fragmentation. Up to certain extent they have ignored it to adapt to it. Instead of ensuring that their app works on a wide variety of devices they have opted for optimizing it for a specific segment all together. But sadly; this approach may no longer yield fruits for them as virgin app experience may not be the right way of looking at the entire episode or forecasting the future of these apps.Defining Micro MomentsCustomers have been using any app intentionally few times in a day; whereas the developers should think in a lighting mode as to how to develop apps that will engage the customers to use an app for 5-10 follow up or second interactions in a day. This altogether would shift the focus of apps development to the much untouched aspects of notifications – widgets and cross device interactions. The golden reign of self-contained apps is about to get over and mobile app developers will have to adjust in order to survive.Few years back and we would have thought of the entire idea of Micro Moments to be impossible. However Apple – Google and various other giant names when it comes to platforms are opening up access to platform services as well as device sensors. A recent report suggested that Micro Moments are presented with the help of GoogleNow and iOS8 app extensions. They offer APIs to all those developers out there, facilitating them to inject contextually relevant information into platform mobile services or apps such as HomeKit and HealthKit. Actionable notifications have been the game changer with the release of Android 4.0 and iOS8 – moving it in the front seat for the developers to proactively attract customers with contextually relevant data.All in all it means that Google and Apple have now opted for a fan view of the coliseum, by allowing the development partners to play lead roles in their ecosystems respectively.Micro Moments Are About the Analytics -- Food for Thought for InteractionsIt is all about the analytics when it comes to Micro Moments and that comes only with the deep understanding of customer needs – how – when they would want this information to get delivered to them. To back these analytics there comes in picture the historic – local and operational context that majorly needs real time data integration between internal – third party and customer database.There is a lot that can and will be written and read on this topic in the coming months and years. However to conclude I would say that Mobile developers/ Mobile app development companies who already had the foresight and have invested in taking up APIs to support Micro Moments, would be at advantage while it would be a stiff climb for the others. Physical and digital worlds are blending in fine, meaningfully. It is the developers who should think their way out as to how to make Micro-Moments work to their advantage.Chirag Shivalker is head of the content team at Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services.See More

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