Technology has seen a meteoric evolution over the last few years. Mobile phones were once a simple, portable phone simply used to communicate with friends and family, now they are a mini computer that we have access to, 24/7.

With the development of faster and more powerful smartphones, comes the rise of the mobile app. Every smartphone in the world uses them and many apps have completely changed the way we live our everyday lives. As a result, there is a continued need for experienced and creative mobile app developers, who can cope with the ever-changing and fast-paced landscape of the mobile industry.

What skills do mobile developers now need?

When smartphones were first released, the focus was to create mobile versions of a website, simply adding in ‘mobile only’ and responsive features including push notifications and camera access. As apps have developed, a greater level of detail, creativity and problem solving is needed, to create a successful and user-friendly app.

We take a look at a few of the key areas that developers now need to keep in mind and discover the effect that these essential areas have had when creating a well designed and well implemented mobile app.

Cross platform development

Mobile apps are no longer the preserve of smartphones, iPads and other tablet devices have burst onto the scene to streamline the clunky but classic laptop computer. Tablets offer a more powerful experience and more memory than its smartphone predecessors, but with these devices comes a new challenge for developers, how to create an app that fits both a small phone screen and a larger tablet screen.

Tablets now come in a huge variety of different screen sizes and resolutions and it’s this aspect that developers need to keep in mind when designing their apps. If an app can’t work on both a tablet, a smartphone and even an iWatch, then its chances of succeeding with users drops significantly.

In this case, mobile app developers need to keep responsive design at the forefront of their mind, from design through to build and launch.

Developing user journey and interaction

Apps are no longer just a mobile version of a website, they are their own separate entity that requires a whole new form of development. When it comes to developing a mobile app that will be popular with users, user journey and interaction become the single most important aspect.

Apps were created to be a simpler and faster way of accessing a website or service. This means that a mobile app:

- Needs to load quickly
- Make any call to actions (CTAs) clear and easy to access
- Allow the user to reach their end goal with as few obstacles as possible

Apps now need the same level of care and attention from a UX designer as a regular desktop website.

DIY app development tools - the future of mobile apps?

DIY web development tools have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Small businesses are now seeing the benefit of online visibility, and need a quick and easy way to make their own website. Off the back of these successful ‘make your own’ website tools, comes the DIY app development tools.

Now, it is becoming extremely beneficial for businesses to have their own mobile apps for their customers. However, mobile app development can be pricey depending on the level of development needed. DIY app development tools have opened up this door for many businesses that may not have been able to afford to create an app for their customer base. Which poses the question, will this form of app development become as popular as its desktop counterparts?

Just like web developments ever-evolving industry, app development continues to grow in both importance and popularity. New skills are constantly needed by developers due to the ever-changing features of the latest smartphones. Developers need to keep up to date with the latest technologies and be able to foresee any new features that may affect the way users use mobile applications. But with DIY tools becoming regularly available to anyone and everyone, could this be the future of app development?

 

By Catherine Crawford, marketing manager at Yappi


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