Mobile Among 3 Megatrends Shaping the Future of App Development

Fans of industry trends might want to file the following under rumination or research: three megatrends are shaping the future of enterprise application development, claims Forrester principal analyst Mike Gualtieri.

Developers need to get faster, design perfect user experiences, and — huge surprise, here — create mobile apps. Those are the megatrends Gualtieri drilled into at the annual RunRevLive Developers’ Conference in San Jose, Calif., last week.

Gualtieri, the conference’s keynote speaker, said “getting faster” consisted of faster development and faster change. Applications must be developed fast enough to meet budget and time constraints and to beat the competition, he added. Faster change means that an application can be changed as fast as needed to meet customer and business requirements.

For his second megatrend, he noted that developers need to create apps that are useful, usable and desirable. He elaborated on the idea by noting that “wildly desirable applications must strike the right balance among seven qualities” — experience, availability, performance, scalability, adaptability, security and economy.

Gualtieri’s final megatrend — do mobile — speaks for itself, as a huge swathe of the app world is mobile or heading that way.

A recent report from Forrester, “Mobile App Internet Recasts The Software And Services Landscape,” predicted the mobile apps market could balloon to $38 billion by 2015 from its current value of $1.7 billion.

In a related recent report, Gartner said worldwide sales of smartphones will reach a staggering 1.1 billion in 2015. As early as the end of 2011, Gartner expects that smartphone sales will be 468 million units, a 57.7 percent increase over last year.

Gartner predicts Android devices could consolidate the dominance they set in the market at the end of 2010, growing their current 23 percent market share to 49 percent in 2015.

The researcher expects Apple iOS will remain the second biggest platform worldwide through 2014, rising from 15.7 percent in 2010 to 17.2 percent in 2015.

The Mobile Future and the LiveCode App Dev Tool

“Mobile is the future for many apps and many developers,” said Kevin Miller, CEO, RunRev.

Anticipating that future and hoping to shape it, RunRev recently extended its LiveCode application development tool to Google’s Android mobile platform, after first releasing it in 2010 for Apple’s iOS platform.

One out of every three new phones sold in the United States is an Android-based device. noted Miller.

As Android continues to grow in popularity, developers recognize the importance of developing for both iOS and Android, and staying competitive by completing and submitting quality apps quickly, he said.

The LiveCode development environment is a full-featured cross-platform solution that enables shared code across multiple platforms and devices.

In addition to LiveCode for mobile devices, deployment packs include Windows desktops, Mac OS desktops, Linux desktops and popular Web browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Featuring an English-like language for writing code, C++-based LiveCode enables developers to build applications from a single code base that can run on different devices and platforms while taking advantage of the OS-specific features of each device.

Developers can write less code using LiveCode, said Miller.

“Applications are built in such a fashion that the application is always live, saving developers from having to edit and compile,” said Miller.

The benefits of LiveCode stretch far beyond its cross-device capabilities, saving developers hundreds of hours or nearly two months in development time, claimed Miller.

The results of a new RunRev survey of 670 developers show that developers saved 51 days of development time using Live Code over Java and Objective-C, while one-third of all projects simply would not have been viable without LiveCode.

LiveCode pricing begins at $99 (£79) for a one-seat, personal use license, with additional pricing options for various commercial and academic environments.

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