What is relevant today will be history tomorrow. The speed at which technology is evolving is compelling mobile app developers to deliver ever-richer app experiences. It is no wonder that apps that are made today are light years ahead of those that came before them. App developers are ever-more focused on improving application functionalities to deliver elevated app experiences. With the total number of mobile app downloads expected to exceed 197 billion in 2017 according to Statista, it’s no surprise that mobile app developers are working on delivering hyper-personalized experiences for greater user satisfaction.
Technology changes rapidly – shouldn’t blog about that technology keep pace? We wrote just last month about Mobile App Development technologies and in this blog, we look at some more technologies impacting mobile app development.
Sencha Mobile – Still a hit or now a miss?
Sencha Mobile was ‘the’ shiny new object for mobile app developers when it was launched. However, with the rise of other mobile app development frameworks, Sencha Mobile seems to have lost some of its sheens. Sencha Touch, the mobile app development framework was recently merged with ExtJS and is now geared to help developers build data-intensive, cross-platform as well as hybrid applications. With this merger, Sencha Touch is well on its way to recapturing the title of being one of the most powerful and advanced frameworks around.
With the merger with ExtJS, app developers now have access to comprehensive pre-integrated and tested high-performance UI components. These include grids, pivot grids, HTML5 calendar, trees, lists, forums, menus, and hundreds of user extensions. Sencha Touch also has one of the most advanced class systems of all Java Script frameworks. This allows developers to create plugins, extended features, and custom components. Additionally, Sencha Touch also has one of the best documentation capabilities. Sencha Architect helps create drag and drop images, Sencha Cmd provides support in theming, scaffolding, building and packaging an app and in optimizing the app to work faster. Sencha Touch’s Class System is one of its strongest features and takes care of dependencies and enforces structured application development. App development tools from Sencha enable easy cross-platform mobile app development while cutting down on build and development timelines. The ability to choose from different programming languages gives more flexibility to the developers and reduces implementation timelines.
However, with the ExtJS merger, Touch which was previously a free framework is now paid. Along with this, a rather steep learning curve is impacting its acceptance in the developer community.
Is Xamarin is set to rule mobile app development?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Xamarin has propelled Xamarin higher in the mobile developer’s playbook. Xamarin, a cross-platform native mobile app development framework, promises to reduce development time by as much as 60%. It uses a shared code logic and also allows sharing of components like app logic, business objects, data access layers, etc. across platforms. Xamarin helps in reducing the go-to-market time since only a small portion of the code is platform specific. The Xamarin Test Cloud helps developers test applications faster and more comprehensively. They can get real-time insights on app health using a real-time app monitoring module, Xamarin Insights. Being part of Microsoft gives Xamarin the Azure cloud advantage with more scalability, greater availability, high support, access to on-demand resources, robust application security, and increased cost efficiencies. The Azure integration ensures continuous app performance and reduced performance lags – two things crucial to ensure mobile app success in today’s market.
The rise and rise of Device data capturing apps
As mobile devices have become data powerhouses, device data capturing apps have entered the scene. As mobile devices become equipped with more sensors and features, device data capturing apps can be used to leverage the existing functions of the smartphone to deliver greater value. The apps combine a set of sophisticated technologies to capture data from a broad set of sources to deliver greater value to products and services. Google’s recent acquisition of healthcare startup Senos is Health is a part of this trend. Senos is uses the features of a smartphone to diagnose ailments such as jaundice in new-born babies, measure lung function and ailments such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, and measure hemoglobin in the bloodstream.
New programming languages for native platforms
Mobile app programming languages have witnessed some new players. They cater to the demands of different operating systems, varying levels of functionalities and, of course, the ease of writing code. Swift and Kotlin are two such programming languages that seek to establish themselves in the native mobile app development landscape. Initially, developers had to use Object C to develop mobile apps for iOS. However, despite being a reliable language it was deeply rooted in the pre-mobile era. Swift, a successor of Object C, is Apple’s new programming language that offers a concise and expressive syntax, is less cluttered, is safe by design, provides source-code compatibility, and helps in delivering robust and stable apps.
Kotlin, an open source programming language, recently received first-class support from the Android team. Kotlin is a modern and powerful programming language that addresses problems like run-time exceptions and source code verbosity. Its flexible nature allows it to be introduced to existing projects easily and provides easy inter-operation between Java and Java bytecode. Kotlin also reduces the volume of written code by almost 20%. This allows developers to code faster, avoids extra garbage collection to the code, imposesless run-time overhead, and is easy to learn.
The mobile app development landscape is in a state of constant evolution. With a bevy of new technologies and mobile devices, rising consumer expectations and apps becoming central to business strategies, mobile app developers will have to keep an eagle eye out for the next revolutionary technology. We hope the information in our blogs will help them stay updated!