Posted by:Monica Samuel June 27th, 2012
Interesting though not unpredictable results came out of a survey conducted by the Eclipse foundation within its open source community (732 participants). According to the Eclipse Open Source Developer Report, the number of developers who have developed mobile applications for internal and external users has doubled from last year. In fact, 43% of developers who use Eclipse are into developing mobile applications currently. As I said, it’s not an unpredictable trend seeing the flood of smartphones and tablets that’s hit markets since 2010, and the financial and professional incentive for application developers to divert some of their time from desktop or web application development. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of professional developers admit that mobile app development is still not their primary forte. The primary responsibility of 30.3% of respondents continues to be web and rich internet application development, with 21% having already deployed cloud applications and more considering the domain.

Ian Skerrett, vice president of Marketing and Ecosystem at Eclipse, expressed surprise that more developers are not using cross-platform frameworks such as JQuery Mobile orPhoneGap for mobile app development choosing instead to work with the mobile OS SDKs. iOS and Android are easily the key platforms developers work with; capturing 80% and 90% of developers’ interest.

In a recent press statement, David Mitchell Smith, research vice president and Gartner Fellow, said, “With phones and tablets becoming a platform for the delivery of applications and information and not simply a communications tool, the era of running applications solely on desktop and notebook PCs is rapidly being superseded by a fast-moving, diverse era of ecosystems that span consumer electronics, business computing, fixed-location clients and mobile clients.”

There is a huge demand for mobile applications within and outside enterprises across B2B, B2E and B2C channels. Smith added that application developers who realize this need can ride the wave by honing their mobile app development skills, figuring out areas of app demand, and performing a series of assessments including mobile-only, mobile-first and legacy studies to further improve application development management. Another important aspect is the implementation of architectural and tool frameworks for future app development, including context-aware applications.

The range in mobile devices is vast and mobile app developers have to stay ahead of the ball by learning about various forms of user interfaces, including touch, sound, gestures and social media-based user interfaces. At the same time, the trend is towards simplistic apps that are intuitive and integrated. That’s not all. Mobile app developers must research on voice recognition tools and devices and learn to integrate these features in apps, along with video, audio, facial recognition, in-air gestures and more.

It’s the gold rush for mobile app developers but it’s not going to be an easy win. In the age of innovation, being different and recognizing a need takes the cake. The trend of Eclipse developers towards mobile app development is just a small part of the mammoth movement.

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