Mobile Development in Full Swing

The future is mobile. That's seemingly a given. What's less certain -- or less obvious -- is that the mobile future is now.

The future is mobile. That's seemingly a given. What's less certain -- or less obvious -- is that the mobile future is now.

That's one upshot of a recent survey of 400 mobile developers from software development consultancy Evans Data Corp., which says that enterprise IT organizations are already developing applications for mobile devices. More to the point, the Evans Data survey finds, almost three-quarters (74 percent) of developers say they'll be extending enterprise applications to mobile platforms over the next 12 months.

"It's clear that the mobile device has come into its own in the enterprise and it's a very heterogeneous target with multiple devices and device types being introduced by users, leaving IT management and enterprise developers to cope," said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp., in a statement.

Extending an application to a mobile device doesn't necessarily mean developing a version of that application specifically for a mobile platform.

If anything, Garvin points out, programmers seem to prefer to extend Web applications to the mobile context. "This study also showed the importance of [W]eb apps vs. native apps to mobile developers which correlate with the need to support a wide range of devices," she pointed out.

Elsewhere, Evans Data found that cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) APIs are two of the four most popular API types among mobile developers.

The survey results also suggest that developers are more concerned about performance than they are about power consumption, a calculus that could put them at odds with users. An overwhelming majority of mobile programmers (84 percent) think performance is more important than power consumption.

Surprisingly -- given the prominence accorded Apple's App Store -- Google and Microsoft are making big inroads into mobile, at least among developers. This year, Evans Data said, Google's Android Marketplace and Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile will surpass Apple's App Store as channels of distribution.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.