Me? A Mobile App Developer?
Where is the future headed with Mobile Apps?
The mobile development industry is a unique force that is driven by several influences, yet has no real ‘landing point’ or ‘complete’ button and loose directional boundaries which are usually carved from post-reactive legislation. The technology is accessible (everyone has a phone), applications are easy to install and there are several to choose from (complete with pictures on your app store) and it is not age biased (younger generations are often more adept at optimizing the technology opposed to older generations). I see the mobile development industry as continuing to advance at remarkable speed as its subscribers continue to grow, acclimate and demand more of technology. After all, according to MobileAppDaily.com, “The social media world is the second largest place filled with people after the physical world in the entire universe (excluding the alien possibility).” This is just one facet of mobile development. Developer-tech.com has also seen hyper-casual gaming on the rise, “...these games now have the highest number of installs on average in 50 percent of the top global markets. For context, last year they only had the highest number of installs in the top 20 percent.” The increase of several different areas within the global scope of mobile application equates to dramatic changes in short periods of time. The mobile development industry is explosive, dynamic and interactive and as the world challenges the developers, the developers are attempting to keep pace like ducks on water (calm on the surface, feet moving wicked fast beneath). In this industry it is an absolute requirement to have the foresight to see an opportunity and to have the ability to capitalize on it.
A Future View of the Industry (5-10 years)
I carry the strong belief that cold technology is fusing with the warm social aspects of daily living. We are on the brink of establishing true ‘social commerce’. According to TheAppCompay, “Through sophisticated tools designed for gathering and analyzing in-application data, app developers are paying closer attention than ever before to the customer’s choice, and are much more empowered to tailor communications to boost the usage of the application, as well as drive conversation.” In the next five years, an intricate system will begin to form created by skilled marketing firms to predict your behavior and purchasing needs by following you on social media, gaming networks and collecting data. By successfully predicting your purchasing behavior, businesses are able to make a tailor-made marketing campaign delivered to you on the daily in subtle, non-invasive ways. The information will be helpful, relevant and current to you, as well as giving businesses a true reflection of what area of the market they need to focus on in their quest to master supply and demand. Make no mistake, this is happening right now; but I believe it will mutate into a far less abrasive form.
For example, in ten years, you will play a riveting round of ‘Candy Crush 5000’ on your phone while at the DMV (sorry folks government moves slow and it will still be the same wait). You get a high score and proudly ‘share’ on FaceBook to get the two free turns the game offers for ‘sharing’ (click goes the advertising dollar). While on FaceBook that morning, you had ‘liked’ your friends trip to Mexico and commented ‘wish I could go without the kids’. When you arrive home after completing your errand at the DMV, you turn on the smartTV and are greeted with 1) discounted groupon trips to Mexico (ding $), 2) Nannysforhire.com (ding $), 3) DMVServices for hire (ding $) and 4) a coupon for a free Hershey’s bar on your smartFridge (ding $). The smartFridge sends a text to your grocery app with the coupon and a reminder that ‘you forgot to stop and get milk would you like it delivered along with these other items you are low on and some repeat buys as well as suggestions?’ (ding, ding, ding $$). Advertising guided through social aspects of technology including technology ‘speaking’ to each other will immerse itself into the daily norm. As a mobile app developer, the ability to create sophisticated business applications that work within social media realms and predict behavior, will be a highly desired skill.
Future View of the Industry (25 years)
In 25 years, I see ‘social commerce’ developing into more of a personal assistant role. Business 2 Community stated, “Voice search is turning out to be an increasingly popular way for individuals to perform searches and even buy something on-the-go using their mobile phones. "Voice shopping is expected to grow to a level of $40 billion by 2022, from $2 billion at present.”
Now that rigorous proactive, user catered marketing is in play, convenience and speed are going to be critical to keep interest and retention. The voice revolution has already started with https://blu.ai/about making it’s services available, simple and fast. “Experts predict that mobile commerce will dominate the eCommerce industry with 54% ($659 billion) in sales by the year 2021.” (Business 2 Community). In a world where technology is holding court and speaking to each other, it would be of paramount importance for a mobile developer to create applications that recognize speech patterns, are cross platform and that organize the ‘thoughts’ of the different technologies into an easy to navigate one stop shop for the consumer that flows with social medias and retains memory of what is purchased. It would also be well-advised for the developer to organize data in such a way to report it to the businesses to make this beneficial for both parties.
Career Path (5, 10 & 15 years)
In the next five years, my plan is to continue my education at Full Sail University. I currently have a VR App on the Oculus store that is a shell of what it could be and my career path includes having the skill and knowledge to take it to where I need it to be to complete my vision. I am also working on another game with outside developers and ‘game’ friends. I would like to be able to maintain and update this game using the skills I acquire at Full Sail. My five year plan is to obtain a Masters in Mobile Gaming and a Masters in Gaming Development. Taking this even further, I would like to specialize in VR. I believe the possibilities here are endless and I want to be a pioneer and driving force behind it. I am blessed to live in Las Vegas, the mecca where everyone visits, and have no plans to change that.
In ten years, I intend to revolutionize how people date, take trips, network and engage in communication by promoting VR Applications, including the one previously discussed. I hope to participate in community discussions and meaningful engagements with diverse groups in order to create dynamic, user-friendly interface applications that help people reach their goals and add enrichment to people’s lives. Providing apps that work smarter not harder and give people back time to do more enjoyable things is a high priority for me. Time is a valuable asset, one you cannot get back. I would like to add value in this genre. I also want to spend time creating hyper-casual games as they are a great outlet to relieve stress and are lucrative. Finally, I want to address business related problems and obstacles for entrepreneurs. Even the little guy can compete with the big boys provided they have the right tools. This encourages competition in the marketplace benefiting consumers and welcomes creativity and innovation from all voices which pushes an industry forward. Consulting small businesses and building applications that help them reach their full potential is of high importance. As a developer, I also hope at this point in my life, ten years down the road, that I am experiencing financial stability so I may continue with other hobbies that I have. Yes, I am a busy body and do not like to be known as any ‘one’ thing, I am more than that.
In fifteen years, I envision myself as a lead voice and contributor in realizing VR potential and pushing limits. My small business ventures have blossomed into a vast network of colleagues, acquaintances and business owners that collaborate monthly in several community forums to better our products and industries with commitment to education and services. We are a group that is in tune with the pulse of consumer and business needs and promotes as well as creates applications that assist in balancing work and home life and empowering small businesses to compete. We welcome new members in our communities and there is no ‘shaming’ of any ideas brought forth. We learn together, fail together and always keep focus on our ideals as we move forward. We are an inspiration as well as an authoritative group, seen as the experts in the industry and advocates for our industry. We defend any creative-stifling litigation that may attempt to impose restrictions. As far as awards, I am not an awards person. I don’t seek to obtain any. I dream bigger. I want to create a group that is immortal. A group that changes and adapts with industry need, benefits the industry as a whole and continues long after I am gone.
After all of my reflection and research, it is obvious that mobile app developers encompass more than the technical development of an application. They will need to be: Critical thinkers, demonstrate exceptional organization and prioritization , be attentive listeners with a clear visualization of what is being said , networking gurus , have the ability to change gears and learn new things quickly (developer prowess) , exhibit a healthy appetite for competition , be humble enough to take criticism and use it constructively , know white-glove customer service expectations and retention skills as well as mastery level sales skills , innovative with creative problem solving skills , data and communication wizard , have integrity and trustworthiness and impeccable accountability and follow-through .
I appreciate the challenge that this industry provides as well as the limitless opportunity that it presents. Communication is a powerful thing. Technology is universal. Used together in the right ways, it is possible to rule the world from this vantage point or to initiate the apocalypse. One thing is for certain, there is no avoiding the beast that is emerging. I want to do my part to lure the beast to mutually beneficial tasks, both locally and internationally. Mobile developers will morph into relationships and linguistic artists for the world we know.
Daws, Ryan. (2019). AppsFlyer: ‘Hyper casual’ gaming is boosting in-app advertising. https://www.developer-tech.com/news/2019/nov/28/appsflyer-hyper-casual-gaming-in-app-advertising/
Mahajan, Ankush. (2019). 10 Interesting Mobile Commerce Trends That Will Dominate the Ecosystem in 2020. https://www.business2community.com/ecommerce/10-interesting-mobile-commerce-trends-that-will-dominate-the-ecosystem-in-2020-02245367
S., Tanya. (2020). Have You Heard About The Social Commerce? Here Is Everything You Need To Know. https://www.mobileappdaily.com/2018/09/10/social-commerce-everything-you-need-to-know#
The Future of the Mobile App Industry. (2020). https://theappcompany.com/the-future-of-the-mobile-app-industry/