Mobile apps have become a big part of our lives, yet 57 per cent of developers have never built one, at least according to a recent survey by Progress, an app development software company.
The company attributed this to a “lack of process”, with 16 per cent of mobile developers expressing frustration over constraints and changing technology and development practices. They also struggle with a range of inhibitors, like the lack of time and tools, as well as budgetary constraints.
“It’s clear that the developer community as a whole needs easy-to-use tools and processes to move forward with their mobile app development efforts in a more substantial way,” said Karen Tegan Padir, president for application development and deployment at Progress.
Those who’ve built mobile apps prefer to develop hybrid apps over native and web apps. They are also developing apps for all platforms, with 76 per cent reported developing for Android, 63 per cent for iOS and 40 per cent for Windows Phone.
Of those who develop for iOS, 83 per cent also build apps for Android. While multi-platform development is a requirement for most enterprise mobile apps, it is also one of the greatest challenges — 36 per cent of respondents listed it as the most challenging part of app building, tied with the need to provide a clean user interface.
With the Internet-of-Things (IoT) wave on the horizon, building apps for smart appliances and virtual reality devices, such as the Oculus Rift, is expected to be more important than doing so for wearables.
According to the study, only 21 per cent of those surveyed plan to build apps for wearables in 2015. Of this number, 45 per cent will be developing apps for the Apple Watch.
While Progress believes a flexible multi-platform approach to app development will help to bring down the walls that inhibit mobile app development, companies must first see the business benefits of doing so.
Right now, those benefits don’t seem too obvious to a majority of the 3,000 respondents in the survey. For example, only 39 per cent of them saw mobile apps as a way to create revenue opportunities while just 35 per build mobile apps to improve customer service.