The Future Of Mobile Applications


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This white paper traverses from past to future exploring the nature of mobile applications

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The Future Of Mobile Applications

  1. 1. P a g e | 1 The Future of Mobile Applications AKP@anoopkumar_p WWW.SMACNEWS.COM WWW.SOCLOMO.ORG May 31, 2014 Mobile applications enriched human lives beyond proportions by  quick access to critical informations  accelerated decision making  creation and consumption of digital contents  collaboration in online and offline modes  public information lookup and reference assisting decisions MOBILE BECAME A SYMBOL OF USABILITY , IF NOT USABLE, APPICIDES (APP SUICIDES) HAPPEN First generation mobile applications followed pc strategy and most of the desktop apps with their usability was “one to one” ported on to mobile devices. However the information & ux crowding made the apps (almost) unusable in most of the times. The magic solution was to approach a new usability which made users more engaged and interested , we called them intuitive, immersive, rich etc. And that paved the way for new look and feel to anciently existed decision making. Ux became the “brand governing” paradigm of modernization. UX IS A GREAT STRATEGY, IT COMPLICATED LIVES IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING Rich UX made developers think deep into ways of representing and engaging users. The secret was pick the best usability from best of the best desktop paradigms and
  2. 2. P a g e | 2 mash it together for mobility. Things became “fluidic”, and way too much “gaseous”. The cost to usability almost shot up and practicality of quick solutions became infeasible for enterprises in B2E use cases . For average B2C users, every app looked like a dynamic brochure used for exploting them. Moreover the number of device platforms and their cross pollinations complicated the development process. The life expectancy of a device platform and the operating system versions scared businesses to invest more for achieving the transformations with a phenomenal UX. APP SOCIALISM WAS THE ONLY SOLUTION Suddenly HTML5 became the next best thing after Oxygen and Water in the Universe. The battle against HTML5 for security, storage, usability , performance couldn’t fetch prolonged attention. This was not because they are not there , but, because hyper fragmentation in HTML5 frameworks almost had answers for everything that was argued till then. The positive side of things is the flexibility HTML5 provides , where a problem can get solved multiple ways. The negative side being , as a Java script framework embraces more native like UX, it tend to lose its performance edge. The patchup always ended up consuming the memory called the might DOM overloads. However every limitation , was an opportunity and a new HTML5/JS framework emerged. The developer community embraced and advocated each and every one of them. HOWEVER, HTML5 CREATED A MEGA ECOSYSTEM CONFUSION SOAP and REST, the so called new age interfaces which pretty much demolished a JDBC way, a BAPI way of talking to enterprises, started losing their charm. Everything became JSON ized (The HTML way to talk to systems). The transformations that are stuck mid way with SOAP /REST rooted legacy modernization is rethinking on new integration paradigms. Mobile first-also- only is almost eradicated by html5 first-also- only. RWD/AWD ( Responsive/adaptive web designs) is stuck midway on their identity crisis between desktops & smartphones; ie from where to start and where to adapt to ?. The only winner seems to be CSS in all these games. The traditionally modern UDDI service exposures get a new shape as API gateways and now API stores ( API copyrights law is a new calamity, industry keeps fingers crossed)
  3. 3. P a g e | 3 AND THEN, APP WEAVING, THE CRAFT EMERGED Mobility is all about offline first, online second, what will we do with online HTML5 s ?. The answer for mobility was simple , make every mobile host the local copies of HTML5 pages and package and “containerize”. Along with ways to interleave native capabilities to html local pages by java script hooks almost revolutionized the way HTML5 is looked at, in Mobility. Phonegap disrupted mobility. Thanks to Adobe to bless in supreme way and Cordova is just the beginning of a cycle of innovations. I will not be surprised the containers go and swallow HTML5 UX ( MVC err! MV*) technologies. The mega disruption is yet to come. App weaving became a craft, we have to build the apps from a mix of JavaScript frameworks with and without HTML; sitting on a container which talks to device OS , which also has flexibility to get managed by enterprises. WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF MOBILE APPLICATIONS ? The future of mobile apps will definitely NOT be based on how an app is built, how easy or complex the systems are , how usable- reusable and unusable the strategies to build them. The future of mobile apps will definitely NOT be based on how an app is built, how easy or complex the systems are , how usable- reusable and unusable the strategies to build them. Information analysed, aggregated and represented paves the foundation of the success of any future use cases. While usability renders information, the smartness of the use case is based on how rapidly the user is engaged to take decisions. Some of the key critical themes that are imminent in mobility are;
  4. 4. P a g e | 4  Multi mode user engagement within application  Intelligence  Context Awareness  In App Analytics  Simplicity in engagement  Self service  Talk to any  Jigsaw- able modules  Configurability  Discover-ability  Self healing Multi mode user engagements within application Multimode user engagement is where the same application interacts with user in multiple mechanisms like  App use case alert channel  App usability – traditional mode  App alerts via email/ sms The application client and server will have a mechanism to convey the messaging ; the useable screens otherwise would have conveyed. This enables users to prioritize the choice of using the application itself for further decision making . Application Intelligence Application will have intelligence beyond the workflow business logic. Application will be robotic enough to analyse the performance and quality of the workflows and re-prioritize and advise user with a key to do recommendation. Context awareness of applications Application will have dynamic behaviours based on the context of the device , the user and the application itself. Based on the contexts the behaviours of the applications can get adjusted, to cater to, the use case nature fitting to a specific context.
  5. 5. P a g e | 5 In App Analytics Application should be assessing its own workflow and system key performance and quality indicators. This enables the users to be alerted of the health of the application on the application while it is being consumed. This can be typically system related and workflow related analysis. Simplicity in Ux Mobile apps will align to the principles of simplicity, the OS platforms as such are shifting towards Simplicity centric. Self Service Application should enable to be managed remotely by the enterprise, this will ensure application availability to end users. Key capabilities that needs to me managed by enterprise ,  Critical Logs  Remote debugging  Crash dump reporting  Application initial on boarding  Data Management – install/wipe  Application patch detection and install  Application Life cycle Information Talk to Any In future Mobile can be a feeder for wearables in companion mode. Mobile can also be data aggregators for various wearables & internet of things around.
  6. 6. P a g e | 6 Mobile can be the hub of a spoke of devices connected by BTLE/WIFI/Proprietary wireless mechanisms/NFC etc. This makes the apps also be #wearable and #iot friendly. Hence the power of application notification mentioned above is profound. Smartphones can be hub for connected cars, connected homes, smart offices , smart cities etc. Application componentization and modularization The principle of building application components should be loose coupling , that enables the components to be federated & orchestrated by management modules or configuration modules. This enables app to be adjusted based on context dynamically. This provided the flexibility of super customization with a “one size fit all” strategy. Configurability The traditional application being multi mode, context aware , multi component based demands the need of a feature switching. Hence a meta data based configurability is a mandatory element of applications of future. Discover-ability The applications written should be search friendly , discoverable and interconnected with all searchable tags of the world. The applications especially B2C, B2B2C , should have a mandatory self marketing element with multi depth insights into the capabilities and fitments. The seriousness of SEO for web contents is what the level an App should have in a store. Self-healing Apps are consumed in multiple environments with multiple users types. Hence the cost of managing apps remotely can be extremely high. When the sensitivity of the data and the workflow is high, the management of the applications also fetch great priority
  7. 7. P a g e | 7 Apps are consumed in multiple environments with multiple users types. Hence the cost of managing apps remotely can be extremely high. When the sensitivity of the data and the workflow is high, the management of the applications also fetch great priority. It is important to have serious “error handling” & “exception handling” considerations for applications. The principle should be based on minimal app manageability with the “event to incident to assurance” is taken care of. The next generation applications will be integrating various elements of assistive capabilities beyond the core workflows. It will be based on the strong elements of application architecture/ design agnostic to a device platform or adoption of any specific development paradigm. This kind of approach will enable maximum business reuse of between applications so that key learnings of past are inherited for newer steps taken for an ever evolving landscape. ~AKP