The market for mobile applications is already extensive and it exhibits no evidence of slowing down. Currently, there were over 10 billion mobile devices with Internet access that were expected to be in use at the end of last year. As such, the app-building industry needs to grow to match the demand being achieved. Since the inception of this industry, a record number of 83 billion apps have been downloaded; with industry professionals predicting downloads to exceed 200 billion per year by 2017. Users are favouring the expediency and a better overall user experience of native apps on both smart phones and tablets.
The average user spends more time using mobile apps as opposed to visiting the mobile web; an average of 139 minutes per day. Let’s flashback to more than 15 years ago when the Internet was the newest ground-breaking discovery and companies were scrambling to put out a website with all their information; it seemed like it was mandatory if a company wanted to be seen as a worthy competitor on the market. Now fast forward to present day – the mobile age, companies are quickly realizing that in order to engage with mobile users, they need to provide them with a medium in which they are constantly interacting with – mobile apps.
The shift to mobile app development is about to get even more appealing to developers. Last year, Google implemented mobile friendly factors in its search results. It ranks mobile apps participating in App Indexing  better in the mobile search results. This algorithmic change has a significant effect in search. Users now find it much simpler to get relevant results optimized for their devices.
With all this over saturation of mobile applications, how can developers create apps that would stand out? Predictions on what the mobile application market will be like this year indicates that apps will get more targeted. Developers should create apps that are more targeted for a specific need rather than building apps that serve a multi-purpose function. The more specific you make an app, the easier it is to stand out. Also, investing in graphics would be a plus in this visual age. Users tend to download an app that immediately catches their eye.
The success and rise of mobile apps is, without a doubt, the biggest player in the market. Pretty soon, most would be conforming to it. So what are you waiting on? Platforms such as Appery.io, Mobile Roadie and AppMakr make it easy for anyone to get started on building and joining the mobile revolution.
Once your application is built, you can bring it in to the Centre for Enterprise Development’s mCentre. mCentre is the only mobile applications laboratory and accelerator in the region which incubates high potential mobile app developers. This lab provides world class business and technical training to individuals on mobile app development and entrepreneurship on all platforms; Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows.
The mCentre operates a mobile application testing facility referred to as the Living Lab, which provides testing services on all mobile application platforms, viz, Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry. Using appropriate checklists, the tests use measurements which provide an indication as to where improvements, if any, can be made to the mobile application.
The mCentre’s also hosts an App Club which is an outreach programme to help build a developer community as well as awareness of different platforms, SDKs, APIs and other technology. Members of the App Club are afforded the opportunity to attend various training workshops and seminars all geared towards mobile application development and commercialization.