Mobile Application Development – Risks and Challenges Mobile Developers Face

As promising and appealing the Mobile Application Development industry is to many around the world, there are also some risks that should also be considered before venturing into this industry. There has been great success from companies such as Apple, Google, Palm and RIM but at the same time, there has been just as many failures by less dominant small to mid-size companies that just could not seem to get the break they needed to make it a success.

In the following paragraphs, we will examine two major risks that companies/individuals face when attempting to develop a Mobile Application and also possible ways to avoid encountering such challenges.

The first risk which many experience when attempting to develop a mobile application is the fact that their mobile application is simply very poorly designed. In these cases studies, developers felt they simply needed to transfer their web-centric content into a small generic mobile screen and it would convert into a great mobile application. Unfortunately, Mobile Application users are now looking for easy to use, simple, clear user-interfaces that show the content in crisp and clear quality. Simply by transferring a web-centric site onto a mobile phone does not offer such benefits as compared to a properly designed mobile application.

To avoid such an issue from happening, it is important for developers to consider not only the form factor change that takes place in the user interface but also the scope of the application itself. The developer must put more detail and quality into the application to make it more fine-grained and ensure that it performs well.

The second risk is that the mobile application market is still very fluid. Companies such as Apple (iPhone), Google (Android), RIM (Blackberry), Windows (Mobile Phone 7), continue to develop new devices into the market each year and it makes it very difficult for developers to focus on one single stable platform to perform application development. Each year a new device is released with a new operating system, new user interface, new functionalities and capabilities that developers need to re-learn how to develop applications for those specific devices that are in high demand at the time.

Although there is no solution or way to stop the influx of new mobile devices that enter the market each year, developers can consider focusing on one specific platform (ie Apple’s iPhone and its iTunes marketplace or Google’s Andriod and its Andriod Marketplace) and claim expertise on that one specific device rather than having to maintain knowledge on a variety of devices that are always changing.

Risks and challenges will be in any industry a company/individual decides to enter. The key to success is to learn to recognize these risks/challenges, understand them and then find a solution to them. The Mobile Application industry has potential for great success but it will only be the smart companies who understand their market who will truly succeed in this competitive market.