According to a recently published report from ABI Research, the development of the cloud computing area and of software solutions that are based on this technology will influence dramatically future mobile applications, including their engineering, acquisition and usage. The research firm says that the current application model is very likely to be eclipsed by 2014. At the same time, it also states that the disruptive development that will surface will be capable of delivering a revenue of around $20 billion each year by the end of 2014.
“Mobile application developers today face the challenge of multiple mobile operating systems,” says Senior Analyst Mark Beccue. “Either they must write for just one OS, or create many versions of the same application. More sophisticated apps require significant processing power and memory in the handset. Using Web development, applications can run on servers instead of locally, so handset requirements can be greatly reduced and developers can create just one version of an application. This trend is in its infancy today, but ABI Research believes that eventually it will become the prevailing model for mobile applications.”
For what it's worth, the new approach will face a lot of challenges, one of which, and probably the most important, is the availability of network connectivity. Cloud-based apps will require continuous connectivity, otherwise they will stop working. Even so, innovative programming languages like HTML 5 should offer the possibility to cache data on the mobile device, so that the work will continue even when the network connectivity is lost.
According to Beccue, the cloud computing will deliver new levels of sophistication to the mobile applications. Collaboration and data sharing apps, for example, will be especially beneficial for business users, while personal users should enjoy the ability to monitor home security systems, PCs or DVRs that remote access applications will offer. In addition, he also says that end users will benefit “from social networking mashups that let them share photos and video or incorporate their phone address books and calendars.”
More details on the report can be found on ABI Research's website.