We’re on the cusp of a massive integration between mobile devices and the larger Internet of Things (IoT). And though it can feel easier to sweep that portion of development under the rug, it’s not difficult to find a connection between mobile apps and the future of IoT. Technically, your smartphone and smart watch already are devices that belong to this connected community. Of course, mobile app development becomes much more involved when you need software that controls or utilizes reports from multiple connected devices.
Mobile apps can already be used to set thermostats, view security cameras, and start cars remotely. Likewise, many businesses have connected devices that automatically order supplies and in-office repairs. The IoT’s population keeps growing each year, bringing the current number of connected devices to more than 20 billion. Unsurprisingly, this figure is expected to top 50 billion by 2020.
How Mobile App Development Changes Because of the IoT
This means that IoT apps have to do more than work with a particular mobile operating system; these apps also have to communicate with a number of different devices. Typical application development used to begin by documenting the on-screen functions the software needed to perform, but when coding mobile apps for the IoT, the desired physical functions must be considered first.
Before the mobile device can cooperate with a connected device, its developers need to learn how the connected device communicates. Typical mobile apps correspond via Wi-Fi, 4G-phone service or Bluetooth. However, some IoT devices have their own connection protocols and gateways, so connections may need to be customized in order to work.
Today, many developers can build apps for that broad spectrum of mobile devices. With existing development platforms, one developer may also work on versions of software for a handful of different operating systems, such as iOS, Android and Windows. However, programming for the IoT will become a more specialized, niche area. Companies that hope to do their own IoT development will have to invest in training or hiring people who already have these distinguishing development skills.
Work With Us to Develop Mobile Solutions for the IoT
As the number of connected devices continues to increase, the IoT will continue to change the way mobile app development is done. You can count on the development team at 7T to ease your business into the worldwide network of connected things. We can help you create a customized solution to meet your needs.