Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Trevor Parsons, AppDynamics Blog, Noel Wurst, David H Deans, Aria Blog

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, Wireless, Web 2.0, iPhone

SOA & WOA: Article

Beating the Mobile Evolution: Survival of the Technologically Fit

Develop, test, monitor and repeat is key

The exponential growth of smartphone users around the globe is no secret. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports that vendors shipped a total of 444.5 million mobile phones in 3Q12 alone. The importance of the mobile evolution reaches a broad range of industries from financial services to travel and hospitality. Integrating mobile strategies includes meeting the needs of the mobile generation and is a crucial element for any business to grow and sustain.

The burden of creating great consumer experiences and high quality enterprise applications across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows, sits on the shoulders of mobile Web and app developers worldwide.

While the perception of an iPhone world may be grandiose, the reality is iPhone and iOS only contribute to a small percentage (18 percent according to IDC's 2011 research) of the total global smartphone usage. Most mobile Web and App developers aware of the fragmented mobile market understand the headaches when faced with the daunting task of having to create for multiple platforms in order to capitalize on the 81 percent that are not iOS users. Even though Android has recently emerged as the popular platform leader, there are still numerous feature and smartphone devices that also need to be considered during development.

When it's all said and done, the judgment of quality rests in the hands of the end user. Most companies do not have the resources or second-chance opportunities to release a product without proper testing on multiple platforms. The caveat for developers working in the mobile space relies on the ability to test on multiple devices, which means having access to hundreds of devices, not generally the case. The current trend is shifting to testing on the cloud with emulated software, avoiding the need to make space for multiple devices in the development laboratory and alleviating the need to expend an exorbitant amount of resources to find, purchase and ship hundreds of mobile devices just for testing purposes.

Mobile Landscape

The fragmented mobile landscape has also been a pain point on the enterprise level. The growing adoption of BYOD has presented the need to push out quality-assured applications on a multitude of devices. This trend has increased the need to use effective testing tools that can speed up development time and push out products to keep up with the push toward mobile, where devices and their platforms are frequently updated. Enterprise customers need to be able to deploy effective communication to their employees and create mobile apps and tools that will ultimately increase productivity, and real-device testing is an efficient way for the enterprise to stay ahead of user issues.

    In mobile development there are some common mistakes during testing process that are critical to the end product.

  1. Not testing apps based on different device screen sizes. Don't trust that just because an app looks okay on one device, it will look fine on other platforms. Platforms vary in the slightest ways and can change the entire experience or perhaps not function as intended in some areas. You should test apps based on actual screen size and device types.
  2. Assuming that performance issues are consistent across all devices. Make sure to look for device-specific problems. Usually, if you can reproduce a bug or glitch using a desktop browser, the issue is likely not device-specific. However, if a bug shows up on one device and not another, realize that you need to figure out which device and platform the bug is affecting.
  3. Neglecting use and idle tests. Run through use and idle tests. Fully charge the device and do one of each type of test, for example:

Use-test: Use the application on a fully charged device for a number of hours. Take battery life and other readings at regular intervals. Set automated scripts to run and test the application for up to 12 hours to determine how many resources your application uses while it is being accessed.

Idle test: Turn on the application while the device has a full battery, and leave it running on its home or menu screen for up to 12 hours. Record battery and resources usage at regular intervals in order to determine if the idle application is using additional resources behind the scenes.

HTML5: The Ultimate Solution?
The big nudge in the HTML surge was pushed further as Steve Job addressed his aptly named "Thoughts on Flash" public note in 2010. The search for simple has sparked complexity though. Developers have been toying with the idea of hybrid apps; web apps wrapped as native apps. LinkedIn is a good example of a native app providing an embedded web view.

The introduction of HTML5 has been a great advancement in the development community and helps to streamline cross-platform coding. Simplified and minimalist is the key for success in today's on-the-go mobile culture. The "write once, run anywhere'" method has been a strong wish for developers for decades; HTML5 has not solved the issue but brought us much closer. The debate between native, hybrid and HTML5 applications is not likely to be resolved in the near future. In order to untie the complex shoelace, it's imperative for developers to consider which approach best suits their application and end-user requirements.

Nevertheless, testing remains a critical component of speed and efficiency in the development process; advances in automated testing solutions make testing hundreds lines of code efficient and consistent.

The Mobile Bottom Line
The mobile development cycle has increased in demand and become more complex and engulfing to our everyday lives. Developer pain points may never disappear but leveraging tools that will enable speed and efficiency are critical to implement in any development cycle. Will there be a single, solve all, end-all solution to cross-platform development issues? While HTML5 addresses the case, the answer will probably be no. As the demand for mobile devices continues to grow, so will usage and the need for new development and maintenance. Now that smartphones are becoming integrated into our daily habits, the next phase (which has already begun) is using a single device to align all areas of our lives: home, work and leisure. The way to stay quick and nimble with the growing demands of mobile development is to create an efficient process. Develop, test, monitor and repeat is key!

More Stories By Tim Murphy

As the Sr. Manager for Mobile Monitoring & Testing at Keynote Systems, Tim Murphy is an evangelist for improving the end-user experience on mobile websites, applications and networks. His responsibilities include the customer and corporate communication of mobile performance improvement and insight. He also works on developing strategic partnership and awareness among key markets including the enterprise, infrastructure providers and network operators.

Tim has a decade of experience in the Telecom industry, which includes work for Pacific Bell, SBC and AT&T in Internet Services, New Product Development and Mobile Customer Acquisition. His background also includes extensive experience in international retail, serving as a country manager in both the US and abroad.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...