Mobile Development overview of 2016

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A lot has happened in 2016 in the mobile app development universe.  Technology has been shifting this year. Not in the last place because of the improvements to, and added features in modern day browsers. Several of the ruling companies have changed gears and set course for a new strategic route.o

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the epic changes  – possibly, improvements – that happened in 2016 and also share you some overview resources to get a sense of the impact that 2016 had on the Mobile App development Industry.

Read more on the mobile development overview of 2016 after the break.

2016 was an interesting and turbulent year for mobile developers

Appboy, a renowned mobile marketing company, recaps some of 2016’s events in their report on 2016’s mobile marketing called “State of Mobile Consumer & Marketing Industry“.

Developer Economics has a proven reputation for providing quality insights & reports on the tools, strategies, and preferences that live amongst mobile developers.

DE gives insights, indicate trends and provide background information that is very useful. See their latest report on “The State of The Developer Nation Q3 2016“. While you’re at it, help by answering their last survey for the Q4 final edition of 2016.

2016’s Biggest mobile related Events

Facebook F8 was one of the first events back in April 2016. It showed Facebook’s latest developments and strategy. A big focus was laid on Augmented Reality.

VR/AR technology is slowly becoming common good and the latest hardware is looking very promising for both end consumers and professional users (check out this article on the latest hardware iterations and another one on frameworks that you can use for AR and VR experiences as a mobile developer).

For a recap of Facebook’s F8 event check out this recap video on Gummicube’s blog.

Xamarin Evolve + //Build Event shows how Microsoft has shifted gears and is working more and more with the open source community and – by acquiring Xamarin – gained a lot more expertise on mobile development.

Since a lot of mobile developers are on Macbooks – because it is a requirement to build and compile iOS applications on Mac systems – the release of a-grade tools like Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio for Mac are truly great assets to the mobile community.
Here is a video recap on Evolve and Build.

Visual Studio for Mac was – amongst other interesting developments – announced during the Connect event, for which Xamarin published a recap post on their blog.

The EU Phonegap Days 2016 showed that Cordova and Phonegap are going strong and that both matured both on a platform level and their tooling. Cordova has become a rock solid platform for creating both consumer- and enterprise mobile solutions.

Check out this Phonegap Days Europe 2016 RECAP #pgday post that I’ve written after attending the event in May 2016.

Clouds have gone, clouds have come

The weather has been turbulent in 2016 for cloud environments and MBaaS solutions. Parse, one of the biggest MBaaS players around, announced their retirement back in January 2016.
Parse dropped their software as open source on GitHub and provided tools & knowledge to help their users to host their solution for themselves.

Sure, it was a nice gesture but the only strategically correct option is to move on to another MBaaS solution or build one for yourself on a persistent cloud platform.

During 2016, Microsoft vastly improved the Azure Cloud and, together with the before mentioned VS Code and VS for Mac releases, refocussed key elements.
By repackaging and repricing the functional bits and pieces that can be used to create a mobile backend and host web services into Azure App Services, Microsoft made a very slick cloud proposition that provides all the necessary tools to create full blown web- or mobile App solutions.

Ionic Framework was going strong already but increased traction by creating a graphical interface, Ionic Creator, that makes building hybrid app fast and deadly easy. Ionics cloud proposition is named Ionic Cloud and contains more and more key features. From push-messaging to analytics and from deployment to authorisation services.

Recently Ionic has decided to focus their work on fewer things to increase value on their remaining services and keep pushing forward and refocus from a hybrid app development framework to a fully-fledged hybrid development platform.

What else?

The long anticipated framework Angular 2.0 was released in 2016, currently running at version 2.4.

On the other side of the same coin, Aurelia was released. Being founded by the man behind DurandalJS (who also was on board defining Angular 2 in its first days) this was also being watched by a lot of webs and mobile developers around the globe.

While this article didn’t even mention frameworks like React Native, NativeScript, and Titanium one thing is clear: both cloud and MBaaS services are growing up getting more and more complete by the year.
Big company takeovers and new framework versions have been introduced and the (open source) community support is a strong pillar that is being used by the big players out there.

After recalling the major events for this mobile development overview of 2016 and how all the technical stars are aligning, a mobile developer’s blood surely must be pumping heavily again.

There is no better time to be a mobile developer then now.

Code hard, ship harder!