If you think people are constantly looking down at their cell phones or tablets, you’re right.
So much so, in fact, that in 2013, for this first time, more adults in the U.S. consumed digital media than television, according to eMarketer. The primary reason for the growth was mobile technology, and the numbers were expected to continue to swell in 2014.
The industry research firm reports that American adults will log 5 hours and 46 minutes daily either online or on their mobile device this year, compared to nearly 4 hours and 30 minutes in front of the TV.
What do these figures indicate for software application developers? Plenty of work, most likely. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 22 percent growth in the job outlook for the field through 2022.
Applications are becoming more sophisticated by the year, and companies are in need of workers with the technical and creative skills to build these apps.
Nearly all major media outlets, and countless other companies, now have their own applications, allowing users to better access services and information.
This ease of use when it comes to apps is reflected in the methodology of the eMarketer study.
If someone was watching TV and checking out Twitter, for example, the time counted for both. It’s indicative of the way people today consume all media. Yet it’s clear the scales are tipping in favor of digital technology.
If you’re wondering what apps people are most often using, Quartz has compiled some usage facts on mobile apps for June 2014. Facebook was far and away the leader with 115.4 million unique visitors.
YouTube was No. 2 at 83.4 million, but people consume less television on mobile devices than you might think—just 33 minutes a day in 2014, according to eMarketer.
The bulk of the top 25 for that month, according to Quartz, included social, music, news and shopping applications.
These applications put the world at your fingertips, literally.
Trends in Software App Development
If you’re curious about where the industry is today, TechRadar has compiled a few of the latest trends.
We’ve listed them below, along brief notes on each.
1. Agile Development
In terms of the process of creating apps, the agile approach is gaining steam, according to the post. Generally speaking, agile software development is a broad term that describes a process under which a team of programmers and customers collaborate to refine the software through several iterations.
The idea is to give software developers more freedom and flexibility, and help them respond to needed changes as a product is being created.
2. Two Methods
This involves using more than one approach to developing software applications.
Without going into detail on each type, there are many methods pros in the field can use. Among them:
Seeing the rise of usage in digital media, it’s clear that mobile is a big part of the latest trends.
From building specialized apps for consumers (native apps) to hybrid apps and those built solely for mobile devices, the combination of these three approaches is gaining in traction, according to TechRadar.
While television isn’t going away any time soon, it’s obvious that the future of media consumption, entertainment, shopping and social interaction will occur online.
And that means there will continue to be a need for trained software developers who help companies and consumers take advantage of a digital world.