Everybody has a smartphone in their pocket. Wearable devices like the Apple Watch and FitBit sell millions of units every quarter. Even without counting all the tablets and computer-tablet hybrids, it's obvious mobile computing is a hot market.
Because it's hot, it's a great area to focus your career. But it's also a very dynamic area, with lots of ongoing transformation. Keep the following impacts in mind as you prepare for your next mobile computing career move.
Java is still the best language to know.
Knowing a general purpose computing language is still the best development language. While knowing Objective-C or Swift are helpful for iOS development, in reality, most developers use cross-platform tools rather than platform-specific languages.
Android or iOS?
Neither one truly dominates, though the Windows mobile environment trails far behind. Their reality is that most apps will be written to run on both platforms. It's more important to understand how to design an app that works well on both the desktop and mobile platforms than focusing on a specific mobile platform.
Enterprise applications explode.
Mobile computing isn't just about games and texting. Tablet applications give field personnel access to all the corporate data, simplifying how workers conduct business while out of the office. Apps that meet corporate compliance standards will be big. So will apps that track what workers do while they're out of the office.
Non-human users dominate.
Think the age of machines is already here? It's just getting started as the Internet of Things comes online. Smarthomes with smart thermostats, smart plant-watering systems, and smart lightbulbs are just part of it. The bigger part of the IoT will be the industrial Internet of Things, where devices in factories, offices, and fields communicate and coordinate commercial operations.
Mobile payments will change commerce.
Apple Pay was just the first of several mobile payment technologies to roll out. Security issues still remain, but the growth of near field communication technology makes it a given that e-Pay will continue to grow.
Larger phones mean apps can do more.
The trend to bigger screen sizes means that apps aren't as limited by screen real estate. Mobile apps will be expected to behave more like desktops. New screens with sensors that react to how hard users touch, rather than just whether they touched, will create new ways of interacting with apps.