Mobile Application Development Becoming Hybrid by Definition

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Mobile Application Development: A Work in Progress

While the sheer volume of mobile computing applications needing to be deployed and managed in the years ahead is poised to explode, it's not at all clear to what degree those applications will run natively versus on the Web.

A new survey of 2,173 developers that use the Titanium development environment from Appcelerator for creating mobile applications finds that the vast majority of mobile application developers are committed to both native environments and HTML5. According to Mike King, principal mobile strategist for Appcelerator, this suggests that the majority of mobile computing applications in the future are going to be hybrid applications made up of both native and HTML5 components.

The survey also finds that while there should be a high degree of integration between mobile computing applications and social media networks, there is very little appreciation for how to use some of the more robust services provided by social media services such as social graphs. There does appear to be general agreement that social networks such as Facebook are emerging as critical application development platforms. But while Facebook is generally regarded as the social media leader, many developers see Google as becoming a significant force to be reckoned with.

As for the mobile computing platforms themselves, Apple remains the clear leader. But King says there are also signs that fragmentation in the Google Android community is starting to take a toll on developer enthusiasm, while Microsoft's progress with Windows as a platform that spans smartphones, tablets and PCs may finally be gaining some traction.

In either case, it doesn't look like there will be any consolidation of mobile computing platforms soon, which, when coupled with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, is going to make managing and securing these devices more challenging than ever.

In the meantime, developers are making it clear that they intend to support multiple mobile computing platforms, which on the one hand may make it easier to swap out mobile computing platforms, and on the other potentially drive IT organizations to the point of distraction as they struggle to manage a diverse world of incompatible endpoints.