Cloud-based mobility is a comprehensive term used to refer to the new generation of tools or solutions based on cloud technology that support design, development and management of mobile apps. Unlike traditional desktop applications, mobile apps have short life cycles and short development cycles. Because of this mobile app designers and developers aim for releases in a short period of time. When cloud-based technologies are making a strong case for mobile apps by offering flexibility, scalability and efficiency; the development team can benefit greatly from them. The top five advantages that the cloud-based technologies offer to support mobile app development are mentioned below.
Cloud makes it easier for the developers to escape from common failure situations by letting them take complete control of computing resources. The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a classic example of a virtual server hosting where the developers are given adjustable computing capacity in the cloud. It allows the development team to obtain and configure capacity without any difficulty. Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to support the developers in building apps for the mobile without worrying about provisioning, scaling or managing the infrastructure. Cloud hosting services like the Amazon EC2 are now flexible enough to support the client in doing configuration of memory, CPU, instance storage and boot partition size that are best for their choice of operating system and application.
In-house financial transactional processing system can develop reliability issues and software bugs which can in turn have an impact on the sales. Many cloud-based technologies have emerged to simplify and yet effectively perform the financial transactions of a business. A payment gateway is a web-based software technology that offers an online system for processing financial transactions in real-time. The advantage is that it allows the clients to accept payments over the counter, over the phone or over the web with a single integrated system through any device that can access internet. This feature comes in handy for mobile app developers as they can pay or receive multiple payment types through their familiar device whenever and wherever they choose. Cloud-based payment gateways include TransFirst and CloudPayments.
App Analytics and App monitoring
Mobile app developers need to focus on multiple things while building an app such as user behavior, demographics, financial considerations and app size, just to mention a few. Besides this, they need to be ready for updating their apps according to the dynamic user needs and requirements. A mobile app developer without proper insights into all this will be completely at a loss. App analytics provides valuable insights by evaluating user behavior and ensures a data-driven mobile app development. App analytics and monitoring are often used together and are available in a single package. However, analytics can be seen as extracting valuable insights and monitoring performance evaluation.
App analytics services based on the web like the Amazon Mobile Analytics allow you to measure and analyze app usage and app revenue. They give you key insights into new users, returning users, user retention and so on. This helps you work on enhancing engagement and monetization for your app. The mobile app analytics is often a part of an Application Performance Management (APM) suite. It helps the app developers deeply analyze the experience and behavior of their users throughout the entire application lifecycle.
Mobile app developers are always in the midst of challenges because of countless differences and limitations mobile devices present which include different operating systems, limited screen size, limited memory, limited battery power and limited processing speed. All these differences and the short timeframe within which the app has to be released put a lot of emphasis on the efficiency of the app testing. There are various cloud-based solutions that offer app testing services like the Xamarin Test Cloud. Xamarin, for instance, provides app testing on 2,000 real devices in the cloud. These automated tests cover everything from pinching and swiping to scrolling and double-tapping and easily detect any performance bug.
Cloud-based mobility has now reached newer heights as clients get all the tools and services they need from the solutions based on cloud. Mobile app developers can now select tools and services of their choice or combine them into a package as required. Google Cloud Platform, for instance, gives you the freedom to combine Google Compute Engine, Google App Engine, Cloud Datastore and Google Cloud Storage so that you can get the best out of everything. AWS Mobile Hub gives you a single integrated solution to build, test and monitor your mobile apps.
When it comes to development, the cloud is not only kind to tech-savvy mobile app developers. There are cloud-based platforms like the Codiqa that let literally anyone without advanced technical capabilities to come up with their own mobile app easily.
Only time will tell
Some industry analysts believe that mobile apps will eventually cease to being downloaded, installed and run directly from the handsets. Instead, they feel that the apps are gradually moving to the cloud where they will be accessed and executed directly via a mobile web browser interface. There are technological advances that back up this prediction which include facilitating caching on the handsets with HTML5 support that lets users enjoy uninterrupted service levels in spite of the fluctuations in the network service delivery. High speed internet is too becoming a reality with 4G mobile networks like LTE and WiMAX which will support mobile cloud deployment on a large-scale.
Nonetheless, in the present scenario organizations are hesitant to adopt full-scale deployment in the cloud but this trend may not last long as mobile development community is slowly realizing that mobile and cloud are a natural fit.
Any thoughts on the future of mobile applications in the cloud? Leave your comments below.
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