We are in the midst of the ‘apps boom’, but what makes this world so appealing? Firstly, the applications’ industry can generate millions of jobs. In fact, the sector currently has 1.8 million workers, according to a recent report published by the European Commission. This figure will grow to about five million jobs by 2018.
Secondly, the world of apps generates considerable revenue. In this sense, the same study indicates that consumers and advertisers in the EU invested 6,100 million euros in the applications market in 2013, 30% of the overall global spending, which according to the report will reach 18,700 million euros in 2018. Moreover, it is expected that developers, who won 11,500 million euros last year creating applications for consumer goods, banking, media and retail, will see their profits increased to about 46,000 million euros by 2018. Actually, the study says that application developers might assume in the future some leadership in the global economy.
Moreover, the fact of creating and using applications improves the productivity of companies and, in general, the world surrounding us.
Your ideas are rewarded
All these expectations are a challenge for developers, who can take advantage of competitions offering the possibility to develop applications and test their ability to innovate. Among them, we have to highlight, for example, the competition launched this month by Google and BBVA, InnovaApps+, which seeks to bring together the best developers and create solutions to support the entrepreneurial sector of Spain and Latin America.
InnovaApps + challenges developers to create productivity applications for SMEs or startups that allow to solve problems or facilitate different tasks within the companies, in terms of internal management (such as apps for the selection and control of staff, expenses, invoices, inventory control, accounting, etc.), organizational tasks (applications for managing email, calendars of meetings, video conferencing, working in the cloud, management of documents, collaborative work…) and relationship with clients and/or sales (as may be CRM applications, marketing, online sales, etc.). In addition, BBVA has set up a special challenge, rewarding those developers able to create applications with new value-added functions for the internal use of the bank, and integrated with the Google Apps already used by employees. Productivity mobile applications, or those integrating Bluetooth 4.0 technology or internal sensors, are also welcome.
All this is possible with the tools that Google provides for developing applications. In its Google Developers website you can find from tools to tips, news and tutorials on applications. For example, Google Apps offers different products for SMEs or startups such as Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar or Google Drive, among others. But, in addition, Google offers more tools to improve or develop your own applications:
– Google Cloud Platform: This is an environment in which users can integrate a cloud infrastructure to their app through different services. With Cloud Platform, Google offers users a single entry point to different tasks and services such as Google App Engine, which allows to host applications on the same infrastructure of Google, providing apps great scalability, or Google Compute Engine, for the development of applications that have a high computational load or applications that require open source software packages.
– Android: If you intend to create a native mobile application, we recommend you to relay on the functionalities that Google offers for the Android platform. Through them you can integrate services such as Google Maps or Google Cloud Messaging, among many others. We also have to highlight the recent launch of Android Wear, the new platform that extends the power of Google to the wearable technology. In fact, if you're a developer, the company has created a specific website with everything about Android Wear and where you will be able to download the SDK very soon.
– Google+: Thanks to these services which you can find in Google Developers, you can add social functionalities to your application, such as: create Hangouts collaborative apps to unite people in different ways; improve the registration and conversion pages after login with an option of fast and secure authentication for users; or rate your performance through statistics on downloads, connected users and their activity, among other possibilities.
When creating an application don’t forget about usability or, in other words: the ease with which the user uses a technological tool, an application or a website. It’s a term that every developer should always keep in mind. It’s so important that, for example, Google has a guide with tips for developers to create applications that will satisfy the client.