Today, there are around 26.66 billion IoT devices in the market and the number is projected to rise to 75.44 billion devices by 2025. With the rapid proliferation of IoT devices, more connected mobile apps will be required to allow users to access devices from anywhere over the internet. The connected mobile application acts as the main interface for controlling IoT devices. It helps the user to connect to the device remotely and monitor the functionality of devices which makes connected mobile apps is key to any IoT Solutions.
Difference between Connected Apps and Standard Apps for mobile
A standard app provides the content to the user from predefined values or cloud using APIs. While a connected solution consists of an IoT device, cloud, and mobile app which collectively and seamlessly work together to provide the best user experience in real-time. Connected IoT applications are more complex in nature as compared to standard mobile applications
Components associated with IOT Connected Apps
IoT Products (Data Generation) There can be two kinds of IoT products interacting with the connected app. One is IoT Gateway and the other is End devices/Sensors. Depending upon the end-user industry application, in the solution it may vary that connected app is communicating to directly sensors/devices or IoT Gateway or to both the kind of products. Primarily the products are the key component in generating required data and helping them to transfer to IoT Cloud.
IoT Cloud (Data Processing) Data collected from devices/sensors are transmitted to a cloud infrastructure via gateway through various mediums of communication such as LTE and Wi-Fi networks. The collected data is stored securely on the cloud, where the software processes the acquired data according to user access level and provide access to authentic users or devices only.
Connected App (User Interface) The connected app connects to the cloud and collects all the necessary information based on predefined solution logic. This will help the user to make the right decision based on the condition. The user will initiate a command to the cloud to perform the desired action which will be routed through Gateway to initiate the various commands for their connected devices to implement scenarios directed by the user from the app.
Key challenges in developing Connected Applications
Security & Privacy The biggest challenge is to provide security for the user and device data considering security threats at all levels including application, network and transport layers to prevent data leak or hacking. As it is a connected solution the security breach at the app level will have an effect on the entire solution. App being a primary control point for the user it makes even more necessary to protect it completely against any such threat
Connectivity Ensuring real-time connectivity with the system either in the local mode or in the remote mode having a smooth transition is a need of the hour for this kind of critical IoT Solutions. Establishing a resource optimized connectivity of app to the IoT ecosystem is also one of the key challenges to deliver enhance the experience to consumers
Compatibility (OS/IoT Platform & Solutions) IoT development requires a balance of hardware and software functions. It is a challenge for IoT application developers to ensure that the device and IoT platform delivers the best performance despite routine releases from OS, device updates, bug fixes. Companies also should have expertise in the area of globally well-established connected app platform and standards as they help to bring more stability to the solutions
Data Collection & Processing Since IoT applications involve a huge amount of data, its collection & processing is a challenge for developers. Along with the privacy and security planning, development teams must consider other aspects like data collection, storage, and processing within an environment. Companies who are experienced in the IoT solution can help to optimized solutions by proposing alternative models or architecture to process only necessary data at the app level.
Hands-on Experience IoT companies have a distinct advantage in what they work closely on like Firmware, Hardware, Mobile and Cloud for various applications, and that comes handy in resolving run-time errors/bugs quickly and effectively in any of the components. Also, they can take up and complete a partly developed application from any stage of its lifecycle.
Cloud Development Experience in cloud services helps to select the right set of services to optimize the solution to make it more scalable, secure and cost-effective, thereby proving better data storage and performance for related cloud/mobile APIs, cloud operations required for data backup, security, load balancing, etc. and enhancement of services.
Network Expertise IoT companies have an in-depth understanding of OSI and Network layers. This expertise facilitates working on specific layers to deliver appropriate security with an optimized communication approach for IoT devices. This also enables IoT companies to identify issues at specific layers and optimize existing IoT devices for communication with the mobile app.
Identify & Onboarding of One Stop Solution Provider A connected app being a critical part of the overall solution, it is absolutely necessary to understand the larger picture of the entire solution. Companies who are experienced in the domain of IoT can deliver an overall success due to some of the following key competencies they can deliver.
Mobile App Development Company
Connected Solution Development Company
Optimizing API from mobile prospective only
Optimizing API from mobile as well as embedded device prospective, that helps think deeper to optimize up to a level of an embedded device. Also, creates and optimizes API from cloud-side that provides benefits of reduced data processing and reduced time consumption for API call in mobile app
Hands-on communication protocol required for API calling only, like HTTP/HTTPS, JSON, SOAP
Hands-on communication protocol required for API from mobile and cloud prospective as well as from device perspective, like HTTP/HTTPS, Socket, MQTT, MQS
Designs solution which can work better on the software layer of OS architecture
Designs solutions which can work better on software, native, hardware-level to deliver performance, scalability, flexibility in connected solution to get build optimized solution based on end consumer needs
Creates security for a Mobile app only
Creates security for Mobile app, cloud, backend app, and embedded devices, giving 360 security
One-stop solution provider for a connected solution, who are well versed with the architecture of all the components of an IoT ecosystem. They can develop a better-connected app that can survive market volatility and can easily accommodate new features/changes in the future. Issues at the hardware or firmware level can also be identified easily and the necessary corrections can be made on time. Thus, businesses should opt for specialized IoT companies over standard ones to develop their connected applications for any IoT solution.
With the experience gained by an IoT company while developing an IoT app, they help reduce development time and cost, as well as add value as compared to generic software development companies. This ensures accelerated product launch timelines for the client.