7 Key Factors You Should Consider When Developing IoT Apps

According to IoT statistics, there are more than 20 billion IoT devices connected to the internet and that number will exceed 75 billion by 2025. Global spending on IoT will exceed the $1 trillion mark and it will generate $212 billion in revenue. A major chunk (55%) of IoT spending will go to apps and services.

These are staggering numbers irrespective of how you look at them but what do these numbers tell you about the future of the IoT industry. One thing that is clearly evident from these statistics is that the number of devices will continue to grow at a rapid rate and it will transform every industry you can think of.

With the number of devices skyrocketing, we will see the demand for IoT app developers increase manifold. If you are planning to dip your toes in IoT app development or has already jumped on the bandwagon, then this article is for you.

In this article, you will learn about seven important factors you should keep into account when developing apps for IoT devices.

Data Collection and Management

If you have a large network of IoT devices, they might be generating tons of data. Collecting and managing all that data can become a daunting challenge. The best way to overcome this challenge is to understand how the data is being collected, processed, stored or managed. You also need to keep an eye on how much of that data is stored in the cloud.

More importantly, do all your data management and collection processes align with regulatory requirements or not. If it does not, you need to tweak your data collection, processing and management approach so it complies with industry regulations and standards. IoT app developers should also know how the collected data is being used.

Operating System

Unlike smartphones, laptops and desktops, IoT devices are smaller and consume less energy. That is why IoT devices require a special operating system designed with specific device needs in mind. According to the IoT developer survey, Linux is the most popular operating system with a 73.1% market share. NoOS was at the second spot with a 23.1% market share and free RTOS secured the third position with a 12.7% market share.

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Platform Compatibility

With every IoT device having a unique architecture, using a different protocol and operating system, ensuring platform compatibility can become a difficult task for IoT app developers. To deliver the best experience and performance on IoT devices, IoT app developers will have to hit the sweet middle ground between hardware and app functionality.

As an IoT developer, your goal should be to create apps that are not only compatible with IoT devices but also with mobile devices. Thankfully, there are many SDKs and APIs available to make it easy for developers and mobile app development companies to achieve this goal. This also facilitates app developers in adding more functionality to existing IoT apps.

IoT Protocols

An IoT system consists of gateways, servers, sensors, devices and applications. All of them should work in conjunction with smoother operations. To ensure uninterrupted communication between all these devices, you need an IoT protocol. Since IoT devices differ greatly when it comes to computing resources and power consumption, the same protocols we use for laptops, desktops and smartphones won’t work here.

This means that new protocols need to be developed which cater to the needs of IoT devices. Researchers have already developed several IoT network protocols and many new ones are in the works. What differentiates IoT protocols from other traditional protocols is their low transmission overheads. This means that they reduce the smaller data footprint which can come in handy in a restrictive environment. With at least ten different implementations of each IoT protocols, choosing the right IoT protocol can be quite tough. You can make the right choice by analyzing your needs.

Security and Privacy

Data security and privacy have always been a major roadblock in the wider adoption of IoT. Since the attack surface is larger with thousands of connected devices, it can be a soft target for hackers. To make matters worse, they are connected wirelessly through insecure wireless protocols. Hackers can either compromise one of the dozens of IoT devices and use it as a ladder to move laterally throughout the network or target nodes or key endpoints in the network to gain administrator-level access.

Others might compromise devices to spy on networks and scan for vulnerabilities. App developers can secure IoT apps by using communication layer security such as TLS and encryption. Blockchain technologies will also play an important role in securing IoT devices.

User-Friendly Design

Creating an app for a device that is smaller in size and has fewer computing resources is tough but delivering a great user experience through design is even more difficult. IoT app developers should focus on making the app as simple and design-centric as possible.

IoT app developers should work together with designers to

  • Put together a simple onboarding process
  • Create a seamless transition between devices and systems
  • Personalize the user experience
  • Deliver a unified environment for IoT devices

If you can manage to do that, IoT app developers can deliver a great experience despite IoT device’s small form factor.

Quality Assurance

If you look at an IoT ecosystem closely, you will find that it is a complex shared system that has many integrated networks that have many different components. This makes IoT testing even more challenging. That is why it is important to pass IoT applications through a strong quality assurance process consists of multiple tests to ensure that there are no bottlenecks or errors. It is also the responsibility of the IoT app developer to deliver an app that is fully optimized and compatible with all the devices. By ironing out all the bugs in the IoT app, app developers can enable the smoother functioning of the IoT network.

Which factors do you consider before creating mobile apps for IoT devices? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
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