Is Google OS innovative enough to meet challenges of app quality

Is Google OS innovative enough to meet challenges of app quality

Google has rolled out its latest mobile operating system — Android 7.0 Nougat. With its 250 new features, the OS has revived the debate around the most efficient operating system to develop top quality mobile applications.

On every point, Android is the clear winner. With an 83 per cent market share, Android is the most widely used OS in the world, with the most loyal users — 82 per cent of people who use it stay with it — and with 1.43 million applications (in January 2015) Google Play has the largest offering. No other OS does it better.

And this year, 61 per cent of mobile phone users accessed the internet through their mobile device! We can expect this figure to grow steadily over the coming years.

Google’s Nexus devices gets the Android 7.0 Nougat first, followed by LG’s V20 and then smartphones made by other manufacturers.

From a strictly business perspective, Arnaud Dupuis, CEO of Genymobile, a French-based company building enterprise tools for Android platform, said that mobility is also a major lever for productivity for companies, increasing the ubiquity of the workplace (work anywhere). All these factors make the development of top quality mobile apps a matter of absolute necessity.

“There is no shortage of operating systems today. So developers have to look at the facts when making a choice. There are three main criteria -popularity, user loyalty and the range available from the store,” he said.

Moreover, with new features such as Daydream (a platform which enables virtual reality from a mobile powered by Android 7.0), the split screen or the quick switch, Google has added new assets to build up its OS leadership.

When app stores were created for smartphones, visibility was the main challenge for most brands. This was often achieved by developing apps at every turn on the largest possible number of OSs.

But things have changed and quality has become more important than quantity, he said. So now, if an app causes problems the first time it is used, 80 per cent will only try their luck again once, and 34 per cent will go to a competitor. The quality of an application must, therefore, be impeccable.

Most of the major economic players have understood this now. Facebook is one example. Despite a somewhat problematic start on mobile, some 40 per cent of users now accesses the social network on their phones.

However, despite appearances, he said that a design of applications that meet the end user’s desired quality level is possible for all developers. How? By starting with a clean slate, free of past (bad) habits.

Moreover, he said that even the choice of Android 7.0 Nougat is not enough to meet the challenge of app quality. Many companies still have a silo and self-sufficient mentality when it comes to applications development.

“The new competitive landscape demands development of applications that work successfully as soon as they are downloaded, so this way of working needs rethinking. A company, therefore, has to focus on a new development method, encouraging collaboration among all those involved: sales staff, after-sales, marketing and quality assurance teams, as well as developers … Obviously, this needs the resources of the right technology, of which the cloud is the cornerstone,” he said.

In other words, with an emulator designed for the cloud, he said that developers can share the latest version of the applications instantly with all the departments concerned. The quality assurance department can detect and repair the smallest bits of faulty code with real-time quality tests.

“The team responsible for customer experience will make use of it to inform developers of areas for improvement during the development process. Even departments that seem furthest from the development process may benefit from the emulation association and the Cloud,” he said.

Little will change over the next few months, he said, and added that user requirements will not decline nor will the number of applications available in the stores. But change may come with the capacity of companies to adapt to these demanding requirements and the competition.

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