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Each stage in the development lifecycle (i.e. planning, coding, testing, marketing and monetization, and support) has its own challenges for developers, but also opportunities for platform and tool makers, and app stores. The following are some top-line examples:
- Planning - The big issue for developers in the planning stage is in defining requirements, but also in designing the user experience.
- Coding - Coding is increasingly becoming more complex as developers grapple with programming for multiple devices.
- Testing - Developers are challenged by the need to do multiple device testing.
- Marketing and Monetization - Marketing problems were largely focused on discoverability (i.e. the ability of a user to find the developer’s application), and making the distinction between competitors clear.
- Support - Patching and updating applications, and managing client feedback were key challenges for developers in the support phase.
Cross-platform development is an area most developers are very interested in. This is because effective cross-platform solutions make development simpler, and expand the profitability of their application and the application’s reach. There are currently only two cross-platform solutions available to developers: mobile web applications and mobile code packaging tools. Both share very similar developer drawbacks and benefits, but the increased maturity of mobile web over code packaging accounts for the more widespread adoption of mobile web in the market.