Table XI Blog

mobile app

8 Mobile App Development Trends to Watch in 2021

It’s easy to forget that mobile devices as we now know them have barely existed for a decade, considering how ubiquitous they are.

According to Pew Research, 81% of US adults own smartphones—including 96% of 18-29-year-olds and 96% of 30-49-year-olds. In 2018 the number of “smartphone-dependent” US adults reached 20%—that is to say, adults who relied on smartphones as their primary source of internet connectivity. According to Tech Times, 3.5 billion smartphones are in circulation globally.

The importance of mobile apps has marched hand-in-hand with the importance of the devices themselves. Tech Times notes that of the 2.7 hours per day consumers spend on smartphones, 86% of that time is spent on apps.

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Cross-platform app development — how it works and what to ask

Cross-platform app development promises to deliver both Android and iOS native apps from one codebase, a two-for-one deal. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because usually it is.

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How we keep up with changing mobile development technologies

We’re experts at mobile development technologies, but the definition of “mobile” changes constantly. Because mobile usage is growing so fast and there are new tools and frameworks for building mobile apps every week, we have to be constantly finding, testing and adopting new skills and tools just to keep up.

That’s why we’ve made learning and teaching an important part of how we operate as a team.

I’ve written before about how much the tools and processes for our mobile team changed in the four years we’ve been around, but the truth is that they’re still changing. There are new tools and design patterns for structuring apps coming out all the time, a lot of which we want to try out. In the past year, we took React Native (a new cross-platform framework by Facebook) for a spin and really liked where it was going. Keeping up with what’s out there lets us give our partners the latest and greatest, and to do that efficiently we need everyone on our team to be looking out for cool things they want to bring to the group for testing.

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The risks and rewards of React Native for Android

React Native

React Native checks all our clients’ boxes. It promises to save developers time and clients money. It promises to make training developers easier. And most importantly, it promises to create both iOS and Android apps from one set of code. It’s no surprise then that React Native is growing fast. But at Table XI, we’ve seen a lot of cross platform solutions with big promises. And while we love new tools, we tend to be cautious of the risks.

That’s why we’ve been testing React Native.

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How 4 years changed mobile development, our mobile team and our client’s app

 

The Client
Natural and organic children’s boutique Sprout San Francisco, with five locations in California, Illinois and New York and an online store carrying non-toxic and eco-friendly baby gear from rattles to cribs.

The Project
In 2012, Sprout became the first client for Table XI’s mobile practice when founder and CEO Suzanne Price reached out to see what kind of app might benefit her business. Since a full 25 percent of Sprout’s sales come from its registry business, we worked together to design a registry app that would help new parents pick out all the kit that comes along with having a kid. After four years and a backend change to the webstore, the app was ready for a total overhaul.

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Mobile First Responsive Design?

Mobile First, Right?This past weekend, on May 3rd, I had the pleasure of joining a collection of really smart people on stage at Mobile Camp Chicago. It was a full day of discussing what the expansion in device usage over the past few years means for our industry. I heard a bunch of great talks and had even more great conversations. If you get a chance to attend one of the shows that Chicago Camps puts on I could not recommend it enough. The events are some of the most affordable around and full of some of the best speakers I've seen.

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DisGo Mobile App: Discourse on the Go

The Sign In page of Discourse on the Go On the train? Working remotely? Now you can take your Discourse conversations on the go.

We use the online discussion platform Discourse for communicating about a lot of internal topics. It’s a well-designed, modern forum, message board, and chat room, all in one, and we find it a valuable companion to email as a tool for gathering and disseminating information. But workdays get busy and people don’t always have time to use it. Instead, a lot of us wanted to be able to check in on Discourse and participate in its conversations during our commutes. When we realized there wasn’t a mobile app, we decided to build one.

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Tech Tip: Discourse

Discourse logoWhat do you do when you want to share specific information with your company, or solicit feedback on a certain project, or ask a question of your colleagues? You could email your entire company, but these days, people are pretty sensitive about extra emails cluttering their inboxes and interrupting productivity (and if you work with developers, you know that can be annoying and costly). Depending on the topic, it might even feel spammy.

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Introducing the New Facing Disability Mobile App

We just launched the new Facing Disability mobile application under the design leadership of Ed Lafoy, our resident iOS wizard. This new app allows anyone to create and upload videos to Facing Disability's website.

Facing Disability is a nonprofit organization supporting and connecting individuals suffering with spinal cord injuries. The site aggregates more than 1,000 videos and shares answers to common questions about coping with spinal cord injuries. The videos are highly curated, edited, and are the culmination of more than a year of interviews.

The new mobile app makes it possible for even more people to contribute their voices and perspectives to FacingDisability.com. Now members can securely contribute videos anytime,  anywhere, and enjoy a new flexibility and accessibility that’s particularly important to the Facing Disability community.

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Infographic: Mobile App vs. Responsive Website

Earlier this spring, we wrote an article about the 10 questions to ask when choosing between a responsive website or a native mobile app for your business. It's question a lot of people are asking these days, so we decided to turn it into a helpful infographic, which VentureBeat featured on its site last week.

Use the chart below to help you decide whether your company needs a responsive website or a native mobile app.

Mobile App vs Responsive Design

Special thanks to Kenton Quatman his infographic design.

Want all the best React Native tools in one stack?  Download your free copy of our own mobile development stack

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