IoT Mobile App Development: Benefits, Challenges, and Impact

Patrick R -
Illustration: © IoT For All

Can you close your eyes for a moment and think of when you didn’t connect your everyday objects such as kitchen appliances, thermostats, TV sets, and baby monitors to the internet through embedded devices? That’s hard.

In this day and age, our physical world meets the digital world. Digital systems record, monitor, and adjust every interaction between connected physical items. Interestingly, by 2025, we will have more connected devices than Earth’s inhabitants of Earth. But wait, the phenomenon has a name. Known as the Internet of Things, IoT refers to an ecosystem comprising physical objects accessed through the internet.

For instance, heart monitoring devices come with built-in sensors, assigned with an IP address, and capable of collecting and transmitting data over the network. They are made to observe, understand, and analyze the surroundings as per human needs.

Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa already serve as a between humans and the network of interconnected devices and have been in use for a very long period of time. In the last few years, IoT has become one of the most critical technologies of the 21st century. Businesses from different domains have started adopting the technology to get a leg up on the competition.

The Interrelation of IoT and Mobile App Development

Millions of IoT connected devices already exist globally. The number will only increase as internet connectivity becomes a standard feature for devices used in households, factories, business establishments, and other urban areas. The preferred channel to push IoT-based devices is mobile due to the ease of developing apps. Moreover, mobile is flexible when transmitting data. With a single application on mobiles such as Smart Home and Wearables, you can efficiently manage IoT devices.

Did you know that you can also use smartphones to set thermostats, view security cameras, and start cars remotely? How about drawing the curtains or switching on the air conditioner? Well, you can do that and more on your mobile phone!

Since the Internet of Things application development gives full control over the features in various gadgets and appliances with a smartphone, what specific benefits should one know about? Let us dive in.

Benefits of Building a Custom Mobile App with IoT

Flexible Accessibility

Customers today enjoy accessibility. The integration of IoT and mobile app development enables them to access any interconnected physical object from any corner of the world with just a touch of the button (or via an app) on their smartphones.

Your IoT application development company can ensure your IoT-enabled mobile app can scale with IoT platforms’ enhanced functionality and increased network usage of the users.

Valuable Insights

IoT is a network of multiple interconnected devices, sensors, servers, and other digital items, collectively accessing and storing sensitive, personal data about the users. The best part is you can use that information to make accurate decisions related to consumer behaviors and buying patterns in real-time and tweak your business processes accordingly.

For instance, you can make the necessary changes in inventory and overhaul your offerings’ marketing strategy. You can make a massive difference with customer-driven data and provide a personalized and more meaningful customer experience.

Niche Market Entry

Although IoT benefits are unmissable, many businesses still avoid using IoT application development services to tap the technology’s full potential. They don’t realize building a custom mobile app with IoT will give them a competitive edge and address a niche market that has started using IoT-based mobile applications.

How Does IoT Affect Mobile App Development Process?

Lowers Cost of Mobile App Development

Given IoT technology’s dynamic nature, it enables the IoT app development company to integrate multiple components within the app, making it more interactive and innovative. That saves businesses a lot of money without compromising on the output.

Supports Easy Integration

You can integrate IoT technology with emerging technologies such as ML, AR, and VR. Hence, you can deploy the same capabilities in mobile apps. But to reap its full benefits, it is necessary to implement IoT properly. Therefore, there is an excellent opportunity for the IoT app development company to put together such a mobile app.

Leads to Higher Security

The fact that user information is stored on the cloud and IoT application development facilitate extreme device interconnectivity; there is a higher probability of cyberattacks in identity theft and account hacks. That means mobile app developers must ensure strict security protocols and encryption policies in all IoT-enabled mobile apps.

Facilitates Interactive Mobile Apps

It is no secret that IoT can make mobile apps more interactive. Besides, the technology opens the gateway to new personalization options. That means a mobile app can stay relevant and up-to-date with functionalities related to IoT and beat the competition.

The technology also offers simple customization options for mobile enterprise apps as an increasing number of businesses want to reap the benefits of IoT. Many of them have connected devices for ordering supplies and in-office repairs periodically.

Similarly, businesses can simplify work processes for their staff, reduce downtime by regularly maintaining office equipment, do repairs as soon as an issue erupts, and achieve higher employee productivity in the process. All of that means more opportunities for the IoT app development company.

Location Independence

Since you can use IoT-based mobile apps anywhere and anytime, you can control your IoT ecosystem, including all devices, internet connections, hardware deployed through a single mobile app. Hence, we can aptly say IoT provides location independence.

For instance, iPhone’s Home App suggests useful automation that you can put your accessories (such as the thermostat, bathroom lights, WiFi system) to work for you. HomeKit cameras and video doorbells can send notifications to your mobile app when friends and family arrive at your doorstep.

It means you are not bound by a place and can control the IoT network from your mobile app. That is one of the tremendous benefits of IoT.

Greater Convenience

Given that 52% of the global population are mobile internet users, you can easily manage the entire IoT network from the comfort of your homes, at the office, or on-the-go. You can also offer additional features such as integrating social networks and notifications in the IoT mobile application.

IoT makes life simpler for not only customers but also the providers of IoT application development services. App developers don’t have to invest a lot of time and resources to build a mobile app and make devices more interactive and intuitive.

Even though all about IoT is hunky-dory, IoT and mobile app development still have a few challenges that you must not ignore.

Challenges with IoT and Mobile App Development

Data Collection and Processing

Since IoT application requires a considerable amount of data, your IoT app development company must ensure a plan to collect, store, and process data on the cloud, in full compliance with platform requirements.

If you need assistance in fetching insights from the data you have about your customers, employ data experts, machine learning resources, and analytic engineers to calculate the data’s usefulness in hand.

What is the point of integrating IoT and mobile app development if you can’t put your customer data to good use?

Security and Privacy

Indeed, the process of IoT and mobile app development is not free from controversies surrounding the network security and the security of all components present in IoT applications.

Do you remember the 2016 Dyn cyberattacks that affected internet-connected devices of users in Europe and North America? That always serves as a reminder of how it is vital to ensure data encryption protocol during mobile app development.

Plus, the IoT devices are always left unattended, which means hackers can easily tamper with them from anywhere, as long as they have remote access. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure data and devices are well protected and have appropriate access and authorization capabilities.

Hardware and Software Compatibility

IoT and mobile app development require a balance of hardware and software functions. Although it is vital to concentrate on designing the device that can achieve the optimal performance, it does create a problem during regular updates.

Simultaneously, if the device does allow regular updates such as bug-fixing, it reduces performance quality. Therefore, it could be a challenge for your IoT app development company to deliver the best possible performance despite a heavy OS, bug-fixing, and device updates. Striking a balance between the two is important for your business.

Wrapping It Up

Integrating IoT with mobile applications can give your business the competitive edge that it needs to thrive in the dynamic market. If you want to offer exceptional customer service, enhance engagement with your buyers, and drive greater sales on your mobile app––all by keeping the costs and technological capabilities in mind––IoT is the way to go!

Patrick R, Intuz

Guest Writer
Guest Writer
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All.
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All.