• Increasing numbers of companies will decide to first develop for the mobile platform and later port to computers. Adobe popularized this option when its CTO announced "mobile-first": "Our approach at Adobe is to take a mobile-first view on the new work that we are doing to design for the more constrained environments, then look to ways to enhance that experience for higher performance environments" ( http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/tag/kevin-lynch). Educators might decide to take a mobile-first approach as well. Learning software engineering on a limited platform and later applying it to richer platforms could be more effective than the other way around.
• Assuming unlimited CPU and battery life isn't advisable. 2 Also, high volumes of smartphones might be in countries where you can't take infrastructure for granted.
• Flashiness will become as important as functionality and qualities such as reliable operation and trustworthiness. As a lot of the required functionality is now available for mobile phones, more attention is devoted to "funny" and "fancy." For high-selling apps such as Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds, looks can be more important than mean time between failures and the way in which the requirements were derived.
• Whereas the PC industry over the past 20 years was a one-platform industry, mobile phones will compete in a market with at least two or three platforms that have a volume equaling or exceeding that of the entire PC industry.
• Diversity in technology and vendors will raise the issue of interoperability. Software app developers will have to decide which platforms they want to build for because each one has distinct operating systems, apps stores, security policies, and so on.
Jeffrey Voas is an IEEE Fellow, associate editor in chief of IT Professional magazine, and IEEE Division VI Director for 2012. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
J. BRET MICHAEL is a professor in the computer science and electrical and computer engineering departments at the Naval Postgraduate School. Contact him at email@example.com.
Michiel Van Genuchten is vice president at Open Digital Dentistry in Switzerland. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.