There was no doubt about it; 2013 was a banner year as far as mobile devices went. With not only more of these devices arriving on the field, but also more applications for these devices coming out, it was clear there was a lot going on in the field of not only mobile development, but also mobile Web development and HTML5 development. But new word from Red Cherry Web Solutions suggests that the rapid growth and development seen in the Web in 2013 likely won't stop in 2014, and plenty of changes are set for this year as well.
While HTML5 has provided a big boost to Web developers like Red Cherry in 2013, 2014 looks to offer up a similar boost, particularly in the field of smarter transitions. Web developers have already discovered the value in “write once and run anywhere” as presented by HTML5, so Red Cherry projects that, in 2014, websites will start taking on more of an app-like appearance as the line between regular Web and mobile Web starts looking a mite blurry.
That blurry state will carry on into the line between browser and operating system (OS) as we're already seeing Chrome and Firefox take on a whole new life as OS as well as browsers. With this new functionality—as well as the increase in HTML5 development—things like games and movies can be ported directly to a browser, so the need for operating systems may ultimately fall as browsers take up at least some of the slack with Web-based services.
The healthcare.gov website, regarded as a debacle on many fronts, will serve as a cautionary tale for Web developers according to Red Cherry, and will be eager to suppress any comparison to a released product and the healthcare website. Thus, look for particular importance to be placed on testing and quality assurance in 2014. Additionally, look for a focus to be placed on typography as fonts, sizes and similar text-related issues become important in the face of increased mobile use and the impact that mobile devices have on presenting text.
Finally, the idea of the post-PC era once again comes back into play. While some may be tempted to write the PC off, the reports of its demise have been somewhat exaggerated, so evidenced by the sheer number of such devices not only in use in homes but also in businesses. Granted, mobile devices are gaining ground thanks to things like the bring your own device (BYOD) doctrine and the sheer growing use of said devices in homes, but the end result is that PCs will be part of the picture for some time to come.
Naturally, all of this may not go off exactly as projected. It's the nature of the beast, really, and predictions don't always pan out. But Red Cherry has made some basically sound assumptions about current developments carrying forward into the near-term future, and with that some reasonable projections. The bottom may not fall out of the OS market, to be replaced with browsers—some things are pretty intensive even for browsers, and there's always an advantage to local use and storage as opposed to a strictly cloud environment—but certainly an increased importance on testing is worthwhile, as is more of a mobile look to things. Only time will tell just how Red Cherry's predictions play, but some very safe bets seem to have been made here.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker