Why taking an MSc in Mobile Development is a good move
The growth in smartphone ownership and applications has created a rapidly expanding new sector in software development. The development of apps has been an extremely exciting new industry and continues to spawn many small innovators who have propelled their applications into the mass market. Many commentators have drawn parallels between the current development of apps and the games produced by small UK-based companies for the first personal computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum and Acorn Electron in the early eighties.
Total application downloads from Apple’s iTunes app store top over three billion, and monthly sales of over $200 million alone. With other smartphones also increasing their use of apps, the marketplace is certainly booming. It is no surprise that expertise in this area is in demand. Therefore taking an MSc in mobile software development could be an extremely wise career option both in terms of job satisfaction and earning potential.
Research conducted by economist Michael Mandel for industry group TechNet based on trends in help-wanted ads showed that in the US 466,000 jobs have been created by the “app economy” since 2007 — including programmers, marketers, interface designers, managers and support staff. The ‘app economy’ in the UK is worth an annual £467 million according to a Deloitte survey. And the explosion of a new ‘app economy’ in London has seen developers generating 7,500 jobs across the UK.
Entrepreneur Joshua March created a new business called iPlatform.
He said: “Software is becoming a key part of all industries; in the near future, if you do not understand code you will not be able to effectively work or take part in society. The government is starting to take baby steps in the right direction towards an effective ICT curriculum.”
Case Study 1 – Angry Birds
Undoubtedly one the biggest app success stories is ‘Angry Birds’, which was developed by Finnish computer game developer Rovio Mobile. Inspired primarily by a sketch of stylized wingless birds, the game was first released for Apple’s iOS in December 2009. Since that time, over 12 million copies of the game have been purchased from Apple’s App Store, which has prompted the company to design versions for other touchscreen-based smartphones, such as those using the Android operating system, among others.
Angry Birds has been praised for its successful combination of addictive gameplay, comical style, and low price.
Case Study 2 – Draw Something
Draw Something is a mobile app developed by OMGPOP. It was one of the winners of the Flurry App Spotlight Awards in 2012. In the first five weeks after its launch the game was downloaded 20 million times. Fifty days after its release, it had been downloaded 50 million times. In March of 2012, both Draw Something and OMGPOP were bought by the game giant Zynga for $180 million. In April 2012, there was a notable drop in users and Zynga’s stock price declined by 50% shortly after the purchase.
Case Study 3 - Instagram
Instagram is a free photo sharing program launched in October 2010 that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram’s own. A distinctive feature confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.
Instagram was initially supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. In its largest acquisition deal up to date, Facebook acquired Instagram (with its 13 employees) for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012, with plans to keep it independently managed.
Instagram development began in San Francisco, when Kevin Systrom and Michel “Mike” Krieger chose to focus their multi-featured HTML5 check-in project Burbn on mobile photography.
By December 2010, Instagram had one million registered users. In June 2011 Instagram announced it had five million users and it passed ten million in September of the same year. In April 2012, it was announced that over 30 million accounts were set up on Instagram.
Instagram announced that 100 million photos had been uploaded to its service as of July 2011. This total reached 150 million in August 2011.
Instagram’s new Android version in Google Play crossed more than one million downloads within 12 hours.
Instagram has recently made headlines with its efforts to keep the “Insta-universe” as a positive space and has prohibited any hashtags or photos that promote self-harm.
Studying an MSc in Mobile Development
A large number of universities across the world now offer this specific course although you can of course access careers in this area by taking postgraduate degree courses in games development, software engineering and intelligent systems.
Of the UK universities offering Mobile Software Development MScs there are a few worth looking at, including Staffordshire, Leeds Metropolitan, Derby, Manchester Metropolitan, Middlesex and Bradford who all do MScs in this particular area.
Interested in Engineering? Read more of our engineering study abroad articles.