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Software Application Developers

History

Software application developers create programs to do almost anything—from online banking to finding driving directions to word processing to tracking baseball standings. With the extensive proliferation of computers and smartphones in our society, there is an excellent market for user-friendly, imaginative, and high-performance software applications.

Application software is the type of software that is most familiar to computer users. This category includes word-processing, spreadsheets, and e-mail packages commonly used in business; games, accounting, and reference software used by the average consumer; Web browsing applications; social media applications; and subject- or skill-based software used in schools.

Software applications for smartphones and other handheld, Internet-enabled devices have become very popular in recent years. In 2002, the Treo line of handheld computing/telecommunications devices was released by Handspring. Users could download or sync third-party applications for use with the device. But according to Five Technology Trends to Watch 2011, a report by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), it took another six years for mobile apps as we know them today to emerge.

Apple launched the original iPhone on January 9, 2007. Contrary to popular lore, Apple did not initially focus on app development for this mobile device. Instead it stressed the telecommunication aspects of the iPhone. Demand grew for mobile apps for the iPhone, and in October of that year, Apple announced that it would release a software development kit for mobile application developers who were interested in creating apps for iPhones.

The Apple App store opened on July 10, 2008, and applications began selling briskly. Today, they are ubiquitous on handheld, Internet-enabled telecommunications/computing devices produced by Apple, Google, and other manufacturers.

The CEA reports that "there are more than 250,000 apps in Apple’s iTunes Store; 100,000 apps in the Android Marketplace; and thousands of apps across a multiplicity of other platforms." In 2016, 77 percent of adults in the United States had mobile phones that are app friendly, according to the Pew Research Center. As a result of these developments, the career of mobile application developer has emerged to meet market demands.

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