Cars — the next open space for mobile app developers


New opportunities are increasing rapidly for mobile app development in the automotive industry, enabling third-party software developers to integrate their apps into the cars’ increasingly internet connected services between dashboard and driver. A vehicle’s infotainment services will include music, entertainment, news, navigation, health, wellness…and more…becoming as personal and easily accessible as your familiar smartphone.

Automakers will make their APIs and SDKs available to developers

In a recent launch announcement by Ford Motor Company at the 2013 International CES conference in January, Ford’s open mobile app developer program for the iOS and Android platforms will make it easier than ever for developers to create new mobile apps that interface directly with both the vehicle and the driver. The program aims at creating a near seamless interface between driver and technology through more audible apps, voice-activated commands, and steering wheel buttons to reduce driver distraction from the use of hand-held mobile devices while driving.

Over 1,000 downloads have already been reported by Ford. This level of activity indicates a burgeoning market for in-car apps and an invigorating environment for developers as well as faster time-to-market for the automaker. Other U.S. car manufacturers have programs available as well, providing outside developers with universal APIs and SDKs through online portals and app development houses.

The automotive mobile app space is following a similar pattern to the TV manufacturing industry. Both are evolving, multi-platform development markets, working to gain increased connectivity to smartphones and the internet (see Gartner press release “…85 Percent of All Flat-Panel TVs Will Be Internet-Connected Smart TVs by 2016).

While a great opportunity for developers, mobile app development for the automotive industry is a challenging one. The complexity of developing for multiple automaker platforms and various consumer/user platform interfaces will require developers to work with a variety of APIs and SDKs between the many devices.

Mobilize your apps today with the Omnis JavaScript Client

So where can you deploy your Omnis apps — in the enterprise, in the field, in the living room – and now — in the car? iOS and Android developers have a new opportunity, adapting their apps for automobile dashboards. This in turn could mean new opportunities for Omnis Studio developers utilizing the latest JavaScript Client to create mobile apps in this now open market space.

Omnis Studio 5.2 (and Omnis Studio 6.0 coming soon) includes a JavaScript based client which allows you to run your Omnis applications in a browser on virtually any device, on any platform including desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones, web-enabled TVs and possibly your vehicle’s dashboard. Omnis Studio 6.0 will allow you to create standalone apps for iOS and Android based devices using its native iOS and Android “wrappers” for the JavaScript Client.

What’s next?

We expect to hear more about the “connected” car as the mobile app market for the automotive industry continues to cultivate. We also expect to be excited and surprised by new application ideas and services sure to expand beyond the existing navigational apps and radio alternatives. The cars of tomorrow are fast becoming our next BYOD of today and the lines between consumer electronic devices, and where we use them, are blurring.





“Connected Cars”:

(TigerLogic will be exhibiting at this year’s CeBIT being held in Hannover, Germany on March 5 – 9 where we will show you how to create web and mobile apps for Android, Windows and iOS devices with Omnis Studio. More info:

“Ford Launches App Developer Program…”:

“Cars are the Next Playground for App Developers”:

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