The mobile app development market is currently experiencing a period of considerable growth. This trend is set to continue as an increasing number of users leverage their handheld hardware for personal and work purposes.

According to a VisionMobile report, the global app development market will more than double in value within the next two years, reaching a projected $143 billion by 2016. The sector is estimated to grow at a compound annual rate of 28 percent and will be comprised of more than 2.3 million app development professionals.

As the market continues its upward climb, it is important to take a look at development trends emerging within the industry, including new efforts to make apps functional offline and a boosted focus on cross-platform capabilities.

Underground apps: Offline functionality
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that app developers are working to address one of the most common headaches users experience with their mobile devices: the fact that most apps don't work unless there is an available Internet connection. The main issue here is that in order to operate correctly, many apps need to communicate with cloud servers which are unavailable in subways and other locations lacking efficient Internet resources.

However, one development company, Couchbase, is looking to change that with an innovative new invention that would allow for the creation of apps that do not require an Internet connection to function. Instead, developers would be able to establish a database and sync capability directly within the app itself.

"Couchbase's 'database-on-device' solution will allow the storage and synchronization of unstructured data - information not in numerical or tabular format of the sort found in spreadsheets," The Wall Street Journal stated.

Instead of directly transmitting this data to the cloud, the mobile syncable database engine will leverage the company's Couchbase Sync Gateway, which essentially forms an offline connection between the on-device database and the app's cloud server.

Rising focus on cross-platform capabilities
Another trend making headway within the industry is a boosted focus on app functionality in a range of different operating systems, noted EnterpriseAppsTech. As BYOD continues to permeate the business sector, administrators are increasingly demanding custom applications that will operate correctly on all employee devices, including those supported by iOS, Android or other platforms.

Instead of encouraging workers to migrate to a different operating system, company leaders are instead having custom HTML5 apps created that will allow for a more streamlined user experience no matter the device being used.