Samsung looks to stand out on Android
Clearly, Samsung wants to set itself apart from other Android vendors. It has created a distinct set of services (Chord instant messaging, entertainment management, and Knox security) and even hardware features, such as pen support and non-touch-based gestures in its devices. And it wants developers to write specifically to them, not just to generic Android. Samsung upgraded its mobile SDK in October, had a developer conference to encourage Samsung-specific apps, and sponsored small hackathons around the world to create momentum.
Other companies -- notably Motorola (before Google bought its mobile devices arm) and Verizon Wireless -- have tried a similar strategy, with no success. But Samsung has a chance to succeed in 2014, says Andrew Borg, a mobile analyst at the Aberdeen Group. "Let's put it this way: They began a process that could put them on that trajectory, but I wouldn't say they were successful in building momentum" for the company's specific development capabilities.
APIs coming into their ow
APIs built momentum in 2013, giving developers a mechanism to interact with large Web properties. Indeed, APIs have become the new SOA (service-oriented architecture) but offer greater simplicity. "APIs have jumped out of the petri dish of the enterprise," says Kin Lane, an independent API evangelist. Companies ranging from PayPal to Walgreens, as well as government agencies, have jumped on the API bandwagon.
Technologies like REST and JSON are critical in the API party, in which thousands of APIs have become available. Mobile applications and cloud deployments have been key drivers of APIs, with APIs connecting users to application services. "We can call 2013 a watershed year for Internet APIs," says Forrester Research analyst John Rymer. "Client interest in the topic is high." The industry is aware, too, as evidenced by the 2013 acquistion of Mashery by Intel, Axway's late-2012 acquisition of Vordel, and the constant dribble of new APIs in API broker Apigee's service.
"The most important and underreported trend we've seen around APIs is how enterprise adoption for internal private APIs is skyrocketing, spurred on by mobile app requirements," says John Sheehan, CEO of Runscope, which provides offers developers services to solve consumption-side API problems. "Companies are building more and more APIs to power their line-of-business apps, then finding that those same services can be used across the organization for all their cross-functional integrations."