UPDATED 11:18 EDT / OCTOBER 29 2009

Mobile App Development and the Impact on Freelance

image I’ve been writing for online publications for a few years now, and that leaves me in a twilight career path ultimately determined by my ability to manage my own time.  While a web-based economy has helped me thrive in my industry, there have always been certain obstacles that just halt my productivity.  Plane rides, car rides, movies—these are all times when Internet access can be limited.

Then along came the mobile web.  It’s been great to me, pushing email, accessing Facebook, sharing links, photos and videos on Twitter…one’s ability to work on their own is increased with the development of mobile applications.  And the job market, in sme senses, is actually reflecting that.

image A recent report from Elance shows that independent contractors are in high demand, especially in the IT and writing fields.  That means more people are able to find primary and supplementary work through the web, sometimes without having to ever leave their homes.  These peripheral workers all need programs and applications to help them manage their time.

It’s an interesting model of supply and demand, with the market that enables independent and freelance workers also being made up of these same professionals.  The mobile application industry is growing rapidly, presenting opportunities to both make your mark in the mobile world and also benefit from its development.

TimeXchange is one company I have seen straddling these two sectors in a unique sense for a few years.  Its evolution has represented the necessity of innovative business models and an industry that supports other innovative working models.With a completely revamped take on independent time management, image TimeXchange has launched Fig1 to offer all these tools for mobile users.

On a personal level, Fig1 presents an option for individual workers to better manage their time.  Integration with other spreadsheet applications such as QuickBooks, and tools for businesses that hire independent contractors as well means a more seamless data entry and tracking process.

When it comes to iPhone applications such as Fig1, the platform potential of the iPhone is emphasized because of the app’s integration capabilities.  More cooperation across services and platforms means that more developers are able to appeal to their customers’ needs.  This points to the iPhone’s ability to help drive an aspect of a market that encourages entrepreneurship.

Time will tell how this could possibly shift the very concept of our workforce, especially as corporations shift the way in which they manage and care for their employees.  The cultural and economic shifts surrounding corporate America have all but catalyzed the independent contractor trend we’re currently witnessing.  How far this trend will be pushed is undetermined, but the tools necessary for managing the trend are already being put in place.


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