Alexa: Amazon’s AI Heroine Poised to Steal the Mobile Hub Spotlight

Jason Losh / July 25, 2017

I’m sitting in my office in Cary, North Carolina (just outside of beautiful Raleigh), and it’s HOT. We’re talking 106-degree-heat-index hot.  The kind of hot where I haven’t even left the house since my morning run.  So, with summer squarely top of mind, I bring you the next Blue Sentry Cloud blog post.

Me: Alexa, cue the deep voiced narrator.

Alexa: In a world littered with unused mobile apps and expensive development costs, there is only one offering that can save the day.  The AWS Mobile Hub will smack down development costs and bench press your chance for success. She will rally her gang of guardians of the AWS galaxy to supercharge your mobile app development.  iOS (gasping), Android (heavy breathing), Xamarin (background screaming), PhoneGap (fainting developer) … no foe is too tough for the AWS Mobile Hub to tackle.

Me: Alexa, stop!

In the world of big-budget blockbusters, I’m sure this action packed drama would be a HUGE hit for all of us geeks out there, but probably wouldn’t play well with the non-engineer audience.  But on a more serious note, mobile app development isn’t easy — yet everyone is trying to do it. 

Today, there is a proliferation of mobile app development platforms that allow folks to drag-and-drop clunky UIs together and to connect various services in order to try to create a seamless mobile experience.  But if you look at the cold, hard data (and brace for it, this is ice cold), research from Gartner says that less than 0.01 percent of mobile apps are considered a financial success.  And to boot, developing a mobile app requires a great deal of investment to code it, test it, and launch it — with an average investment of $270,000.  That may not be a summertime movie budget, but an app with a price tag like that, yet collects dust on the shelf of your favorite app store, is still considered to be an epic flop.

So how can our heroine increase your likelihood of success?

Well, first and foremost, AWS Mobile Hub is a more than just a disembodied voice – it’s a complete development platform for building your mobile app.  It is an aggregation of several AWS services and presentation of those services in a single, well-integrated console. 

The console comes with several pre-built features (seven as of the time of this blog) — examples are User Sign-In, powered by Amazon Cognito; NoSQL storage, powered by Amazon Dynamo DB; Cloud Logic, powered by Amazon Lambda and the Amazon API Gateway — and my personal favorite, Conversational Bots, powered by Amazon Lex.

Through the AWS Mobile Hub’s intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, it is easy to do things like add a conversational bot to your app, complete with examples such as booking a trip or ordering flowers. Or, you can designate a user login and method ranging from user email and password, all the way up to SAML federation for an enterprise mobile app. 

As for content delivery, AWS Mobile Hub makes that easy as well, with the Hosting and Streaming component powered by Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront. This allows you to take advantage of 79 edge locations and 11 regional caches — all with just with a few clicks.

It’s also extremely straightforward to add mobile push, email and SMS messaging to your app, using the Messaging and Analytics component of the AWS Mobile Hub. Using SNS, you can call third party endpoint and push notifications in the form of Amazon ADM, Apple APNS, Google GCM, or Windows WNS endpoints.  Again, this can all be accomplished with just a few clicks.  The console also has a snazzy dashboard from tracking usage and mobile analytics, so you can monitor the success of your campaigns, for example.  

And once all is said and done, and you’re ready to move on to testing, the AWS Mobile Hub offers Device Farm — which can be used to put your award-winning masterpiece through the paces. Device Farm supports native and hybrid Android, iOS, and web apps, and cross-platform apps, including those created with PhoneGap, Titanium, Xamarin, Unity, and other frameworks.

Okay, so maybe you won’t quite be destined for summer superstardom — but if you incorporate the AWS Mobile Hub into your workflow to bring together disparate services in creating that amazing app, you will undoubtedly be pleased with the results. I wish you luck and I will accept donations for those of you that create the next Angry Birds on the AWS Mobile Hub!