MWC 2016: Three big stories app developers may have missed

Dan Kobialka, FierceDeveloperMobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 recently took place in Barcelona, Spain. More than 100,000 visitors attended the event, including many key players in the app development space. 

So which newsmakers made noise at this year's MWC? Here's a closer look at three stories from the tradeshow that every developer needs to know about: 

1. MWC panel reveals simmering tension between ad blockers and the mobile-ad ecosystem

Ever heard of Shine Technologies, a.k.a. the Israeli ad blocking company that has stirred up controversy among developers worldwide? 

European mobile broadband company Three recently announced it would deploy Shine's ad blocking technology and defended its decision to advertisers and Web publishers in an MWC panel discussion.

Yahoo and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) executives countered Three's arguments during the discussion.

A Yahoo executive scolded Shine for "destroying the ecosystem," while Google's managing director of media and platforms said he felt "uncomfortable" with a network-based ad blocker that doesn't allow users to determine which ads they see and which they don't.

Don't expect the Shine controversy to die down any time soon, either. 

Even though no U.S. wireless carrier has deployed Shine's software on its networks yet, it may be only a matter of time before Shine becomes a major consideration for American developers. 

2. IoT security threats skyrocket, AT&T study finds

Are you ready for the Internet of Things (IoT)? Although billions of connected "things" may emerge over the next few years, security issues will need to be addressed before developers can capitalize on IoT technologies. 

A new report on IoT security commissioned by AT&T (NASDAQ: T), for example, showed a 458 percent increase in vulnerability scans of IoT devices in the last two years.

The report, released at MWC 2016, also indicated 88 percent of business respondents said they lack full confidence in the security of their business partners' IoT devices.

As more companies deploy IoT devices, developers will need to discover ways to protect consumers against myriad cyber threats. However, developers who focus on finding solutions now can take a proactive approach to IoT security, and ultimately, may be able to stay ahead of rapidly emerging IoT security threats. 

3. Industry executives tout 5G as an app industry disruptor

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology promises to disrupt the global marketplace, according to several industry executives at MWC 2016. 

Executives from AT&T and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) highlighted the impact of 5G, along with how this technology may revolutionize the way consumers and businesses stay connected.

It also is important to consider how 5G may affect developers, as this technology could create new growth opportunities for developers worldwide.

5G is still at least a few years from becoming a reality, but developers who learn about 5G and stay up to date about its developments may be able to stay ahead of their rivals in a highly competitive global marketplace. 

Meanwhile, 5G will enable mobile device users to access and download larger apps faster than ever before. And developers who consider ways to enhance the quality of their apps and provide user-friendly experiences may be best equipped to capitalize on 5G networks as soon as they become available.--Dan