With a whopping 3.5 billion smartphone users across the world, mobile apps have a huge user base. Regardless of the industry your business belongs to, mobile application penetration has redefined business goals and strategies across verticals. Constant innovation and adaptability have remained unchanged factors.
Kodak, Compaq, Blockbuster Video – what do these have in common? Despite being widely popular in the past, they failed to keep up with technology and, therefore, ended up closing or selling out. All this at a time when technology was not changing as fast as it is today. Technology truly is in a constant state of flux. When businesses fail to keep up, they usually tend to go the Blockbuster way.
Almost every business needs to amalgamate the latest mobile app development trends and extend its marketing strategy, in order to gain traction towards optimum growth and reach their targeted market effectively.
According to Statista, by 2020, mobile apps are expected to generate $189 Billion US dollars in revenue. However, your approach cannot be limited to deploying the right strategy. You also need to be mindful of incorporating the latest trends in mobile app development.
Whether you are a developer or a business that has a mobile app, you must be updated with the latest mobile app trends. Without incorporating these trends into your apps, your mobile might become obsolete, just like the companies mentioned at the start.
Here’s a look at some of the trends that will change the future of mobile app development.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things or IoT is a technology that has been around for a while but gained popularity with the advent of wearable devices and smart home devices. With more and more people using wearable devices and smart home appliances, the demand for IoT based mobile apps that can control these devices has also increased. An IoT app helps control and monitor these devices.
These apps do much more than just controlling the devices. They can read the data from the sensors on devices and analyze this data to create helpful reports and charts. IoT apps that are connected to smart home devices also reduce energy consumption. Apart from personal applications, IoT apps are also used for enterprise management. They can even control various aspects of a manufacturing unit, self-driving cars, and more.
Beacon technology is a location-based technology that uses the Bluetooth of the smartphone to identify the proximity to a store, a hotel, or a museum or other such enterprises. The beacons in the location send signals that trigger the app to be opened on the customer’s phone.
The app can then perform a variety of tasks. It can enable users to shop from a store or order room service within a hotel. It can even provide information about the various pieces on display in a museum. Beacon apps have the potential to overhaul the retail sector.
This helps in improving customer satisfaction by providing personalized service at the customer’s fingertips. Customers no longer have to wait for a salesperson to answer their queries. They can use the app integrated with beacon technology for this. Retail stores can also use this to enable cashless and queue-less checkouts.
When you hear blockchain, your mind immediately goes to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Even though cryptocurrencies were the point of inception of blockchain technology, its application has evolved into other areas as well.
It is common to see mobile wallets and currency converters that use blockchain technology in mobile apps. It can also be used to track digital assets, secure digital identity, provide cloud storage solutions, keep track of loyalty programs and rewards, provide proof of provenance in supply chain management, and even to notarise ownership.
Add in smart contracts with blockchain, and possibilities are limitless. The security provided by the smart contracts ensures that you can use it for a range of things, from renting various items to issuing loans.
The world of blockchain itself has innumerable possibilities, but combining it with another mobile app trend such as the Internet of Things or IoT would make for a really powerful tool in your hands. Apps created using these two trends will be secure, fast, and cost-efficient.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that AI and ML are on the list. In fact, they would have been among the top mobile application development trends in 2019 as well, and they will most probably be on the list for 2021 as well. That is how relevant and versatile these technologies are.
AI and ML are the forces behind chatbots, facial detection, motion detection, recommendation engines, speech recognition, text prediction, financial forecasting, and much more. As the technology becomes more advanced, the number of ways and the ease with which it can be integrated into a mobile app also increases.
IT, marketing, finance, and customer service are the top industries that have integrated AI and ML into their apps to resounding success. Google has successfully created Duplex, which can place calls on behalf of humans to fix appointments.
Creating an app requires you to find a balance between all the features you want to add and how much storage space it could occupy in the phone memory. The future of mobile app development lies in apps that load fast, occupy less memory, but are feature-rich. Instant apps do all of this.
Instant apps load with just a touch. There is no need to download a huge installation package. The app is created in modules that can be downloaded and executed on their own. You will be able to download the part you need by following a link.
If someone shares a link with you and click on it, instead of waiting for the whole app to download, you only need to wait till that module get downloaded. Many users hesitate to download large apps due to a lack of storage space. By offering the app in parts, you are ensuring that your product is downloaded by more number of users.
The best part about instant apps is that existing apps don’t need to rebuild from scratch. The developer only has to modularise the existing code and viola! The app becomes an instant app.
While AI, ML, and IoT are pushing the boundaries of what to expect from a mobile app, they are also leading to an increase in the size of the app. A large app will only have a few takers, and its retention rate may be low. Cloud-based apps are the best way forward here. The app taps into the cloud for the required storage space. It reduces the resources consumed on the user-end.
These apps can be downloaded quickly. They provide optimum features without affecting the performance of the device or reducing its internal memory. These apps take less time to upgrade, cost less, and are more productive. Cloud-based apps are the backbone of other application development trends, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, which depend on it to grow. It also opens the door for applications to use complex and advanced technologies such as quantum computing.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Who isn’t familiar with Pokemon Go? The game took the world by storm and brought augmented reality into the mainstream. While augmented reality superimposes artificial objects on the real-world objects, virtual reality offers a completely artificial environment.
From a gaming perspective, both AR and VR lets the players become more immersed in the game. It increases retention and also has the potential to make the game addictive. Pokemon Go is the best example of just how addictive and powerful technology can be.
But games aren’t the only area of application of AR and VR. These technologies can be used to improve the efficacy of training and educational apps. They can give the student a true sense of performing the job at hand.
Interior designing and marketing are other areas where AR and VR apps are creating game-changing experiences. The app can let the user see how the product will look in a certain space or give you a better idea about its size and shape.
5G is the latest cellular communication technology that promises to improve the latency, network capacity, expected throughput, efficiency, and connection density. It is already being offered in a few parts of the world and will soon become a global phenomenon.
The better features offered by 5G technology will enable developers to create apps that are more responsive and fast. 5G technology will also pave the way for more apps using augmented and virtual reality, IoT, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
As mentioned at the start, the world of mobile app development is highly competitive, and it would be advisable that developers take the features offered by 5G into account and create apps that can keep up with the latest mobile app trends.
Foldable Hardware Friendly Apps
Were you a fan of the old flip phones? Then you must be excited about foldable smartphones. Samsung’s foldable OLED display is set to disrupt the smartphone market and pave the way for many exciting smartphone experiences.
Creating apps that make full use of the possibilities offered by these foldable phones will put you ahead of the competition. The app should be responsive and should be able to expand when the screen becomes larger. You can also let it open new tabs or new menus on the enlarged screen. In short, foldable screens can open up a lot of avenues for mobile app developers.
Predictive analytics uses the vast amount of data at hand, extracts valuable insight from, and it uses this insight to improve various processes. Predictive analytics in mobile app development can work on two fronts. It can improve the user experience as well as the development process.
Everything follows a pattern, even app development. Predictive analytics can process the data collected from various developers to identify issues before that occur and suggest alternate methods.
When applied to the user-end, it can predict what action the user might take next or offer to complete sentences. It can even help in identifying those pages in the app that have the least retention rate and uncover the reason for the same. It can help marketers identify which notifications are getting the best responses.
Mobile wallets continue to enjoy increased adoption. As the number of credit card frauds and cash thefts increases, users have realized the benefits of using mobile wallets for transactions. The rise in popularity of mobile wallets can also be attributed to the increase in internet penetration worldwide.
With technologies such as the blockchain, IoT, and beacon technology that assure data security, the use of mobile wallets has also increased. The rise in the number of e-commerce has also contributed to the growth of mobile wallets. Many mobile wallets also offer cashback, loyalty points, and increased security. All of these make it a more attractive option than internet banking or credit and debit card.
The increase in the number of smartphone apps has also exposed users to many security vulnerabilities. With more and more information being stored and used by apps, security continues to be one of the top mobile app trends in 2020. Blockchain technology is a positive step in this direction. If your app is not based on blockchain, then you need to look at other ways to make it more secure.
There is nothing that can kill an app’s popularity like a security lapse. The Cambridge Analytica scandal hit Facebook hard and impacted its shares as well as the number of active users. Facebook is a social media giant and still felt the impact of a security breach.
With an increase in the number of hackers, users have also become more careful about downloading and installing new apps. The smartphone app market is so competitive that if the users don’t trust your app, they can easily find another one to replace it. Therefore, security should be at the forefront of any app development.
Step Into the Future of Mobile App Development
Mobile app development is a constantly evolving field that is at the forefront of innovation. These cutting edge technologies also need experienced and talented mobile app developers for implementation. If you happen to be planning to develop a mobile app, make sure that you inculcate these trends that are about to rule the mobile application development industry in 2020.
Originally published here.