The mobile app ecosystem is seeing a rapid transformation in the wake of advancements and integration of new technologies. As businesses look forward to finding ways to leverage the benefits of AI, machine learning, IoT, etc. mobile apps have been seen doing things that were just an imagination a decade back.
Increased Penetration & Usage Fuelling Growth
On the top of growth aspirations of businesses, the increased penetration of smart phones and internet has further fueled up growth and paved way for fresh trends in the mobile app industry. Here are some path-breaking trends that have emerged in the past few months and will continue to influence the app development community in the future.
Gartner Inc. has already predicted the rapid growth of IoT-based smart apps by the end of 2018. Artificial intelligence and internet of things will see a rapid adoption among multiple industry segments with industry players looking to create engaging and intuitive experiences for customers. Already, more than 200 corporations are actively investing in IoT-based app development in a bid to become successful early adopters of the technology.
In the future, we may see automakers, hospitality industry and fitness startups making fuller utilization of IoT and mobile apps to provide mobile app tools that will improve the way we use services and interact with business. Companies will move towards creating custom IoT applications with specific B2B and B2C use case scenarios that would use high-level sensors and IoT devices to complete tasks.
- Augmented Reality
We have already seen AR’s potential with the success of Pokemon Go mobile game in the past. Along with providing an enjoyable experience, AR has the potential to engage users and promote high activity in a short period of time.
In the coming months, we will see increased integration of AR use cases in the mobile app ecosystem. Already, Google Translate has incorporated AR into its algorithm that allows users to click a photo of any text in another language and get translation in a language that one understands. Starbucks too, has tried its hands on AR technology with the launch of My Starbucks Barista app. IKEA is using AR-based mobile catalog and the trend is booming with every launch.
According to sources, mobile AR apps will reach $3.9 billion by 2020. The increased applications of AR in business world and potential to solve customer problems will influence these growth patterns.
- Mobile Payments
One segment that will surely see massive disruption due to mobile apps is finance and payments. In 2017, global mobile payments have crossed $700 billion in 2017 from just about $200 billion in 2012. The rapid adoption of mobile apps for payments is uniform across regions and age groups.
The rise in digital payments will pave way for better innovations in mobile app landscape. Already, Google has announced a single window app- Pay to integrate mobile payments under a single account. With increased interest in technologies like NFC, mobile finance and payments landscape will rule the mobile app development arena.
- Artificial Intelligence
Google’s top brass Sundar Pichai has already heralded the shift from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world. The shift will affect every aspect of mobile app development. Infusion of AI in mobile app development will lead to creation of smart chatbots for businesses. Already, companies are using virtual assistants for better customer service and experience. Netflix even uses an AI-based algorithm to understand user behavior and providing a personalized experience. Tinder has been using the technology in its mobile app to help users find a match.
According to Gartner, companies will heavily rely on mobile applications that are leveraging AI and machine learning in the future. AI is set to grow to a level of $100 billion by 2025 and the symbiotic relationship between mobile apps and AI will benefit every mobile app user in the coming years.
- Wearable Technology
No matter what tech pundits claim, wearable technology is not dead. The phenomenon is expected to grow at a CAGR of 49.7 percent from 2017 to 2013. And wearables will see an improvement owing to better in-gadget and mobile apps that will enhance their functionality.
Growing out of their cliché fitness tracking uses, wearables will see better utilization and applications in almost all the industries. And mobile app developers will continue to build engaging apps to improve automation, efficiency and tracking with the help of wearables.
- Instant Android Apps
In 2016, the idea of instant apps was floated in the app development world. Instead of wanting users to install an app, instant apps can give them a demo by trying the app first. In 2017, Google integrated Instant Android apps feature in the Play Store.
Instant apps that are not required to be installed became a hit among users who are always short of storage space. In the coming months, the popularity of instant apps will continue to soar owing to short-term needs of users. Currently, Instant android apps support devices with Android 5.0 to Android 8.0.
In the future, it would not be a surprise that other platforms such as iOS opens up to the idea of instant apps, too. In such a scenario, iOS app development will also significantly transform with the integration of instant functionality inside the app.
- Lazy Loading and AMP
Accelerated mobile pages(AMP) and lazy loading are two amazing trends that have seen increased popularity among developers. With these methodologies, mobile apps can be made to perform faster and speed up the whole experience. Instead of loading every object of mobile app irrespective of its need, lazy loading emphasizes on on-demand object loading.
A developer can specify exact components of app that needs to be loaded based on the requirement. Minimized application start time and efficient memory utilization are the two benefits of these techniques that are in sync with requirements of modern app users.
- Battery-efficient Lite Applications
The coming years will see an increase in the demand for Lite versions of mobile apps that consume less battery and can work efficiently with less memory usage. As latest versions of Android have made it hard for apps to be memory or battery intensive in the background, the trend to launch clipped—up but fully-functional versions of mobile app has caught the fantasy of app developers.
Facebook has successfully deployed a lite version of app that makes it possible for users to use the app even in areas with low connectivity and on low-range mobile devices. The trend will see a massive growth as users have begun demanding apps with low memory requirements.
- Improved Enterprise Apps
Businesses are continuously evolving themselves for competing in digital landscape. Apps will serve as an efficient weapon for enterprises looking to improve their revenues and streamline workflow. B2C apps by enterprises can see a significant shift from freemium model to a subscription-based model.
Already, players like Amazon, Netflix and others are scaling up their revenues by adopting subscription models. Others in the entertainment, telecom, financial and healthcare industry will also soon follow this unique method of better engagement and growth in revenues.
At the other end, enterprises will require applications with better features for company-wide communication. With the likes of Slack and Workplace by Facebook in the market, enterprise apps will soon see an increased conversational flow for better operations.
- User Journey Simplification
User experience and interface will continue to occupy center stage in the future too. Creating an ideal user experience based on linear user flow or progressive disclosure can continue to influence app developers.
Further, the focus will be on simplifying user journey within the app through a conversational design. Already, chat-based or virtual-assistant based apps have become popular and the trend will pave way for better and intuitive workflows within the apps.
- In-App Gestures
Gesture-based interface will again pick up pace in the coming months. With better hardware available in the market such as iPhone X and similar smart phones, app developers will see to implement more gesture styles to improve user experience.
Gesture control and features have another benefit. This gives more screen space to the app developers as fewer buttons are needed. This can help in creating a content-based product that are massively popular among the masses.
- Bezel-less Experiences
The launch of iPhone X, Galaxy S8 and similar devices with bezel-less screens have motivated app developers to create more immersive experiences owing to increased screen space. The future will see a fuller utilization of app development capabilities to create an interface that is more vivid, intuitive, engaging and absorbing for the users.