The past year has had a significant impact on the way businesses live and work. Many companies had to fight for survival, look for ways to exist in a changed world and adapt to the new behavior of customers. Exploring new opportunities, using the latest trends and technologies, and constant development helps to stay competitive and continue to make a profit. This also applies to the rather young, but in-demand market of mobile applications.
Smartphones and tablets have long been an important part of most people’s lives, according to statistics, in 2020 these devices accounted for an average of 3 hours and 50 minutes of time per day. This figure has been growing steadily over the years and it is clear that the growth trend will continue in the future. Most of your time is spent using mobile apps and it’s worth taking advantage of if you want to keep up with the times. Today, a mobile app is not a luxury, but an effective business development tool, an investment in success and profit.
Coronavirus has made its adjustments and made delivery service apps and online stores especially popular, but other types of apps can also attract users by taking advantage of current trends.
What should you pay attention to, what trends will be most in demand in mobile app development, what will help you better adapt to the new reality and meet the expectations of users?
Trends in mobile app development
Despite protests, arguments, speculation, and obstacles from some people, 5G technology is marching steadily around the world. The number of 5G connections worldwide is projected to grow to 1.4 billion by 2025.
The speed of the new network standard is about 10 gigabits per second, which is 10 times faster than any existing wireless technology. High-speed data transfer will increase not only the speed of connection to the Internet from mobile devices, but also the functionality of applications.
According to an analysis conducted by Open Signal between July 1 and September 28, 2020, 5G users are already getting download speeds several times faster than 4G. The ability of 5G to support up to 1 million devices per square kilometer will allow a calm approach to increasing the number of connected devices per user (smartphone, smart watch, car, tablet, home appliances, security cameras, etc.).
App clips, mini-apps for quick launches, were announced last summer at Apple’s WWDC for iOS 14. With mini-apps, users can get quick access to certain functions of the app without installing its full version.
For users, it’s a new level in the convenience of using the application, an opportunity to place an order easier and faster, and for companies – a new way to attract the attention of the audience.
According to Apple, App clips can be used both online and offline. They are not saved on the home screen of the device, but go to the “app library.” Thirty days after the last use, App clips are automatically deleted from the device.
This feature can come in handy for any business that has a product or service ordering function. For example, HoReCa companies can place takeout orders, reservations for various services, hotel registrations in the App clip and subsequently offer customers to install a full-fledged app.
Instant launch apps
The function is similar to App clips, only it was announced much earlier – in 2016. The technology allows to try the functionality of an application on a mobile device without installing a full product from Google Play.
The app is launched from the cloud, the user sees the functionality of the product, can try it and decide whether to install it. This solves the problem of paid demos and allows developers to demonstrate the capabilities of the product to the end user.
It is important to note that Android Instant Apps opens only part of the application, with basic functions. To get the full functionality, you need to install the program from the app store.
Instant Apps will be useful for online stores, e-commerce, mobile games.
Internet of Things (IoT)
By 2023, the IoT market in the U.S. alone is projected to exceed $500 billion, with the consumer electronics segment accounting for the lion’s share.
The Internet of Things is taking over the world. This advanced technology is one of the closest to people; it affects quality of life, people’s interaction with each other and the world around them.
By providing a convenient and relatively simple environment for users to interact with various devices in real time, the IoT will expand as a technologically driven network of smart devices and objects. The most important and popular area of IoT use will undoubtedly be home automation: smart home systems, large and small household appliances, personal transportation. Every day more and more users manage their home electronic devices with the help of apps. It is predicted that by 2030 there will be about 50 billion such devices in use around the world.
Voice recognition and device communication using voice control are increasingly being used, with functionality appearing in a variety of service and telemarketing applications. Gartner estimates that by 2030, 30% of web browsers will have voice control.
VUI (Voice User Interface) is used to facilitate interaction between users and a device or specific technology/function. Voice control is not yet appreciated by many companies and mobile app developers, but its popularity is growing literally by the minute.
TechCrunch estimates 66.4 million Americans own a smart speaker, in our country such speakers are less popular (yet), according to analysts, the number of owners of speakers with the voice assistant “Alice” has not even reached one million. However, about 50 million users turn to the smart assistant each month. We think companies should pay attention to voice control and add this functionality to their apps while it still allows them to stand out from the competition and not be “like everyone else.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
In 2020, artificial intelligence was listed as one of the top trends in the world of mobile development. We would hardly be wrong to assume that this state of affairs will continue for several more years. Not even the global epidemic has been able to stop AI research. Technology is changing the world right now and will bring even more unique and surprising changes in the future.
Naturally, mobile app development will not be left behind. Here, AI capabilities will be used to create new features, facilitate certain tasks for smart devices and train them. The introduction of AI and machine learning into the mobile world has helped and will continue to help the mobile segment perform as well as before, to meet the needs and expectations of consumers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many fields, people’s habits and leisure activities. And while for some people the change has been critical, for others it has been a new stepping stone to success. The gaming industry and streaming services benefit from this situation, offering users an interesting and diverse leisure experience. Last year, mobile gaming generated $77.2 billion in revenue, a 13.3 percent increase over 2019.
The return to home entertainment, triggered by self-imposed regimes and other restrictive measures, has led to more time spent on mobile devices, increasing the popularity of mobile games and apps that can help not only brighten leisure time, but also make it more productive, rewarding.
Users choose augmented reality mobile games (Pokemon Go, Witcher Monster Slayer), TV streaming apps (Netflix, MovieWatch), apps for home exercise, meditation and relaxation as alternatives to participating in mass events and visiting public places.
Since such products have fairly low requirements for cell phone ownership, their popularity will continue to grow.