Smartphones are quickly becoming a necessity. More and more people are moving away from desktops or laptops and opting for their smartphones as the go to device to perform different tasks. 2017 saw 3.5 billion mobile phone users in the world of which 69% spend their media time on only smartphones.
Mobile phones are made convenient and easy to use with the help of mobile apps that unlike speculated are not a fad or trend but in fact are here to stay. The total number of mobile app downloads in 2017 are forecasted to be 197 billion.
The reality is that mobile apps make things much easier for people in many cases, they also help businesses, they are the most popular modes of social interaction and many use them from gaming. With thousands of apps releasing every day, it is no doubt that app development trends are also adjusting and upgrading accordingly.
If you want to become an App developer, it is important you know the trends and where the industry is heading.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has been the star of the technology world since many years now, each passing year bringing more and more improvement in it. Microsoft, Apple and Google have understood long back how powerful AI can be in the mobile app development world. AI can offer app development companies with advanced analytics, machine learning technology and cognitive interfaces. With Microsoft developing Cortana and Google launching Google Duplex; app development will continue to rise exponentially in this field.
Google launched Instant Apps in 2016 aiming at bringing convenient apps to users that use less space as well as eat less of the battery juice which is precious for any avid smartphone user. Instant apps can be used directly from Google Play without downloading. Users can only download a portion of the app they need, when they need. For instance, the New York Times app offers instant app of crosswords for the users for which the entire app does not need to be installed. It is really a win-win situation and an ingenious idea by Google that should start to escalate in popularity in the year 2018.
Cloud based apps
The cloud is another genius innovation by the technology world that has taken the internet by a storm. It has made it possible to use less storage on your own device and have your information, data and pictures safe on the “cloud” to be accessed whenever needed. Moreover, it offers other advantages especially to businesses of low operational cost, reduced hosting, expandable storage, and hence, increase in productivity. Cloud based apps like Dropbox will see a greater surge in 2018 and the coming years especially since one app can be used both on Android and iOS with no need to develop separate apps for both platforms.
Mobile payment apps
Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, etc. have been in the industry for a few years now but 2017 saw global mobile payments exceed $700 billion. With such high numbers in 2017, 2018 is surely expected to see a great swell in the use of mobile phones to make payments instead of credit and debit cards.
Wearable apps and IoT
Some reports say that the wearables and IoT (internet of things) industry will be injected with $120 billion by 2020 with the aim of augmenting the industry value. With fitness and smartwatches swiftly gaining popularity, these wearables are quickly becoming household staples. Their prices are gradually dropping and usages increasing. For instance, smart gloves are there to help you with your golf swing, smartwatch to count your calories intake, wristband to calculate the quality of your sleep, etc. With the amount of investment going into IoT, it is just a matter of a year or so when they rule our world similar to smartphones.
Blockchain simply put is the technology behind cryptocurrencies. Blockchain can add value in our financial matters and to businesses. It is like a digital ledger that records anything of financial value and is also transparent and high security. With Facebook adopting Blockchain, it is just a matter of some time when the entire world adopts it for their daily use.
AR and VR
Virtual Reality (VR) may define the world but Augmented Reality (AR) has changed the entire gaming scenario such as Pokemon. With VR, the 3D vision of products and services helps the customer understand the product in more detail. For instance, IKEA makes use of VR for better retail experience of its customers. AR is widely being used by social media apps such as Snapchat for value added filters that users are loving! In 2018 and the coming years, AR and VR will explore new avenues and gain more popularity.
Personalization is huge and demand for it is growing exponentially. Apps that monitor your preferences, the trips you take, and the movies you like to watch are all examples of personalization that Netflix and AirBnb are employing.
Although these apps and trends are aimed at enhancing the user experience and allows customers more choices and convenient lifestyle; it is also a bondage for almost all. Bondage of more and more dependence on technology, internet and the small gadget in our hands. It is making life easier for us, but also taking us away from the more physical virtues of life.