With over 2.7 billion smartphone users worldwide and 90% of mobile time spent on apps (SmartInsights), there has never been a better time to create the ultimate mobile application.
But it is not enough to simply develop mobile applications. In order to stand out against the competition and deliver the ultimate customer experience, app developers need to pay attention to current trends.
Considering the Apple App Store has over 2.2 million apps available for download, and Google Play Store has 2.8 million, apps need to give users a unique experience and deliver an innovative service not available elsewhere. Without utilising the best and newest technology available, apps run the risk of falling behind.
It’s not enough for mobile app developers to just consider screen sizes, hardware specification and configurations anymore. So, here are some of the biggest trends in mobile application development.
Mobile Application Development Trends
Internet of Things (IoT) Integration
The IoT, the growing network of devices connected and communicating through the internet, has consumed modern devices.
Where possible, applications and devices have made use of this integrated service, giving users a plethora of services and abilities in the palm of their hand. From turning off lights to adjusting thermostats far from home, the IoT has provided users with ultimate control.
As IoT integration has already had such a successful reception, it will not slow down and demand will only increase will beyond 2020.
Wearable technology may have been around for years, but its capabilities are improving day after day.
Applications are being developed with this technology in mind, allowing Apple Watches, for instance, to perform functions far beyond telling the time. Users no longer have to even pick up their mobile smartphone to access the same features. Application developers should consider the transferability of app function and whether wearable technology is something suited to the app.
Mobile applications developed now are integrating newer and more novel technologies, such as Augmented Reality.
This trend took off years ago with the release of Pokémon Go, which encouraged users to get out and about to find simulated Pokémon in the real world. However, purposes can extend from beyond games, being as simple as a creative filter on Snapchat or Instagram to entertain users. Google Maps is utilising Augmented Reality to aid its users and increase functionality by giving users directions in real time through ‘live view’.
Whether for creative or useful purposes, Augmented Reality is fast becoming a big trend in mobile application development.
With new devices come new challenges and trends for mobile application development. Foldable devices, such as Samsung Galaxy Fold or Motorola Raxr, create great opportunities for app developers to explore different dimensions and functionalities across screen size.
Some existing android applications have already been optimised for foldable technology, including Prime Video, Twitter, and Facebook, so ignoring this trend could get you left behind. Gaming and video streaming applications are likely to benefit most from the increased display and space for controls. Mobile application developers should consider this technology trend and ensure applications run seamlessly on foldable devices.
5G is starting to make its appearance, so although it may not be pivotal for 2020, it will be paramount beyond. Considering mobile applications take many months, if not years, to develop, app developers should be thinking about 5G and its effects.
Mobile applications on 5G will see increased speed and efficiency as 5G is expected to perform up to 100 times faster than 4G. Mobile application developers can boost functionality of applications and add features without affecting performance.
AI integration with devices is commonly associated with virtual assistants Siri or Alexa, however new trends in mobile application development see AI used for predictive actions and bettering chatbots.
Predictive analytics utilising AI to data mine and forecast events create a better user experience. Spotify, for example, creates personalised playlists for users according to behaviour and history. Similarly, Amazon recommends products to users it believes they may wish to purchase. Although already very common, leveraging AI for predictive analytics will become more commonplace and this trend should be at the forefront of mobile application development.
Customer engagement is key and can help maintain relations. AI is being used to make chatbots more realistic and human, creating more effective customer engagement. Leverage this trend to better customer relations.
Users want uncomplicated, simple transactions at the click of a button. E-commerce increases conversions by reducing the complexity.
E-commerce is more than a trend. Within years it has already become near expectation, with mobile applications including the function to buy, without hassle. Mobile application developers should look to integrate e-commerce with increasing mobile wallet capabilities to simplify the process of purchase even more.
Mobile wallets are phone-based handling of payment information, making payments methods more convenient, safer, and quicker. Trading and investing apps can also benefit from this unified system.
It is becoming more and more commonplace to achieve instant services through mobile applications. Uber and Just Eat are just two examples of huge companies leveraging this trend, built on the demand of users for instantaneous and hassle-free services.
Mobile application developers must consider many factors and functions according to the instant service the app offers. For a tracking application, such as Uber or a delivery company, there needs to be location maps, GPS trackers on vehicles, order processing, notifications, customer support chats, and so on. To make the most out of this mobile application development trend, developers must ensure functions are applicable and efficient for the service.
Beacon technology is established technology for Google Ads targeting as part of proximity marketing, however it is an emerging trend for mobile application development.
Beacons are small, wireless transmitters placed in physical locations sending Bluetooth signals to nearby smart devices. Out of store marketing can encourage previous shoppers to visit again, for example through giving an alert or special deal when a user is in close proximity to a shop.
Mobile application developers may use beacon technology to trigger apps. To give an example, a user approaching their living room, and surpassing a beacon, could activate a TV remote app as a notification on their home screen. Notification or reminder applications work well in conjunction with beacon technology, triggering different lists according to location, such as a daily to-do list as a user approaches their work desk.
Low-Code & OutSystems
OutSystems offers multiple application development tools, from mobile applications to backend build, with capabilities to test across devices. Focussed on UI, the drag and drop editor gives developers real time views of their application, allowing for ongoing assessment and competitive edge.
With the aim to bring low-code to the masses and transform how enterprise software is delivered, OutSystems is the ultimate mobile application development platform that is becoming more and more popular.
Mobile Application Development Jobs with ITRAC
Specialists in OutSystems recruiting, ITRAC connect people and businesses across the globe through innovative technology.