Technological advancement is increasing rapidly within time. Mobile app developers are always searching and looking to create and develop apps to make our lives easier, faster more productive.  Up until today, there are 2.6 million apps on play store and 2.2 million on app store. Moreover, it is estimated that by 2020, there will be 6.1 billion smartphone users all over the world  and 80% of mobile data traffic will come from smartphones by the end of 2020. 

People spend: 

  • 43% of their mobile app time on games
  • 26% on social media
  • 10% on entertainment
  • 10% on utilities
  • 2% on news and productivity
  • 1% on health fitness and lifestyle
  • 5% on others

Top 14 trends that will determine the future of mobile apps

1. The Internet of Things will Play a Dominant Role

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the world will become a place where everything is connected with small devices, thus making information available everywhere. The development of the Internet of Things is closely associated with the Analytics Revolution, Edge Computing, and 5G cell processing. From healthcare to education and smart homes to smart offices, IoT apps will gradually start getting mainstream. Apple Watch apps are already booming. Moreover, Google has also released Android Things to increase IoT adoption. There is an increase in demand for connected things and apps will be required for smart devices besides smartphones, therefore developers will have to keep innovating to meet diverse needs.

2. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 

The number of apps associated with VR and AR is increasing. The growth is projected to result in unbelievable outcomes this year and in the upcoming years. As a result, the way people interact with software and with each other will be drastically transformed. According to a report by Digi-Capital, mobile Augmented Reality (AR) is expected to turn into the primary driver of the $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021, with AR accounting for $83 billion and VR for $25 billion. Virtual Reality (VR) on the other hand is becoming more associated with the gaming and events fields. VR is already a trend and will further continue to thrive in the upcoming years. This will result in better app usage experience and offer a higher dose of entertainment for gaming users.

3. Mobile App Privacy and Security

The security of mobile apps is one of the top issues in the mobile app market. App developers are starting to focus more on providing stronger data encryption. Given smartphones are becoming more and more important and used, the need for secure apps will increase. Gravitating towards more security will be crucial, particularly, when we talk about mobile payments, banking accounts, emails, etc. 

4. Serverless Architecture 

As messaging apps are becoming more popular than social media, privacy and security concerns are rising. Today, many messaging apps such as whatsapp and signal use end-to-end encryption to secure users’ data, and a few messengers started using the technology of what is called serverless architecture. Messaging apps such as Pinngle is already utilizing a serverless architecture to ensure its users’ safety and security. As the name suggests, serverless architecture means having one device sending a message to the recipient directly without having a server as mediator. This secure technology is relatively new and is expected to be applied in popular or new messaging apps in the near future.

5. Cloud Computing Apps 

Cloud computing apps run on servers instead of devices which makes it simpler and more reliable to use. Because of the cloud storage apps, it will be possible to create apps that can operate on any smartphone, using the browser, regardless of platforms and screen. By the upcoming years, cloud technologies will be utilized more to develop apps that require integration with IoT, wearables, artificial intelligence, etc. There is always a need to develop apps that need a lot of storage for seamless functioning. In such scenarios, developing cloud-based apps are inevitable. Moreover, with cloud support, apps will be able to function more securely across multiple devices.

6. FinTech

Managing finances is becoming easier than ever with the rise of fintech. FinTech, short for financial technologies, is a computer program and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services. Fintech is one of the fastest-growing areas for venture capitalists and startups. Financial solutions such as mobile banking, investing services and cryptocurrency are becoming more popular and accessible to the general public with the help of FinTech. Moreover, there has been a drastic increase in mobile payments and money transfers within the last few years and it is expected to increase even more in the upcoming years.

7. On- demand – apps 

Like Taxi apps, there will be an upward trend for other on-demand services like laundry, haircuts, parking, takeaways, etc. These types of apps will take over the mobile app market in the future and will thus make users lives easier.  Users are already preferring to pay a small fee for a faster and convenient procedure offered by this type of apps. As a result, on-demand apps will become more and more popular in the future and will thus help aid users in many ways.

8. Big Data

Big Data is already becoming one of the most emerging technologies in the IT sector. More and more apps will incline towards big data integration for detailed analysis of user data. Every time you browse the internet and search for something, you end up creating new data. By the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. Giant companies such as Uber is already using the emerging technology of Big Data. Uber’s entire model is based on big data crowdsourcing and big data analysis to implement the concept of surge pricing when needed.

9. Prototyping tools and Design Automation 

We have already seen a huge rise in prototyping and interaction designs in the past few years. It is expected that designers and developers will gear to use more prototyping tools in the future to help have a better understanding and visualization of how a user interface will look and feel like. Artificial intelligence will be introduced in building mobile apps and websites. For websites, there are already thegrid.io and firedrop.ai. Soon there will be a similar mobile app development trend when AI will help us automate the entire design process. Automation has already started happening. For instance, Zeplin, Figma, and Subform are already allowing UX designers to automate parts of a design process.

10. Machine learning, AI, deep learning, and chatbots 

The world is getting smarter with the help of AI, machine learning and deep learning. Businesses for instance are getting closer to their customers with the help of AI and by using conversational commerce. Many popular apps are using AI to better understand their customers. Google Translate for instance, has started using machine learning to offer more fluent translations. The Carat App uses machine learning algorithms to recommend actions to save your battery life. Babylon health app uses chatbots to respond to users about their symptoms 24/7 to obtain fast and accurate medical advice. In the upcoming years, companies will put more efforts in developing chatbots that resemble humans.

11. Blockchain and Cryptos

Secured transactions based mobility solutions will play a leading role in the fintech and other industries that require increased security. A recent study by IBM shows that 9 in 10 government firms are planning to invest in blockchain for the purposes of financial transaction management, asset management, contract management, and regulatory compliance. Blockchain and cryptocurrency will continue to go forward and evolve in the upcoming years. Studies show that  20% of trade finance all over the world is anticipated to use blockchain by 2020.

12. Location-Based Services

The majority of mobile devices are already equipped with GPS capabilities. Location-based services (LBS) will further evolve to offer users real-time information. This year, users’ interest in location-based apps will reach unprecedented levels. There will be increased use of LBS in the sectors of travel and tourism, navigation, security, retail, location-specific payment portals, indoor mapping, and more.

Linda Stanfield

Linda is a Storyteller and passionate about blogging. She currently covers topics related to bags, shoes, women's clothing, sustainable products and hats.

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