Mobile app development has continued to explode as smartphones continue to infiltrate all areas of society. The smartphone has become an extension of our very being. We all have our smartphone with us wherever we go and because of that, the demand for mobile app development has exploded exponentially.
Smartphones drive custom mobile app development because we are all now addicted to using them for music, alarms, messaging, reading the news, calling a ride and much more. It is estimated that 3 billion people own smartphones. The amazing number is that people older than 25 check their smartphone 265 times a day! Those under 25 and older than 15 check their smartphones 390 times a day! These numbers indicate that we are connected to our smartphones every couple of minutes during our waking hours.
Mobile App Development Trends
It is this extremely heavy usage that is driving innovation and exciting mobile app development trends. This has given way to some amazing trends that we all must keep an eye on.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Most people have experienced augmented reality (like when we watch Olympic swimming and the flag of that athlete’s country is overlaid on their lane in the pool). Virtual reality is also becoming more common. These two things have revolutionized the gaming and entertainment industries.
Be on the lookout for these two things to be a trend in mobile app development and read our AR mobile app development guide.
Artificial Intelligence is one mobile app development trend business users are salivating over. The insight businesses get from advanced analytics is giving them an edge with marketing.
Globally, mobile payments exceeded $700 billion in 2017. Google and Apple each have their own mobile payment systems. This trend in mobile app development is expected to continue as developers integrate mobile payment into m-commerce solutions.
This is one mobile app development trend that has become very important to both businesses and end users alike. Think of companies like Netflix who use the data they collect to provide you with content that matches your personal preferences. This creates a much more targeted experience for the consumer.
The Internet of Things
One major mobile app development trend is the internet of things. Now there are devices that can communicate to each other, collecting data without any need for human interaction. Devices use this to provide either differentiation or a competitive advantage. This is one area that is predicted to explode and it is extremely exciting to see!
If you want to learn more, read our article about developing an internet of things applications.
Beacons and Location-based Services
This new trend enables businesses to present offers and other information based upon location. Anyone who has the Starbucks app on their smartphone has experienced the reminder they are near a Starbucks.
Related: How to Build a Location-Based App
There is a huge range of wearable devices available, from smart sneakers to analyse your walking pattern, smartwatches to count your calories, wristbands to assess your sleep quality and smart gloves to help you with your golf swing. Expect this to only get bigger.
Read our guide on wearable app development
The cloud computing market is growing rapidly. It is projected to be worth $178 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at 22% compound annual growth rate.
This trend is aimed at helping with storage on your mobile device. It also provides enhanced security and ease of use. It is closely related to the next trend we discuss.
BYOD Becomes Much Easier
Cloud computing has made it easier for businesses to handle bring your own devices situations. In the past, security of the data was a major concern with BYOD. Now, safety has become partially the concern of the cloud computing provider. Every employee should be able to work the way they wish.
Cross-platform Native App Development
Yet another exciting mobile app development trend is the ability to provide apps that run across any mobile platform. Businesses demand this because it cuts down the cost of app development.
Android Instant Apps
Android developers can now provide instant apps–apps that don’t need to be installed to run. These apps are becoming more important with the shortage of storage on mobile devices. These applications are found in the Google Play store and have a “Open App” button that simply launches the app. Users can jump to specific aspects of the app as soon as it opens on their device.
Battery-efficient and Lite Apps
Starting from Android 6, and especially Android 8.1, apps have less and less time to finish the tasks in the background. After a user blocks the screen, a so-called DOZE mode is enabled. It reduces battery consumption by deferring background CPU and network activity when the device is unused for long periods of time.
App Standby mode, on the other hand, defers background activity for apps with which the user has not interacted recently.
This is all a part of the building for billions trend. Not only will such an app be more visible in Google Play store, it will also – probably – reach more users.
As Google points out, the emerging markets have challenging characteristics which developers have to take into consideration:
- Slow, intermittent, or expensive connectivity.
- Devices with screens, memory, and processors that may be less capable than devices in other markets.
- Limited opportunities to recharge batteries during the day.
Hence the trend for lite versions of popular apps – such as Facebook Lite.
The original Facebook app is more than 70 MB before installation and almost 200 MB after installation. With updates and usage, its size increases over time.
Facebook Lite is under 1 MB at first, and less than 3 MB after installation. You can use it even on a 2G network with no hassle at all. Moreover, it uses less RAM and computing power, as well as less battery.
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Mobile App Development Trends Exploding
Clearly, mobile app development is exploding because of demand. More and more people want to be able to take their work with them on the go. This solves many problems for the users, but presents many problems to their employers. The trends are happening as developers aim to address the issues presented by the proliferation of mobile devices in society.