It's not an understatement to say that smartphones have completely changed the way we live, and the technology behind these devices is constantly evolving.
As a result, more mobile app development trends have started emerging and are constantly materializing along the way. The question is—are you ready to embrace these mobile app developments in your next build?
In this article, we're going to take a dive into some of the most important mobile application development trends impacting the industry today. Let's jump in!
IoT technology is all about the mushrooming network of devices connected to the Internet, providing convenience and ease of control to consumers. Smart home technology is an ideal example of IoT development.
Imagine with me, if you will: You have just reached your office, but it dawns on you as you set down your coffee that you forgot to lock your front door. So, what do you do in this scenario, inform your employer and head back home to lock it? Traffic can be a nightmare if you have a long commute, and the last thing you want to do is waste valuable time that could be spent getting ahead at work, on the road...
With an IoT powered locking system, you can lock your door with the click of a button, and all you would need is an IoT app and an internet connection in order to do it. Pretty awesome, eh?
The applications for IoT are vast, and it's not a stretch to say that we can control almost anything with the help of IoT systems. Here are just a handful of applications for this technology:
As we learn more about the benefits of the IoT, it's becoming clear that IoT technology can help us lead better lives in a multitude of ways. And analysts agree—the global IoT market is expected to reach $222 billion by the next year, and according to Statista, the revenue from technology associated with the Internet of Things is likely to reach 1.6 trillion by 2025. If you're looking to implement this kind of tech in a build, now would be a perfect time to do so!
With the introduction of 5G, we've gained access to a completely different kind of network. A network that's designed to help us connect with practically everyone and everything—people, devices, machines, objects, you name it! In comparison to its predecessors, 5G wireless technology delivers significantly higher data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and an increasingly more uniform user experience.
Compared to 4G, 5G technology is likely to be 100 times faster than its predecessor, which is likely to encourage new development models, deliver new services, and significantly boost the functionality of mobile apps. This increase in performance will help users better experience things like 4k streaming, VR and AR, and enhanced IoT services—all of which are important if you're interested in building mobile applications.
5G is destined to take our mobile ecosystem to great heights, and it has the potential to impact every industry. It will make transportation safer, remote healthcare more achievable, aid in more precise agriculture, and digitize logistics.
To put it simply, Artificial Intelligence’s aim is to make computers and computer programs smart enough to imitate human behavior, and it initiates common sense, problem-solving, and analytical reasoning power in machines. Machine Learning (ML) is considered a subset of AI and is focused on designing and applying algorithms that are able to learn things from past use cases. This means that if there's any record of a certain behavior on file, you are able to use ML to predict whether or not it can happen again.
ML utilizes complex algorithms that perpetually iterate over large data sets, analyzing patterns that exist in data and facilitating machines to respond to situations that they may not have been explicitly programmed for. This advanced technology can be used to assist with tough problems like credit card fraud detection, enable self-driving cars, and face detection/recognition.
A blend of AI and ML plays an incredibly important role in managing complex activities like mobile app development, and there's no arguing the fact that they make apps smarter and improve performance tenfold. Whether you're building for iOS or Android, you can learn more about the development process using previous data to detect problems and fix them in real-time.
Although it's clear that the best of this technology in app development is yet to come, there are already some fantastic real-world examples that give us a peek into what may be possible. From teachers using it to automate grading and keep remote students on track to chatbots being used to provide virtual diagnostics for healthcare providers, every industry is using AI and ML technology to improve their operations. We'll also see a lot of advanced features pop up in apps that we've already come to know and love—things like:
Augmented Reality, or AR, brings digital elements into your natural surroundings using a camera or a smart phone, and a fantastic example of this technology in action is Pokemon Go. Virtual Reality, or VR, on the other hand, is more of an immersive experience that allows you to escape the real world and spend some time in a digital one instead. Sticking to our gaming theme here, the Oculus Rift is an excellent example of the capabilities of VR technology.
Although AR and VR have gained a decent amount of notoriety in the video gaming industry, there are lots of practical, business-related examples of this tech out in the world. These technologies can aid doctors as they perform complicated live surgeries, allow researchers to explore everything from the depths of the Marina Trench to Mars' rocky terrain, or even rebuild our reality. Below, you'll find a small fraction of the kind of applications that are possible with the help of AR and VR:
Although they're both still coming into their own, the future of AR and VR technology is bright, and the applications are endless. Over the coming years, we can expect to see even more advancements being made using these technologies when it comes to the way that we work, learn, and socialize. Extended reality (XR)—a blanket term that covers VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR)—is anticipated to be one of the most transformative tech trends we'll see over the next 5-10 years. With the help of other tech trends like 5G, it will enable us to experience more realistic virtual worlds and experiences.
Enterprise mobile applications are mobile apps created by organizations in order to better support workers as they carry out the functions necessary to run their business. Enterprise mobile apps often enhance internal communication between organizations, which improves employee satisfaction and productivity and increases ROI. Once merely considered "nice to have", enterprise mobile applications are becoming a bigger priority among businesses across the globe, and reports suggest that we'll see a huge number of companies shifting towards enterprise app development.
Lots of organizations seek out enterprise apps to help them streamline a lot of different aspects of their business, from communication and customer service to HR and marketing. Here are just a few of the popular enterprise apps you can find today:
Beacons are small, wireless transmitters that rely on low-energy Bluetooth technology to connect and send signals to other smart devices nearby at regular intervals. Beacon technology is one of the most recent major developments in location technology and proximity marketing, and it's made location-based searching and interaction easier and more accurate. There is a multitude of different ways that this technology can be utilized, and it has been adopted by every industry from retail and marketing to agriculture and healthcare.
Initially, beacon technology was used by retailers to offer location-specific promotions and track things like store visits and offline activity, but more industries have started pushing the envelope on what is possible with this technology.
In agriculture, a combination of IoT and beacon technology are being used in sensors embedded in Bluetooth beacons in order to measure temperature, movement, and other types of valuable information. Hospitals are using this technology to enhance customer satisfaction and boost hospital efficiency by keeping track of patients, reducing wait times, and streamlining check-ins and admits.
More recently, industry giants, Apple and Google, teamed up to release a beacon specification that would allow an app to track whether a user came in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and alert them to it.
A report from Statista states that the beacon technology market is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 59.8%, and the estimated market value will reach $56.6 billion by 2026. Jam-packed with impressive analytics and targeting capabilities, beacon technology is quickly becoming the future of mobile user acquisition. From a business perspective, we'll begin to see more beacon technology being implemented across industries like healthcare, travel and tourism, hospitality, agriculture, and marketing.
Blockchain technology is essentially a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. This technology offers a comprehensive security solution to protect sensitive information and can be used for everything from transactions and data exchanges to sensitive documents.
Some of the real-world applications of Blockchain technology are:
As more industries recognize that blockchain isn't just for cryptocurrency, we'll see a lot more use cases in identity management, supply chain management, cross-border payments, smart contracts, and so much more.
Foldable OLED displays literally bend the limits of technology—no, really, they are capable of being bent by users. This innovative display opens up a world of possibilities and enables some interesting new form factors—like cell phones that can open up into tablets, laptops with more customizable displays, and even smart bands that can open into smartphones! Following a somewhat rocky start in 2019, companies are now rolling out more optimized devices to the market, and analysts predict a sharp increase in adoption in the future.
The impact will be rather limited if apps are only designed to be responsive when the phone switches format. UX’s first thought will of course be to maximize the application space as much as possible to allow ease of use between the mobile format and the tablet format (in short, nothing revolutionary).
One of the major challenges will therefore be in the search for new and previously unseen functions specific to this model of device. No matter what happens, the future of foldable smartphones rests on the ability of manufacturers to offer a product that fulfills the expectations of the greatest number of people.
Since this trend hasn't been around long enough to observe its potential longevity, it's difficult to say how it will progress. Still, from an app development perspective, resellers and content creators need to account for foldable devices when it comes to updating an app. The idea is that an app should seamlessly adjust its display as the screen folds or unfolds.
Video streaming and gaming apps can reap maximum benefits from foldable devices by simply increasing their screen size—or instead, using the extra space to offer additional information and controls.
Have you ever gotten a pop-up notification on your phone saying "Allow AppX to access device’s location"? That app uses geolocation! Today, you'll find that most applications on the market have geolocation functionality built in. Geolocation-based mobile apps create a seamless connection between your device and satellites in order to gather data in real-time. This technology is used to collect information from users for the purpose of things like crafting better target marketing campaigns while providing location-based services for users. Popular apps like Uber, Lyft, Caviar, Yelp, and Tinder utilize geolocation for this reason.
Geolocation functionality is becoming more and more common, and you can expect to see more of this functionality in the future. Down the road, you can expect to see the following:
A mobile wallet is essentially a virtual wallet that stores information from a credit card, a debit card, coupons, and loyalty cards on a mobile device. Mobile wallets are gaining in popularity because they allow users to seamlessly make in-store payments without having to carry cash or physical credit cards. Some of the most popular mobile wallet applications around today include Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people have started making digital transactions. With social distancing rules in place, many establishments have embraced contactless payments and mobile wallets as a safer way to manage their money.
Although a significant percentage of Americans were using mobile wallets with some regularity prior to the pandemic (about 72 million in 2019, according to eMarketer), that number has grown drastically as a result of social distancing measures. In 2020, this number rose by 29.0% to 92.3 million, and it's expected that mobile wallet and digital wallet users will surpass 100 million this year and growth to continue steadily through the end of 2025.
If you're building an app and are considering the type of payments you should accept, mobile wallets should absolutely be on your list.
Mobile commerce, also called m-commerce, refers to any monetary transaction that is completed while using a mobile device or tablet and includes paying your bills online and online banking. It's considered an advancement of e-commerce, and it allows people to buy and sell goods or services regardless of where they are, simply by using a mobile phone or tablet device.
Mobile commerce is forecasted to have the biggest retail sales growth (12.2%) in 2021, beating traditional e-commerce and in-store shopping. Driving this trend is the estimated 292 million people expected to have their own mobile devices by 2024. Some of the future Trends in M-Commerce include:
Wearables are electronic devices that can be comfortably worn by anyone and are used for tracking things in real-time. With the help of motion sensors, these devices are capable of helping you stay on top of things like the number of steps you take each day, your heart rate, oxygen levels, body temperature, heartbeat, even keep track of your daily calories. Wearables currently come in the form of glasses, smartwatches, smart jewelry, smart clothing, and implants (e.g. - to track things like insulin levels).
Over time, we expect that wearables will become less visible as they continue to gain in popularity. Rather than looking like a fitness band or clip-on tracker as they are today, we'll likely start to see devices blending in more to look like everyday objects similar to jewelry or clothing. They also may be hidden from public view in the form of something like a patch, strap, or even tattoos. Wearables also seem to be headed in the direction of authentication as a means of doing things like unlocking your home, getting into concerts, and even buying things at the store without having to go through the checkout process.
Biometric authentication refers to security processes that harness biological traits such as retinas, irises, voice, facial characteristics, and fingerprints to verify user identity. It has become an incredibly important part of mobile apps built for various industries ranging from payment apps to healthcare and banking.
The most significant factor that made an impact on the mobile app development trend is its ease of operation. Biometrics have provided a more dynamic solution for business owners, who now have the ability to navigate various complications such as ID swapping, undocumented access, and regular badge checking.
Futuristic Trends of Bio-metric Authentication:
If you are interested in adopting any of these new technology trends to grow your business but aren't sure where to start, Crowdbotics can help! We have an expert team of PMs, developers, and engineers to keep you and your business on the cutting edge of technology. Get in touch with one of our experts today for a detailed quote!
June 14, 2021