Mobile development is becoming a priority and the new normal for many businesses because, without a mobile-optimized solution, a company undoubtedly faces the risk of losing a significant proportion of clients and lagging behind the competition. In this article, we’ve compiled the main trends in the mobile industry as of now and for the coming year.
The Driving Force Behind the Mobile Market Growth
In 2018, consumers downloaded 194 billion apps to their connected devices. Analysts predict that this figure will grow and reach more than 260 billion downloads by 2022.
The increased adoption of connected gadgets has led to the remarkable growth of the mobile app industry. Smartphones and tablets affect customer behavior and provide many business opportunities. More and more users expect the availability of sites and services via portable devices because they need the convenience and freedom.
Users want more, and it’s up to them to decide which application to download and which to pass over. To remain competitive in such conditions, mobile developers can’t do without innovative technologies that open up new possibilities and make solutions more powerful. Thus, competitiveness and user needs are the main driving force behind the app market growth.
Main Trends in Mobile Technology for 2020-2021
The list of the hottest mobile technology trends that will shape the industry in the near future can be useful both for those who run a business and for those who actually develop software solutions for smartphones and tablets. Take a look to learn something new and generate new ideas.
#1. Blockchain Apps
Blockchain is definitely a game-changer in numerous spheres including mobile app development.
In the App Store and Google Play, you can find lots of applications coupled with blockchain. They are mostly e-wallets, currency converters, digital asset tracker apps and networking solutions.
But blockchain is not just for cryptocurrencies: it’s being integrated into many industries to create more sophisticated projects. For instance, Verisart uses blockchain to verify the authenticity of art pieces.
This technology provides a special approach to security, allowing you to enhance the protection of your mobile platform and earn customer loyalty. The core benefits of blockchain-powered apps are:
- Improved data protection and reduced risks of data loss
- Quicker transactions
In 2020, specialists expect an increase in blockchain-based mobile solutions, as devices can serve as blockchain nodes.
|Read also: How to Build Your Own Bitcoin Wallet App|
#2. IoT Apps
The Internet of Things has been at the forefront in the last few years, and it is not showing any signs of slowing down. According to Statista, in 2019, the number of IoT-connected devices will be more than 26 billion worldwide. By 2025, it will cross the threshold of 75 billion.
Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025 (in billions)
The increasing demand for smart things results in the growing number of IoT applications. A smartphone serves as the bridge between intelligent systems and people, while an application is the main tool for managing connected devices.
IoT apps allow you to:
- Monitor readings of devices and sensors
- Analyze data, build charts and reports
- Manage devices (open/close, turn on/off, trigger alarms, and more)
They are equally beneficial for customer-focused solutions (smart home appliances, wearables, traffic sensors) and enterprise-grade management (oil and gas networks, railway lines, autonomous cars).
|Read also: IoT in Automotive Industry: the Creation of Self-Driving Cars|
IoT is becoming mainstream in many sectors, from healthcare and education to manufacturing and transportation. App development for wearables is the most booming area as of now, with the main representatives being applications for smartwatches, fitbits, smart columns and home assistants.
#3. Cloud Apps
Developers started investing actively in cloud-driven apps, thus creating the mobile cloud era. Applications that integrate advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, etc. require much storage in the device internal memory. But a gigabyte-sized app is not a solution of choice for users.
Cloud computing easily solves this problem. Remote servers provide the necessary storage space for seamless functioning of an app that is quickly downloaded and doesn’t affect the internal memory of your device. The cloud means:
- Secure functioning across multiple devices
- Saving money on hosting
- Much more computing power
- Better storage and loading capacity
- Increasing user retention
- Streamlining operations
Similar to Google Drive and Dropbox — which are becoming extremely popular — an increasing number of mobile apps will become cloud-based.
|Read also: A Mobile App for a Smart Home Solution: Takeaways and Guidelines|
#4. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
An increasing number of mobile apps incorporated augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features in 2019, and this trend is not going away. Applications that use AR/VR provide an incredible opportunity by enhancing the real-world environment with digital objects, thus improving user experience.
The world of augmented reality attracted much interest of the public after the overwhelming success of the game Pokemon Go. But if in the past, AR and VR techniques were used mostly in gaming apps and marketing campaigns to entertain and impress customers, this year shows a new trend of using augmented and virtual reality in mobile apps for more practical purposes: object measurement, navigation, education, interior design, user manuals and more.
Google is partnering with Samsung, Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi and others to make all types of smartphones AR-enabled with the help of ARCore platform.
|Read also: What Is Extended Reality and What Can We Do with It?|
#5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Mobile industry trends have focused on artificial intelligence since 2017 when Apple allowed developers to integrate voice assistant Siri into their applications. This encouraged the adoption and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms into mobile solutions from various fields. The most vivid examples are:
- Chatbots and virtual personal assistants
- Motion and facial detection apps for surveillance systems
- Financial forecasting solutions
- Medical software that helps determine the diagnosis and suggests treatment
- Speech recognition apps used for gaming, entertainment, etc.
- Recommendation engines for online shoppers or travelers
Currently, more apps can recognize voice commands, analyze textual and visual data, anticipate user behavior, and make forecasts, recommendations and decisions. We can observe a fierce competition between smartphone developers who want to package their devices with as many AI and ML elements as possible.
|Read also: 8 Ways AI Is Revolutionizing the Healthcare Industry in 2020|
#6. 5G Connectivity
Implementation of the above-mentioned advanced technologies (IoT, AI, AR, cloud) into applications is possible due to the enhancement of wireless connectivity.
The world’s regulator of cellular communications standards 3GPP officially approved the first specifications of 5G technology in Lisbon in December 2017. A year later, the fifth-generation mobile network began hitting the market. From 2019 onwards, 5G technology will continue to expand globally and serve increased communication needs for billions of devices.
The expansion of the 5G standard will provide faster connectivity (up to 100x faster than the current 4G), improve user experience and promote the penetration of advanced technologies into mobile.
|Read also: Top IoT Trends Shaping the Industry [2020/2021]|
#7. Mobile Payments
Online shopping is also among the top trends in mobile technology. Currently, eCommerce is one of the most rapidly developing markets. More customers prefer online shopping to the traditional alternative.
Online customers used to make payments via internet banking or credit cards. The situation has changed with the expansion of smartphones and tablets and the introduction of Google Wallet, Apple Pay and other payment apps. As a result, we can now observe the rapid development of the so-called mobile commerce, which empowers users to perform all transactions faster, easier and from anywhere.
Total revenue of the global mobile payment market from 2015 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Statista forecasts the worldwide mobile payment will surpass $1 trillion in 2019.
Numerous advanced online stores have already created and deployed their applications and can now benefit from increased sales. In 2019/2020, the tendency to create eCommerce apps for mobile payments will not slow down, and there will be a gradual shift from eCommerce to mCommerce.
|Read also: IoT in Retail and E-Commerce: Effective Application Scenarios|
#8. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Another trend to shape the mobile industry is connected with Google’s alternative to native mobile app development — progressive web applications (PWA). This new approach appeared in 2015 and has been gaining popularity ever since.
PWA is a website that has the look and feel and functions of a native application. It works inside a web browser taking advantage of all browser’s capabilities but can be added on any devices via a link just like a native solution.
Two main differences of PWA from native apps:
- No need to be published on any marketplace or app store
- No download or installation process
As a result, PWAs load instantly, providing the quickest response to user interactions.
- Fast loading
- Offline usage
- Native UX
- No need to download an app
- Shareable via a link
- Compatibility with a wide range of devices
What’s more, progressive web apps are crawled and indexed by search engines like usual websites. PWA takes the best features of a native mobile app and a mobile website.
|Read also: 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Progressive Web App|
#9. Instant Apps
One more trendy Google’s mobile innovation for Android OS is called Instant Apps. The essence of this technology is reflected in its name: instant loading of the necessary program content.
Put simply, an instant application consists of a number of separate modules that can be loaded independently and without delays. Thus, a user doesn’t need to download the entire program on a gadget but can see only one piece of content, while other modules can be loaded if needed.
Instant Apps technology benefits:
- High speed of performance
- Great UX
- Space savings in the internal memory of gadgets
- No need to download and install an app
- Shareable via a link
- Compatibility with a wide range of devices
App security remains the hottest issue for providers and consumers. Since users are feeding and managing confidential data on their smartphones and other devices, they need excellent security measures in place.
The mobile development priority for the near future is to pay extra attention to creating built-in security features in applications. Blockchain is obviously going to be the main technology that will be used to ensure data protection.
Top Mobile Development Programming Languages
This language has been in existence since 2010 as an alternative to Java. In May 2017, Google introduced Kotlin as an official language for Android development, and it is currently gaining traction.
Its simplified syntax and orientation on purely mobile development make processes faster and more efficient than in Java. Thus, many Android apps will be written in Kotlin.
|Read also: Top 10 Programming Languages and Their Use Cases|
Java isn’t going away since it’s the main language for Android native apps. This object-oriented language will be still popular due to reusable code, platform independence and API support.
Apple developed this language for native iOS applications, and currently, there’s no alternative. Its benefits are speed, ease of learning and maintenance, and open-source code.
Experienced developers still prefer this traditional and powerful iOS language to Swift. It’s good not only for mobile development but also for macOS.
|Read also: Objective-C vs. Swift: What’s the Difference?|
This combination has gained popularity and always makes the list. It can be effectively used for mobile app creation. The main advantages are cross-platform compatibility, adaptiveness to different screen sizes and high speed.
Cross-platform mobile application development is gaining popularity as this approach is more convenient and profitable for businesses. In this respect, we can’t help saying about Xamarin — the leading open-source cross-platform framework, and a single language it uses — C#.
The language C# is highly popular among developers as it allows them to create scalable, secure and full-featured apps for all mobile platforms.
How Mobile Industry Trends Influence Mobile User Habits
The connected world we live in now focuses on smartphones and has a significant impact on our daily behavior. Mobile industry analysis has been a useful tool for tracking consumer habits to figure out a new evolving device culture.
Mobile phone industry statistics provide the following interesting results:
- Users check their phones approximately 47 times per day
- According to April 2019 data, the global mobile population amounted to 4 billion unique users
- 93% of the younger generation own smartphones
- The strongest growth of smartphone ownership is among people aged 55 and older
- 48% of searches use smartphones first
- 69% of online shoppers use smartphones to research products before purchasing
- 86% of people aged 25-34 prefer communication services (voice calls, video calls) via mobile
- 29% of consumers have already made mobile payments
- 68% of organizations have included mobile marketing into their marketing strategy
- 47% of users try to limit their smartphone usage (e.g. keep phones out of sight, turn off notifications, delete apps)
Going Mobile Is the Right Way for Business
Mobile consumer trends 2019/2020 speak for themselves and prove that the technology continues to penetrate deeper into our lives. Applications that previously were just another touch point with the brand have come to the forefront.
Mobile development follows the latest innovations and offers powerful and convenient solutions. Companies focus on mobile to attract loyal customers, while customers expect more services to be available via apps.
In the near future, we’ll see an increasing number of smartphone consumer solutions that will use multiple advanced technologies. Many companies will turn to apps as either complementary or primary source of income.
SaM Solutions has extensive expertise in mobile application development and offers its clients a wide range of services. We also deal with IoT, Cloud, eCommerce projects and other innovations. Do you need a reliable IT-partner? SaM Solutions is at your service!