Mobile development has become a priority and the new normal for many businesses. Without mobile-optimized solutions, companies undoubtedly risk losing a significant number of clients and lagging behind the competition. In this article, we’ve compiled the main mobile trends now and for the coming years.
The increased adoption of mobile devices has led to the remarkable growth of the mobile app industry.
- Currently, there are about 5.31 billion unique mobile users worldwide, according to GSMA Intelligence.
- In 2021, users downloaded 230 billion applications to their mobile devices, which is a 63% increase since 2016, according to Statista.
- The revenue of Android and iOS mobile applications reached $133 billion in 2021, according to BusinessofApps.
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are opening up new business opportunities. Since customers need convenience and freedom, they expect to be able to access services via portable devices, and are willing to download applications to that end. However, not all applications appeal to all users. To satisfy customer needs and remain competitive in such conditions, mobile app developers must rely on innovative technologies.
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The following list of the hottest mobile technology trends that will shape the industry in the near future can be useful both for those running a business and those who develop software solutions for mobile devices. Take a look at our list to learn something new and generate new ideas.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
- Mobile IoT Apps
- Mobile Payments
- Cloud-Based Mobile Applications
- 5G Connectivity
- Wearable Technology Impact on App Development
- Enhanced Mobile Security
- Mobile Devices for Home Automation
- Mobile Apps for Small Businesses
- Transportation Apps Strengthening
- Mobile App Revenue on the Rise
- Cross-Platform Mobile Development
- Biometrics Technology Reshapes Mobile Apps
- Location-Based Technology
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
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 and machine learning algorithms into applications in various fields.
The following are some popular use cases:
- Chatbots and virtual personal assistants in service industries
- Personalized ads and recommendations in eCommerce
- Motion and facial detection apps for surveillance systems
- Financial forecasting solutions
- Medical software that helps determine diagnoses and suggests treatment
- Voice recognition apps for gaming, entertainment, and hands-free communications
Currently, various mobile apps can recognize voice commands, analyze textual and visual data, anticipate user behavior, and make forecasts, recommendations and decisions. There is fierce competition between smartphone developers who want to package their devices with as many AI and ML elements as possible.
2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
An increasing number of apps incorporate augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features, and this trend is not going away.
According to ResearchAndMarkets, the mobile augmented reality market (MAR) was estimated at $10.7 billion in 2020. By 2027, it’s forecast to grow to $230.6 billion.
Applications that use AR/VR provide incredible opportunities by enhancing the real-world environment with digital objects, thus improving user experience. A couple of years ago, AR and VR techniques were used mostly in gaming apps (remember the overwhelming success of Pokemon Go) and marketing campaigns to entertain and impress customers. Today, the mobile world leverages augmented and virtual reality for more practical purposes, such as:
- object measurement
- interior design
- user manuals.
A good example is CanvasLogic — a visual configuration software with 3D and AR features used to sell highly configurable products.
Furthermore, smartphone manufacturers have been increasing the production of AR-enabled devices: as a very conservative estimate, in 2021 there were 500+ million iOS devices and 1+ billion Android devices that could experience augmented reality.
3. Mobile IoT Apps
The Internet of Things has become mainstream in many sectors, from healthcare and agriculture to manufacturing and transportation, which has led to the increased development of IoT applications. In short, IoT apps bridge the gap between connected mobile devices and people.
Applications are the tools for remote management of connected devices, allowing users to:
- monitor readings of mobile devices and sensors
- analyze data, build charts and generate reports
- manage devices (configure, open/close, turn on/off, trigger notifications, and more).
IoT apps 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).
4. Mobile Payments
Currently, eCommerce is one of the most rapidly developing markets in the world, and mobile shopping is among the top trends. Consequently, the demand for mobile payments is growing.
According to BusinessofApps, there was a significant surge in the number of mobile payment app users in 2020 — 2.3 billion against 1.4 billion in 2019. This was primarily caused by the pandemic and people’s avoidance of cash payment.
In addition to numerous banking applications, the most widely used payment apps include Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, AliPay, WeChatPay and Zelle. These apps empower users to perform financial transactions faster, easier and from anywhere, contributing to the boom in mobile commerce. In 2022, the trend of developing eCommerce apps for mobile payments will continue.
5. Cloud-Based Mobile Applications
Mobile apps that integrate advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, etc., require a lot of storage in a mobile device’s 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 the seamless functioning of an app that is quickly downloaded and doesn’t affect the internal memory of your mobile 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.
That’s why providers actively invest in cloud-driven apps, which has contributed to the creation of the cloud mobile era.
6. 5G Connectivity
5G is transforming the world of mobile app development. The implementation of advanced technologies such as IoT, AI, AR, and cloud computing into mobile devices is possible due to the enhancement of wireless connectivity. Currently, the fifth-generation network is expanding globally, serving increased communication needs for billions of devices.
It provides the four main benefits for mobile solutions:
- Speed — the 5G standard is up to 100x faster than 4G.
- Low latency — ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) that comes with 5G ensures real-time data processing.
- Connectivity — with 5G, it is possible to connect up to a million mobile devices, compared with a couple of thousands supported by 4G. This opens up new opportunity for the development of IoT apps.
- Bandwidth — 5G offers excellent connectivity when working with low, mid and high bands.
7. Wearable Technology Impact on App Development
The emergence of wearable devices and their expanding use cases open up new opportunities for businesses. Mobile app development for wearables is one of the most booming industries because applications ensure a tighter connection between brands and users. If a wearable device is paired with an app, customers are more willing to use it as they get a wider range of opportunities (e.g., the analysis of collected data and personalized recommendations).
Wearable apps differ from smartphone apps: their interfaces are concise considering small screen sizes, and they need to have low energy consumption.
Currently, apps for smartwatches and fitness trackers are the most widely used solutions. But in the near future, more apps will be designed for other mobile devices, such as smart glasses or healthcare gadgets.
8. Enhanced Mobile Security
App security remains the hottest issue for providers and consumers. Since users are feeding and managing confidential information on their smartphones and other mobile 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.
9. Mobile Devices for Home Automation
Mobile technology together with IoT devices allow users to ensure the comfort and security of their home. And the trend for smart homes is growing due to the advancements in the IoT industry.
- Statista says that the smart home market worldwide will be worth about $53 million in 2022.
- Experts predict that more than half the homes in the US will have adopted home automation solutions by 2023.
Hence, smart homes are a huge market niche for mobile technology. Using a single application, homeowners can even remotely adjust temperature, humidity, ventilation, control water and electricity consumption, monitor surveillance systems and more.
10. Mobile Apps for Small Businesses
Today, a mobile application is not a luxury only available to the market leaders, but rather a tool that most small businesses need to connect with customers or personnel in real time and even on the go. Using an app, any business can optimize its workflow, attract more clients and leverage analytical insights. As a result, companies benefit from improved user experience and increased sales.
This year, more small companies working in spheres such as tourism, entertainment, medicine, catering, beauty and fitness will choose to develop a mobile solution.
11. Transportation Apps Strengthening
The logistics and transportation industry actively incorporates mobile apps, undergoing significant transformations under their impact. There are two broad categories of mobile solutions for transportation:
- For consumers — route optimization apps, car rental apps, public transport schedule monitoring, traffic tracking and parking information systems, etc.
- For businesses — fleet management solutions, utility monitoring systems (fuel theft prevention is especially essential), delivery schedule optimization solutions, etc.
This sector represents a huge potential for app development, so growth is guaranteed.
12. Mobile App Revenue on the Rise
The revenue of mobile apps across segments increases year by year, and 2022 is not an exception. Statista forecasts it will surpass $469 billion this year, with games, social networking and entertainment being the leading industries. By 2025, the revenue is predicted to hit the mark of $613 billion.
13. Cross-Platform Mobile Development
Android and iOS solutions dominate the mobile apps market (altogether over 99%). Hence, for many businesses, it’s more cost-efficient to create a cross-platform app that will be equally compatible with all required platforms. Why will the number of cross-platform solutions increase? Read the details about cross-platform mobile development in our article.
14. Biometrics Technology Reshapes Mobile Apps
Since the security of sensitive data in mobile devices remains the hottest issue, applications are equipped with more advanced technologies to ensure their protection. In this regard, biometrics are gaining popularity.
According to Statista, the global biometric technologies market has been gradually growing in the past years. In the coming years, they predict a rapid surge in revenue, from $36.6 billion in 2020, to $68.6 billion in 2025.
The most popular types of biometrics used in apps are:
- face recognition
- voice recognition
- fingerprint scanning
- iris recognition
- hand geometry recognition
- signature recognition.
These features are effective measures for trusted authentication and data protection.
15. Location-Based Technology
Applications are widely used in telematics for tracking the physical location of assets (vehicles, animals, people) and taking corresponding actions. This is done with the help of location-based services and geofencing. Some popular use cases of the technology include:
- taxi services
- marketing and advertising
- fleet management
- travel and hospitality.
Obviously, there are many more opportunities location-based technology and geofencing open up to businesses, and we are going to see more apps with these features in 2022 and beyond.
16. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
The BYOD concept implies that employees can use their personal mobile devices at work, which previously was mostly forbidden. Now, more companies have or plan to introduce BYOD policies. This step has become possible due to the increased security of mobile solutions and advanced cloud technologies that can safely synchronize data flows.
The BYOD market is currently estimated at $181 billion and forecast to double in 2022.
Enterprises adopting this concept streamline digitalization while saving money on purchasing hardware. Employees also increase productivity because they have access to work documents/systems and can tackle issues 24/7 from anywhere.
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Going Mobile Is the Right Way for Business
Current mobile trends speak for themselves and prove that technology continues to penetrate ever deeper into our lives. Applications that previously were just another touchpoint 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.
Soon, we’ll see an increasing number of smartphone solutions that will use multiple advanced technologies. Many companies will turn to apps as a complementary or even primary source of income.
At SaM Solutions, we have extensive expertise in mobile application development and offer our 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!