Guest Author Post: Natalie Abemayor
The number of people who own smartphones worldwide is expected to reach 5 billion in 2019, making the user base larger than ever before. This provides unprecedented opportunities for mobile developers of all kinds who are attempting to reach new customers with their applications.
Just as smartphones are seeing continuous growth, mobile application utilization is expected to increase roughly 6% year-over-year. While that growth means new mobile applications will have more potential users, it also means that the market itself is becoming even more crowded.
In such a competitive environment, mobile app developers have to do everything possible to stand out from the rest of the pack. Staying up to date on the latest mobile app trends will help you and your company build an approach that provides unique value to your customers.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Although these related technologies were once associated with niche interests like gaming, they now have the ability to reach a much larger audience – through a wider range of implementations. AR alone is expected to reach a market value of $90 billion in the near future.
Pokemon GO was one of the first attempts to integrate these technologies into a mainstream application. Currently, there are countless small and large businesses seeking new ways to provide value using VR and AR. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of their potential applications.
Increased Emphasis on Security Applications
User security and privacy have always been paramount. More recently, they are coming under increased scrutiny as consumers have grown more concerned with the ways their data is being monitored and used. Facebook has had to employ automated security monitoring, improve employee training, and educate people better about hacking threats – following a class action lawsuit.
Investing in cybersecurity solutions will help protect your users and prevent your business from becoming the target of a lawsuit. Even so, many mobile users remain cautious and wary of giving out their information, so the process of winning back trust will likely take time.
Growth of On-demand Applications
Mobile applications that offer services on-demand are growing quickly and displacing a variety of traditional services such as taxis and hotels. Most people associate the concept of on-demand apps with companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb, but these early examples simply mark the beginning of a much larger trend.
As mobile users become increasingly comfortable with using these services in more and more areas of their lives, on-demand applications will likely continue to change the way business is done in a variety of sectors. An on-demand approach may be what your business application needs to reach its full potential.
Cloud Computing and Integration
Cloud technology is another area that has seen unprecedented growth in recent years as companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have made the cloud an integral part of their approaches. Outsourcing cloud technologies enables businesses to remain focused on more central aspects of their development.
Along with increased time to work on other parts of an application, you can also expect cloud services to help you increase user retention, streamline operations, and improve your loading capacity. You may want to consider shopping around and comparing the benefits of each cloud service before adopting a new one.
The Convenience of Mobile Payment
It was once considered convenient simply to be able to pay from an electronic device, but those days are now in the past. Customers expect their apps to allow them to pay directly from their mobile wallet by simply scanning their mobile wallet barcode.
With more and more people shopping online every year, this is a massive market that businesses can take advantage of for substantial profits. Failing to keep up with these mobile payment trends will leave you behind the competition and prevent you from reaching your largest possible audience.
Chatbots represent another technology that was rarely associated with a large market, but the rise of virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home have shown the opportunities chatbots have to offer. These are just two early examples of a long-term voice-activated industry trend.
Adding a chatbot in your mobile application makes it easy for users to get intuitive, personalized advice and help through a convenient user experience. Implementing chatbots into mobile applications is now easier than ever with recent advancements in artificial intelligence and other relevant technologies.
Increased Prevalence of the IoT and Wearable Technology
Smartwatches and other pieces of wearable tech (such as fitness trackers) are now a common part of daily life. App developers are starting to cater to this market by creating versions of their applications specifically for these devices. Once cost-prohibitive for many, improved technology has made wearable technology affordable.
As the demand for wearable devices continues to grow, more and more businesses will invest in the technology. While smartwatches and fitness trackers currently dominate the market, mobile app availability remains limited. The opportunity for mobile applications is currently limitless.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated mobile pages, or AMPs, were only implemented into the Google search engine a few years ago. Consumers already favor their reduced load times and improved user experience. Companies that emphasize convenience and ease of use understand the impact that AMPs would have over traditional websites.
If you’re targeting mobile phone users with your website, failing to offer accelerated mobile pages will likely result in you losing out on potential customers. This is one of many ways in which small updates to the user experience can have a large impact on your ability to attract and retain customers.
One of the most important aspects of mobile application development is providing users with the most efficient tool to discover or utilize your services. Keeping these trends in mind throughout 2020 will give you a leg up on the competition and demonstrate to your customers that you’re committed to giving them the best experience possible.
Natalie Abemayor is a graduate of McGill University with a degree in International Development Studies and World-Cinemas. Since returning to NYC, she has focused on crafting quality content for the app development industry, with a focus on UX design and use case creation. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her rooting for the New York Rangers, attending concerts, or getting distracted by dogs.