The mobile app industry has grown immensely over the last decade. Mobile app development is undoubtedly one of the most active and expanding sectors.
By 2021, consumers in the Americas are projected to download 74.7 billion mobile apps to their mobile devices — and 352.9 billion globally.
The mobile app market is comprised of 33 categories in Google Play and 24 in Apple’s App Store. “In March 2017, business apps were the second-most popular category, with a share of 9.88 percent of active all apps being business apps.” Meanwhile, “Gaming apps are the most popular apps based on availability, as about 23 percent of the all apps available fit in this category. Gaming is also an app category with high mobile user engagement,” according to Statista.
Mobile app trends to watch
Various companies are starting to use mobile apps to reach business goals, including market share expansion, improved customer engagement and more. The mobile app gold rush isn’t limited to big brands either. Small business are launching apps to support marketing and branding initiatives.
A successful mobile app launch requires the right technology, vision, and a business strategy that fuels it. Here’s a look at the latest trends in mobile app development that you should be watching.
1. Wearable devices
In 2016, around 101.9 million wearable devices were shipped. Smart wearables like Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Apple Watch indicate a formidable transformation in computing and transactions from basic to smart wearables.
This provides an opportunity for app developers and accessory makers. Smartphones will become the hub of wearable gadgets like smart jewellery, display devices (Google Glass), smart watches, and more.
These devices interconnect with a mobile applications to supply real-time data and content in a new way. Wearables will influence the next generation of mobile app development strategies. Apart from predictive analytics and data collection, wearables will play a prominent role in future of mobile app development.
Analysts believe if user adoption of m-commerce (mobile commerce) continues to increase the impact on mobile app development will be unprecedented. Currently, “only about 1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to shop online globally. However, by the end of 2017, over two billion mobile phone or tablet users will make some form of mobile commerce transaction.”
The popularity of Google Wallet and Apple Pay will help to accelerate m-commerce. However, it will be the advancement in technology that will boost user experience (UX) and drive further adoption. In fact, “m-commerce is poised to burst into the mainstream thanks to a host of technological advances that are making it easier for people to shop on their phones,” according to BI.
3. Enterprise mobile management ( EMM)
Enterprise mobile management (EMM) is the collective set of tools, technologies, processes and policies used to manage and maintain the use of mobile devices within an organization. In a business context, it addresses the rising trend of mobile and handheld device use in routine business operations.
“Mobile devices aren’t going away, and they’re only getting more difficult to manage. Whether it’s employees or customers, the number of potential hardware and software exchanging corporate data day in and day out can be staggering. ‘If EMM is managing millions of devices today it will manage billions of other assets in the future,’ says Clare Grant, general manager of Red Hat Mobile.” And this trend points to the need for mobile security to shift away from the device and more towards mobile apps.
4. Innovative mobile UI and UX design
Mobile apps requires an effective user interface (UI) and engaging experience (UX). Today’s mobile app designer must address new mobile challenges, including the dwindling mobile app attention span and interruption (i.e. how an app reacts to an interruption and resumes its previous state).
Mobile app technologies including interactive content and augmented reality permit users to interact with mobile content. For example, tools like Layar design and develop mobile augmented reality browsers. Designers can upload images to instantly create a personalized Augmented Reality (AR) experience.
New tools and applications will continue to set higher standards for excellence in mobile user interface design and experience.
5. Application performance management (APM)
Just a single weak link in the chain can negatively impact app performance, instantly resulting in a slew of unhappy end-users downstream. Application performance management (APM) is industry jargon that refers to “anything that has to do with managing or monitoring the performance of your code, application dependencies, transaction times, and overall user experiences.”
APM offers visibility into app behaviors and is all about understanding the “why” as fast as possible. It will also drive collaboration between developers, testers, ops teams and business teams as new tools are developed to effectively troubleshoot and boost performance.
Mobile app development is an important part of the digital ecosystem. The skills and tools required to develop smart and successful apps are increasing. So businesses should stay on top of mobile trends to ensure their app isn’t left behind.
This article has been edited.
A skillful content developer at MAAN Softwares, a mobile application development company, Ashley Marsh remains busy researching and learning about the latest trends and technologies. Connect with @maansoftwares on Twitter.