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New Trends in Mobile App Development - Keep It Under The Radar

mobile app technology trends

The invention of smartphones has transformed the way people communicate with each other, spend time, and search for information. As a result, it has formed new trends and reshaped many industries, whether it’s telecommunications, gaming, marketing, or E-commerce. 

  • Half of the world’s population owns a smartphone, and this number is expected to continue increasing in the following years. 
  • Mobile web traffic surpasses desktop devices and reaches 54.25%, with 90% of the traffic coming from mobile applications. 

To keep up with the evolving customer needs, companies have to adapt to the new status-quo and ensure their presence in the world. We prepared our expert guide on the latest trends in mobile app development.

Current Market Situation

Today’s mobile development market offers a solution for any human activity – from organizing your daily schedule, eating habits, and shopping to managing your yearly health checks and the entire smart home. According to Statista, in 2020, worldwide mobile app revenues reached almost $582 billion and 218 billion mobile app downloads. The market is changing rapidly, reacting to minor and major changes in society and the environment, and it forms new trends.

The global pandemic massively affected the global economic situation and IT markets and trends are changing. Coronavirus caused large downturns in some categories, while others experienced phenomenal growth. 

  • Long lockdowns, naturally, catalyzed a tremendous boost of E-commerce. In 2020, total online spending exceeded the numbers of 2019 by 77%, making $82.5 billion. Creating the tech medium of communicating with customers and offering your product has become necessary in these circumstances.
  • Since home offices have become a new reality, businesses have been forced to undergo a full digital transformation. 97% of Statista’s global survey respondents stated that the COVID-19 pandemic sped up this process for their organizations. Enterprise resource planning and video teleconferencing software promptly revolutionized the remote work concept both for small businesses and large corporations.
  • Although digital transformation has helped preserve jobs for many, billions of people found themselves having much more free time. For example, time spent video gaming globally increased by 39% in 2020. Likewise, fitness app download numbers increased by 20%.
  • The stay-at-home reality of the past 1.5 years also has significantly affected education. E-learning apps, remote university programs, and learning management systems have proved an efficient and successful educational model. 

The world is slowly returning to normal. However, the events of the last two years have changed our perception of reality forever. Whether it's a long-term impact on E-learning processes or employees not wanting to return to the office after the pandemic – the world is adapting to this new reality. And mobile app technology trends are the direct reflection of these changes.

11 Latest Trends in Mobile App Development

The advantages of developing a mobile application are numerous. However, the risk of losing time and money on developing an application that won’t achieve its goals or be relevant to its users is extremely high. Therefore, it's vital to stay up-to-date with the current trends in mobile app development and monitor which direction the market is moving.

Starting such a project indeed may sound challenging. Besides, mobile development standards sometimes change faster than they can be implemented. It's essential to focus on the latest trends in mobile app development to stay a step ahead. This review will save you time searching for business ideas for further realization.

1. Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have been part of mobile app development for years now, and, of course, it's a trend for a long time. However, only recently have we realized to what extent they affect human life and estimate the potential of their use.

When we think of AI and ML as trending mobile app development technologies, facial recognition systems, chatbots, or virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa come to mind first. However, the implementation range goes far beyond that. Today, AI is changing the process of creating applications, from the server part development to the user interface. 

Here are some examples of the ML technology incorporated in successful services:

  • Natural language processing (Google Translate, Grammarly, Systran)
  • Image recognition (Google Image Search, Amazon Rekognition)
  • Voice recognition (Google Docs Voice Typing, Cortana, voice biometrics for security systems)
  • Recommendation systems (Netflix, Spotify, LinkedIn, Amazon)

Futuristic technology is rapidly conquering the global market. 50% of 2020 McKinsey global survey respondents stated that they implemented AI systems in at least one business function. 61% of marketers name AI technology the most important element of their data strategy.

Required Hard Skills

ML algorithms can be written in any programming language. However, Python dominates the world of ML-driven development. Specialists in this field have experience with a number of frameworks and libraries like:

  • SimpleAI
  • EasyAi
  • PyBrain
  • MDP
  • Scikit
  • PyML

When looking for a developer, you might also pay attention to experience with services like Google’s TensorFlow or Amazon’s AWS Machine Learning services.

2. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) technologies are a trend that has been around for a while, but active research in the area in recent years gave a boost to AI-empowered applications. Pokémon Go – a game that encouraged thousands of people to explore various locations searching for fictional characters – became a well-recognized social phenomenon.

The main goal of AR applications is to erase borders between the real and the virtual worlds. Marketers brilliantly use this idea in advertising campaigns. AR mirrors provide customers with absolutely different levels of user experience and successfully promote the product.

And the areas of technology use by no means are limited by in-store "live" ads or interactive gaming. For example, industry giants like Boeing use AR systems in the production process. Having implemented AR glasses guiding technicians, the company cut production time by 25% and almost eliminated errors.

Required Hard Skills

AR technologies is often associated with mobile devices. It means AR instruments are often a part of Android/iOS development infrastructure. Google ARCore and Apple ARkit are the most well-known examples. For wider AR application and cross-platform implementation, there are the following tools:

  • Vuforia
  • ARToolkit
  • MAXST
  • Kudan
  • Deep AR
app development trends

3. Wearable Devices

The rise in popularity of a healthy lifestyle has increased the demand for wearable gadgets. These can be such trend devices as heartbeat and temperature trackers or steps and kilometers counters for runners and hikers – usually smartwatches or smart rings. They require specific mobile applications able to connect to the devices, collect the data about the owner’s condition and environment, and process this information.

The wearable device market is dominated by five global companies. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the numbers of shipment units worldwide were the following:

  • Apple: 55.6 million;
  • Huawei: 10.2 million;
  • Xiaomi: 13.5 million;
  • Samsung: 13 million.

Fitbit experienced a drop in shipment units from 16 million in 2019 to 10.8 million in 2020.

Between 2016 and 2019, the number of connected wearables jumped from 325 to 722 million devices worldwide. It’s projected to exceed one billion already next year. Not to mention that Gartner predicted total spending on this technology to reach $81.5 billion by the end of this year.

Required Hard Skills

App development for wearable devices fundamentally resembles app creation for mobile phones. However, it differs in device dimensions, power, and the absence of cameras and ports. Developers also have to consider additional sensors integration.

Watch apps use watch-specific APIs, where applicable (e.g., for circular layouts, wearable drawers, ambient mode, etc.).

  • Wearable device apps have a different UX model.
  • Smartwatch and fitness trackers apps contain extra functionality (microcontrollers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, hearts rate, and pressure sensors, pedometers, etc.).
  • Wearable device apps can access many standard OS APIs.

Dealing with wearable device development, you often don't need much technical know-how but, rather, ingenuity in designing interfaces and thinking through ways of user interaction. Both Apple and Android provide detailed tutorials.

4. Mobile Wallets

One of the top mobile app development trends has been the aggregation of diverse functionality in one powerful device with access to various systems under a unified interface. The main purpose is to provide a simple and secure way to control a person's daily activity.

Mobile or digital wallets revolutionized the conventional approach to shopping and budget control. Today, you can integrate your bank account access to your wearable device using apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay – no more physical wallets or change in your pockets.

The shift towards a cashless society is inevitable. And mobile wallet integration should become a standard function for each application processing financial transactions. By 2024, digital wallets are expected to take one-third of all POS transactions worldwide.

Feeling ready for cutting-edge technology to boost your business? We can help.

Required Hard Skills

The typical e-wallet technology stack also includes:

  • Third-party APIs (application programming interfaces) like Stripe, Twilio, or Nexmo;
  • SDKs (software development kits) — PayPal Mobile, QuickPay, or similar;
  • MBaaS (mobile-service-as-a-backend) and cloud infrastructure — AWS, Azure, Salesforce, Google Cloud, etc.

5. Apps for Flip Phones 

The phones that caused a big buzz when they launched soon won't feel like futuristic devices anymore. In less than two years, foldable devices have ceased to be a niche product. According to Statista, in 2019, the shipment of flip phones surpassed the one million-items mark becoming one of the mobile application development trends.

Such gadgets target mainly users over 35 years old who like the combination of small size with a large screen and powerful hardware. Despite the short history, flexible-display smartphones like Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola Razr have already built an ecosystem around them. The number of foldable models folding is set to grow. 

Users switch from tablets to such devices to make business tasks easier (e-mail, document management, teleconferencing) and more comfortable ways to communicate with friends or watch a video. And it potentially sets new trends in content creation. 

Required Hard Skills

As Apple hasn’t released a foldable device yet, everything in this niche is centered on Android. Fundamentally, creating an app for a flip phone requires standard mobile development skillsets with special attention to more sophisticated interface design. Google provides detailed documentation on the topic.

Additionally, there are these things that a developer must take care of:

  • Activity vs. app context
  • Display cutouts
  • Use of a secondary screen

6. On-Demand Apps

On-demand apps take up a huge part of the market. This type of service experienced a tremendous boost in the time of the global pandemic. The "I want it here and now" model is no longer limited to only ordering a taxi or pizza. Today, on-demand services include:

  • Pharmaceutical delivery;
  • Groceries delivery;
  • Doctor booking apps;
  • Telemedicine;
  • Flight booking apps;
  • Ridesharing search;
  • Dog walking services, and many more.

US consumers are reported to spend $57.6 billion annually on an on-demand economy. Although most people first think about industry giants like Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, or Skyscanner, this mobile app development trend has great potential for developing small and mid-sized businesses.

Required Hard Skills

Successful on-demand software requires an extensive technical background. The app may look simple to the client, but hundreds of processes behind it should work smoothly and unerringly to serve hundreds of thousands of users simultaneously. Here, developers focus on cloud services that can provide long uptime processing large amounts of traffic.

Here are the most popular tools according to their functionality type:

  • Payment – Braintree, Stripe, Paypal
  • User location –  Google Places API
  • Direction – MapKit, Google Maps
  • Registration process – Facebook SDK, Gmail SDK
  • Storage – AWS, Google, Azure, Digital Ocean
  • Analytics – FireBase, Google Analytics

7. E-Commerce

From large retailers to individual personal brands – apps help generate revenue. As a result, a mobile app becomes an essential business strategy element that helps companies survive in highly competitive markets. Unlike on-demand services, E-commerce is focused on selling wide product lines and using long-term marketing and strategies for those products.

E-commerce applications will help your company:

  • Become more user-friendly;
  • Attract more customers;
  • Optimize business processes;
  • Integrate all enterprise systems;
  • Improve customer-vendor communication;
  • Customize business analytics;
  • Improve security.

There’s hardly anyone who has never used Amazon, Alibaba, or eBay. Easy customization, user-friendly interface, and excellent customer support make e-commerce apps so appealing for consumers.

As worldwide e-commerce is about to reach a record $5 trillion this year, it's one of the main trends in today's mobile development. Although it may seem a tough challenge to compete with global retailers, 55% of Millennial-owned businesses decided to create their own apps.

Required Hard Skills

E-commerce applications comprise large technological sets to provide a better user experience. Here are some of the examples:

  • Payment options – gateways Braintree, Stripe, Paypal
  • SMS notifications – local providers
  • Daily backups and 100% availability – cloud providers AWS, Google, Azure, Digital Ocean
  • Analytics – FireBase, Google Analytics 
  • Feedback and client support system – local providers
  • CDN network usage for loading speed – local providers
  • Email Marketing – MailChimp, Mailgun, Mandrill

8. Internet of Things (IoT)

The term that sounded like the distant future several years ago now seems to have countless applications in different industries and improves people's lives significantly. Smart homes are controllable from a distance over the Internet, empowering you to adjust the temperature in a room, lock and unlock doors, or control a kitchen stove from a smartphone app. 

Smart home is one of the app development trends

Transportation is another area where IoT technology has gained popularity. Smart cars allow you to inspect information about their state and location as well as allow you some control using mobile applications. 

IoT technology is increasingly integrated into our lives. It enables you to monitor the needs and optimize the performance of systems and machines in different industries in real-time. If there is something to automate in your field, IoT will appear there. For example, IoT now allows you to track parcels. Or some IoT solutions can keep an entire city safe. And some companies like Philips provide an entire range of apps and devices from smart lightning to connected care.

We provide personalized consultation that is up-to-date with the latest trends in mobile development. Contact us for more information. 

Required Hard Skills

IoT realization often combines direct handling of hardware and working with the web. The former may have lots of options, but the most popular languages remain C and C++. The latter includes communication between devices within the network, data collection from devices, device management, user interfaces, etc. It requires developers to have a pretty standard specialist skill set.

In many cases, IoT development platforms can  benefit the process and help save time and resources:

  • HomeKit
  • Android Things
  • ThingWorx
  • Xively
  • Ubidots
  • Azure IoT Suite
  • IBM Watson
  • Oracle IoT
  • Kaa 

9. Location-Centered Apps

Location-based apps open a whole new world for mobile development. In fact, most of the mentioned above applications and services are location-centered. This app type is applicable across industries:

  • Airbnb, Expedia, Trip Advisor, Booking for travel & booking;
  • Tinder, OkCupid for online dating;
  • Paw Scout, Whistle, Tile Pro in IoT;
  • Yahoo Weather, Weather by Apple for weather forecasts.

Today, navigational apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps are among the most downloaded and used pieces of software globally. Such dependence on navigational apps gives rise to various location-based services and allows drastically improved recommendations and ads. 

Required Hard Skills

This point requires a comprehensive knowledge of specialized APIs. Here’s a list of the most useful ones.

Maps

Routes

Places

Location-centered apps may be crucial in areas with poor Internet coverage, as they use GPS rather than local provider’s cell towers. Besides, using pre-loaded and cached maps may significantly improve the user experience, as your customers will be less dependent on their connection quality. 

10. Blockchain Technology

Bitcoin and other blockchain-related topics have dominated technical blogs and reports for quite some time now. Many large companies and organizations already actively use blockchain as a security tool.

By the end of March 2021, the number of blockchain cryptocurrency wallets reached 70 million.

A blockchain is a reliable option for high-security areas like banking systems, currency exchanges, and smart contracts. Due to its distributed architecture and well-developed consensus mechanism, there is no single point of failure and no possibility of compromising most of the system (influencing consensus decisions).

Blockchain technology becomes more relevant in other domains due to its security capabilities, fault tolerance, and extremely high scalability. For example, some reports say that financial organizations can save up to $12 billion annually by opting for blockchain-based technology.

Required Hard Skills

After deciding to opt for blockchain technology, you need to define the most suitable consensus mechanism. According to the chosen option, you can then choose a platform. However, experts suggest that you should be ready for an inconsistent experience, as most instruments are still rather young and open-source.

Here are the most popular blockchain development platforms.

  • Corda
  • Multichain
  • Domus Tower Blockchain
  • Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake
  • Ethereum
  • Symbiont Assembly
  • HydraChain
  • Elements Blockchain Platform
  • Eris:db
  • BigChainDB
  • Stellar
  • Openchain
  • Quorum

In general, while looking for a blockchain specialist, you should consider ones who have:

  • Proficiency in programming languages such as C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, etc.
  • Familiarity with basic cryptography;
  • Strong background in software development;
  • Familiarity with the working of peer-to-peer networks;
  • Strong knowledge of data structures and algorithms;
  • Experience working with open-source projects;
  • Experience working with large codebases.

11. Super Apps

A super app is a mobile application with an advanced, feature-rich "ecosystem" comprising several services. They combine several functions like taxi booking, food delivery, and hotel search. The trend towards developing such applications originates in Asia, where giants like WeChat, Alipay, and Grab have won the market. 

The trend towards multi-function application development is growing as such software often combines services from various industries “seamlessly” and without the need to download additional apps. Everything is conveniently organized in one place.

It’s a separate self-sufficient channel for customer interaction, which, on the one hand, requires a separate realization. But, at the same time, it should be integrated into the overall effective strategy of the company's development.

Required Hard Skills

As the name suggests, such apps comprise a "super" tech bundle to implement and maintain multi-domain functionality. An example of a tech suite required for super app development can include instruments like Android Wear SDK, Comodo SSL, Bootstrap,  Fabric, Crashlytics, Google (Cloud Messaging, Maps, Compute Engine), Laravel,  HTML5, New Relic, Realm, Nginx, Select2, etc.

In general, you’d need professionals who have experience with the following languages and frameworks.

Languages

  • Java
  • Swift
  • JRuby
  • Golang

Frameworks/Tools

  • Rails
  • Kafka
  • Spring
  • Processes (XP)
  • CI
  • Strict TDD on OO codebases
  • Fortnightly release cycles

Do not know which trend will work for your business? We are here to advise, please drop us a line and we will discuss.

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Mobile App?

First, you need to consider two main criteria: the service provider’s location (prices may significantly differ depending on the country or a region) and your project’s functional complexity.

Naturally, the final cost depends on the amount of work the team needs to do. Everything should be taken into account – the number of screens, controls, device type, screen orientation, security, number of supported languages, and many other factors. The more functionality you expect from the app, the more time and resources it will take to develop such a product.

Based on their research and survey results, GoodFirms provided an estimated cost range between $24,000 and over $200,000. Estimated numbers, however, can appear confusing.

Latest mobile app development trends can be used differently depending on the type of business. Our experienced project managers would gladly provide you with a personalized cost estimation report. Please send us a message.

Afterword

The mobile application market has taken a strong position with its 218 billion downloads per annum and is expanding rapidly. Entering this market benefits brand positioning, product and service promotion, customer loyalty maintenance, and tailoring customized proposals. In addition, mobile applications can also help optimize a company's business processes, automate operations, develop employees’ expertise, and generate profit.

However, the rapid market evolution also implies that those who can't keep up with the market pace and new trends in mobile app development are doomed to lose this race. Many businesses seek help from companies with proven expertise in mobile software development and know all the nuances and subtleties of creating successful products that are always in high demand. 

We assist startups in disrupting the world and big brands in establishing and maintaining market leadership with fast-delivered, all-in-one custom software. Finding your long-term, reliable tech partner can massively benefit your company’s business development strategy. From bringing your customers’ experience to a new level to optimizing your enterprise’s internal processes – HuskyJam provides best-in-class mobile development services and of course, we are keeping up with trends.

Is your company in need of the best-in-class app? We are here to give our expert advice and to share trends in mobile applications.

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