The Mobile App market is booming at an unprecedented rate. By 2020, apps are expected to generate 189 billion dollars in revenue via app stores and advertising. The mobile tech race is on and manufacturers are constantly coming up with models that include more CPU power, longer battery life, better displays, and sleeker design.
Another driving force behind this growth comes in the form of changing user preferences. Today, most of the online time is spent on apps, not browsers. Let us just say that Facebook alone has over 1.1 billion monthly active mobile users. These numbers speak volumes about where the app market is heading and foreshadow some of the mobile app development trends that will rock 2018.
Wearable technology has been a real game changer across various business sectors. Most notably, fitness and health trackers have shown us a glimpse of the bright future that wearable products have. They come with highly functional features, but also serve as a lifestyle statement.
Only a couple of years have passed since wearable products took off, yet it does not seem that the market for them is in its infancy anymore Major tech giants in the league of Apple and Google have entered this domain and many others are following in their wake. The demand for wearable apps will grow exponentially and attract many users who seek to take their smartphone utility to the next level.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Championed by Google and Twitter, the AMP project has made big splashes in the market since it rolled in. For those who do not know, it represents a stripped-down version of HTML designed to offer a lightning-fast mobile experience.
In other words, this lightweight framework enables developers to satisfy the modern user’s need for speed and making pages load in an instant. Moreover, AMP offers an isolated search index for the web. As a result, more and more brands are implementing this technology and investing big funds, determined to get ahead of the pack and delight consumers.
Augmented reality (AR) apps
This may come as a surprise to some, but AR apps already account for a big share in the market. We have the stellar success of Pokémon Go to thank for this upward momentum: the app has demonstrated the huge potential that AR apps have, especially in the gaming industry.
Soon, the trend will likely spread to the sectors of healthcare, engineering, real estate, retail, and education. Corporate giants like Apple have taken notice and started working on AR headsets for their phones. To support them, they are also developing chips with motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation capabilities.
Internet of things (IoT) explosion
IoT is already a hot topic and a huge business. Moreover, it has revolutionized automotive, smart home, healthcare, transportation, education, and other industries. On a broader level, interconnected devices are a part of our daily lives and we seek to manipulate them from one central dashboard.
Of course, a smartphone equipped with the latest apps is best suited for this task. As enterprises and regular users become aware of the potential, we will inevitably see accelerated growth of IoT-based apps, cloud integration platforms, and AI-powered digital assistants. And we can see this trend is growing as many big brands have started investing in mobile app development.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI and machine learning have opened new doors to tailoring the mobile experience to the preferences of modern users. Leaps and bounds in the AI tech sector have also enabled app developers to dive into consumer data and extract pertinent information from the ocean of irrelevant ones.
Many established brands waste no time investing in cognitive computing for AI solutions. The spending has already increased 300% in 2017, and this year, we will reach a new all-time high. Finally, we will witness the rise of AI-enabled Chatbot apps and other platforms that bring AI to the limelight.
Location-based services (LBS)
Nowadays, virtually all modern smartphones come with a GPS and Bluetooth function. These two tech staples lay the groundwork for LBS services to flourish. Namely, LBS technology works hand in hand with GPS capabilities to deliver a new kind of mobile experience.
Not surprisingly, the gaming niche was the first to take full advantage of this, but social media, weather, travel, photos, videos, and news apps are also gravitating towards this brave new tech frontier. In general, LBS-based apps will be used to drive engagement rates, offer a personalized experience, collect data, and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Kicking the game into overdrive
The mobile app market continues to surge beyond imagination and shows no signs of cooling off. Users have an insatiable hunger for cutting-edge apps, while marketing channels and developer tools abound. To ride the crest of the innovation wave, though, developers will have to step up their game and embrace the aforementioned trends.
The ultimate goal is to provide a seamless and functional app experience. After all, the bar is constantly raised and new players are joining the competitive game. Success is not guaranteed, but one thing is certain: with the higher availability of developer tools and the level of investment going through the roof, mobile app development is poised to reach new heights in 2018.
You could say that the future of apps has already arrived.