In recent months, we’ve written about mobile app development in terms of how it can benefit specific markets.
However, today we’re going to take a broader look at the market as a whole, and how we think it’ll progress into 2019 and further.
Remember, app design is one of those industries in which you have to think ahead if you’re to achieve success. It pays to take a look at what the future may hold.
So let’s get started.
Machine learning and AI will become far more prevalent
Both machine learning and AI will be seen more and more as technology grows and developers get more comfortable using the tools available to them.
Of course, AI is already being used by a variety of apps. Chatbots are an excellent example of the technology being used to provide basic customer service, as are voice assistant apps.
Tools like Siri show just how advanced AI has already become, and you can expect the technology to only improve in future. With AI developing at a fast rate, it’s likely that more and more companies will turn to it in order to minimize their customer service budget.
Over the next five years or so, it’s not too bold to say that traditional customer service could become almost non-existent; one recent study from Gartner showed that chatbots could be responsible for as much as 85% of customer service by as early as 2020!
The increased combination of wearable tech
The uptake of wearable technology has been slower than some people initially thought it might be. Even the Apple watch – which was very effective in combining software and hardware – didn’t quite explode in the way that, for instance, the smartphone did. (Though sales have really picked up in the last year or two.)
However, in the last couple of years the massive increase in fitness trackers such as the FitBit has made the idea of wearable sensors feel more ‘standard’, so it’s quite likely we’ll reach a tipping point within the next 18 months or so.
Wearable tech still has huge potential, the combination of hardware and software can be used to track almost anything, from the amount of exercise done to taking health measurements like heart rate.
And, of course, the more the technology is used, the better developers will become at deploying it.
One report by business intelligence estimated that there will be a 35% increase in the wearables market by 2019.
To highlight just how fast growth is in the market, meanwhile, in 2014 it’s estimated that 29 million wearables were sold. This year, that number is set to reach upwards of 170 million!
The facts are simple: wearable tech is on the rise.
Virtual and augmented reality will continue to grow
If you’re wondering what augmented reality means in this sense, one word for you: Snapchat. And another: Instagram!
You don’t need any more than those two apps to demonstrate the huge potential augmented reality has for catching on with users: people simply love to be able to enhance their own photos and videos, and you can definitely expect more apps to make use of augmented reality technology in the next couple of years.
Virtual reality is, by comparison, still in its fairly early days. There aren’t any breakout success stories like Snapchat or Instagram. However, Sony’s VR console hardware shows that it can work. VR remains more of a ‘keep your eye’ on tech than one that’ll break out this year, but you never know: it only takes one success story.
Augmented reality, meanwhile, is expected to grow further. Indeed, Statista estimates that by 2019, there will be more than 5 billion AR mobile apps – an astonishing statistic!
More pressure to improve mobile speed
‘More mobile use’ has been the buzz term in marketing and app development for at least five years now. There’s a good reason for that, though: it’s because the number of mobile users grows more and more every single year.
Indeed, it’s now become such a necessary requirement that Google has started up the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project.
Using AMP, it’s possible for users to enjoy far quicker web browsing, which will in turn benefit the company running the site. Google have also announced that in future, they’ll be providing a separate search index for mobile SEO, which is something anyone that wants to promote their mobile presence will need to bear in mind.
Why should you bother engaging with AMP? Well, even if you take Google’s power of influence out of the equation, it’s worth remembering that by focusing on mobile speed, you’ll reduce the number of people bouncing on your page, you’ll get more clicks and you’ll likely get more customers as a result.
Essentially, effective mobile design will continue to give you a better chance of making much more money!
While we’re on the subject of mobile, it’s worth re-iterating that the number of people shopping through mobile applications also continues to skyrocket.
According to one study, the amount of spending on mobiles has risen from 18 billion in 2014 up to around 34 billion so far this year. The growth on tablets has been even bigger, reaching 96 billion up from 38 billion!
The main app boom to result here is likely to be in the use of mobile wallet apps with increased security. The more users share their financial information, the more likely they are to want higher and higher levels of encryption.
For any developer looking to make use of mobile payment in their apps, security should be a major focus.
Cloud Apps will continue to thrive
According to a study by the Cisco Global Mobile Forecast, cloud apps could drive as much as 90% of total global mobile data traffic by 2019.
In other words, learning how to make use of cloud technology will become virtually essential for any business looking to build and optimize their own app.
Cloud has always been a major driver of app technology, of course, with companies like Dropbox leading the way.
Why is cloud technology set to explode in use? Put simply, the more users carry out more complicated tasks on their mobiles, the more storage space they’re going to need! Not to mention that smartphones and tablets have limited storage space in of themselves.
Frankly, any app that is in someway involved with storing photos, audio files or videos will need to take storage into account, and the cloud in some capacity offers more or less the only solution.
The 3 key focuses any app must have
Whatever area of app development you choose to move into, there are three key factors you NEED to take into account if you’re going to build an effective app.
- Speed and efficiency is paramount. Users today have less patience in general, and that goes double for mobile apps, which they rely on to be simple and fast. If your app is cumbersome in any way, you will lose out to competitors.
- Precision. The key for an app is to focus on ONLY the most valuable features. There isn’t the space – or the need of the customer – to perform a hundred different functions. You should decide which shortlist of features are invaluable and stick to making them work perfectly.
- Trusted access. You must ensure, as we mentioned, that you focus heavily on security. According to a number of studies, customers are becoming more willing to share their data. However, one major issue and you could lose people for life.
Get in touch today
If you’re interested in finding out more about how mobile app development can assist your business, get in touch with Iconic Solutions today. We’d love to help you.