Part of being an app developer is keeping an eye on the horizon. For all the time we spent knee-deep in coding the latest project, we’re also always scanning the latest trends and understanding the future directions in app design.
The best apps anticipate a need – and that’s a game of prediction as much as understanding an existing audience. The capacity of hardware, changes in behaviour, new market opportunities – all these influence app development.
Most important of all, though, are trends in the features that users begin to want or expect in their apps. Keep ahead of these and you will also keep your users happy – which in turn will help maintain and enhance revenue.
So, what are the current emerging trends – what, in other words, is the future of app development? You’ll be glad to know that we have some thoughts.
Mobile commerce apps – such as Cash App, Google Wallet and Apple Pay – have of course been with us for some time. They are also increasing their market share significantly over time – and in the era of coronavirus and an ever greater move away from cash payments, this the process will only continue.
Wellbeing apps are also a growth area. These, too, have been with us for a while – whether incorporating wearable tech or not – and everything from intermittent fasting to meditation now has a range of dedicated apps to help enthusiasts devise a routine and monitor their progress. Health has never been a greater concern for so many people, and these apps will be part of how people respond to that change.
Artificial intelligence and AutoML doesn’t mean androids or HAL 9000. It means machine learning (or AutoML), and some of us use it daily without even knowing (notice how the predictive text function on your phone tends to understand what you want to say next, more and more over time?). Machine Learning enables apps to understand their users – and make life easier for them. The easier things are, the more users expect other things to be easy, too. So get onboard.
Chatbots are slightly different to AI – they’re not necessarily ‘smart’ in the same way, instead of relying on algorithms and scripts – but they’re also another way to automate functions with an app, and serve users better. Immediate access to help, for example, is a great way to deploy chatbots, who can troubleshoot common problems in real-time pretty easily.
Augmented reality, too, will be increasingly used across all sectors. Many people were first introduced to AR via Pokémon Go, but AR has a lot more uses than hiding cute creatures in the local park. By overlaying digital elements on top of the physical world around us, AR brings apps into the physical realm – and potentially arms users with all sorts of additional information, data and functionality that businesses can use to attract, retain and serve them.
And finally, the internet of things is truly here to stay. This is a term coined to refer to a household – a world – in which almost everything is connected in one way or another to the internet. Think a fridge that can order milk when you’re running out or a front door that opens just before you reach it. A connected world means more than everyone having a smartphone … and apps will be crucial in connecting all the dots.
So there you have it: these are the areas that we think businesses should be exploring.
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We provide mobile app design and development for all project requirements, both consumer and business apps. If you’re in need of a mobile app or just have an idea for a project you wish to discuss, please contact us to arrange a consultancy. Call us on 024 7683 4780 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.