The rise in smartphone users worldwide has led to a surge in the number of apps released on the market. Statista revealed that there were a recorded 2.2 million apps on the Android ecosystem last June 2016, while Apple’s App Store had 2 million available apps – and this number doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
While apps were initially introduced on mobile devices, they are no longer just for smartphones as other technologies (wearables, connected homes, smart cars, PCs, etc.) are now leveraging apps. As consumers become more app-dependent, businesses will further invest in app development to increase visibility, connections with target markets and promote their brands.
Cloud-based apps and those that use ‘share and sync’ features have gathered quite a following in 2016, but what about in 2017? Let’s have a look at some of the key mobile app development trends to watch out for this year.
Location-based services will carry on
With the ease of use of most GPS on mobile devices today, location-based services will continue to rise and evolve in 2017. It will give users real-time information as well as special deals based on their current whereabouts. But, there are specific key areas where LBS will be widely used, such as:
- • Travel and tourism
- • Navigation
- • Indoor mapping
- • Location-specific payment portals
- • Security features
- • Retails offers
Since the service uses the internet which drains batteries quickly, hardware developments in the next wave of devices will help enable LBS apps to flourish in 2017.
The IoT app integration continues to flourish
Presently, there are approximately 3.5 billion internet users globally and mobile internet users make up around half of the world’s population. The introduction of fast and reliable 4G internet connections on mobile devices has meant that the new breed of mobile user demands real-time app content. Aside from accessing apps for entertainment purposes, O2 mentioned that mobile internet data connections now offer ways for people to save their data through cloud services, as well as receive and make calls and text messages through internet messaging apps for free.
As the Internet of Things is in the midst of a major boom, applications that come with IoT integration will have a smooth transition into 2017. Many industries have started experimenting and integrating the power of the internet in building their intuitive apps, so keeping the IoT in mind during the developmental stage will be a great move this year. Some of the known industries who have joined the craze include healthcare, education, smart homes, automobiles and security.
IoT integration for developers requires using complex mobile platforms and enterprise backend infrastructures that offer a seamless communication and data sharing service across all devices. The key is data analytics since all the stored and shared data must be able to be easily and efficiently accessed by the users
Embedded AI and AR becoming the norm
Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence are set to reach maturity in 2017. Apps will have these features embedded into them, and will also feature heavily on wearable devices.
Apple CEO Tim Cook even stressed the importance of the two technologies and explained that both ‘lie at the core’ of their business.
Also, messaging apps should start implementing a more advanced voice recognition feature that detects words and phrases. They will then have the ability to relate them to an actionable entity (i.e. mentioning the word “cab” would open a taxi service app). Meanwhile, machine learning is set to develop and become smarter. Experts foresee this type of tech being able to self-learn and have the ability to customize displayed content based on the user’s location or personal preference.
Among the aforementioned trends, the most important ongoing issue is that of data security. Stronger data encryptions are the best solution in improving the security of apps. Thus, developers will need to pay close attention to this during the earlier stages.
However, true success of an app will depend on the ability to offer a smooth user experience, which will continue to be the main priority of app developers in 2017.
Exclusively written for DesignersX
by TechnoloJen Blogs