The shift from accessing the Internet on desktops and laptops to browsing on smartphones has been rather swift. According to a global digital report from We are Social, the number of smartphone users worldwide, crossed 5.135 billion. Unlike what the skeptics had predicted, mobile app development was no bubble, nor was it an impermanent trend destined to run out, like an iPhone battery running on iOS 11.
Mobile apps are a culture we have all grown accustomed to, given their presence as location-based apps, to their development on the spectrum of augmented and virtual reality. In fact, as per Statista, by the year 2020, mobile apps are expected to generate $188.9 billion as global revenue.
Gaining more speed and momentum from the statistics mentioned above, 2019 is likely to bring about an even brighter future for mobile app development. We will either be seeing brand new trends or a huge upgrade from what users are already using.
With 5G network trials set to be underway across the world, the realm of app development will witness a change. The integrated chips powering our smartphones are being improved as I write this, and in 2019, they are set to go a notch higher, thus allowing mobile app developers greater room to play, when it comes to app intricacies. Fans of augmented and virtual reality can already feel the surging adrenaline rush.
1. Accelerated Mobile Pages through AMP and EMM
AMP (Application Performance Management) listings were integrated into Google search in 2016, and since then developers have not looked back.
By inculcating these within the app framework, developers have been able to use this boiled down version of HTML for better user experience and retention, with Facebook Instant Articles being one of the many success stories.
These monitoring tools and metrics that help resolve bottlenecks as well as enhance overall performance are due to become a staple by 2019.
2. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
AI and machine learning have dug their heels deeper into mobile apps than we may have realized. AI makes itself manifest in the form of chatbots. Siri is, in fact, one of the biggest proofs why machine learning and artificial intelligence are very much a part of mobile apps, and ones that cannot be separated now.
The rising demand for machine learning and AI in the form of virtual assistants and chatbots is what we’re looking at, and that is what 2019 will bring for us.
3. Rise in the Demand for Wearable Devices and IoT
Thanks to Apple, the affordability constraint is out of the equation. App developers are and will be looking to develop apps for wearable devices, mostly smartwatches.
Currently, it’s mostly horology and fitness industry that are looking towards smartwatches, but a few big names like Zomato and Uber have invested in wearable app development. Although, like most, they only have scratched the mere surface.
2019 promises to bring more wearables – watches, fitness bands, movement trackers, and more.
4. Chatbots will be Integral
As per Statista, the global Chatbot market is projected to grow to 1250 million U.S. dollars by 2025 – a jump of more than 1000 million U.S. dollars from 2016. One can simply deduce that chatbots are very well a part of the digital reality now.
Chatbots will now act (in fact are already acting) as virtual assistants within mobile applications. Thanks to the advancement in AI, it is now an easy job to integrate chatbots within apps without involving intricate coding.
A rather interesting infographic Digital Commerce suggests that as many as 50% of B2B buyers prefer self-service CRM. Chatbots is the new way to extend that sort of customer relationship management.
5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will Influence Mobile Strategies
‘Pokémon Go’ may have been a temporary storm on the eastern seaboard, but AR and VR are here to stay. Predicted to reap over $200 billion in revenues by 2020, developers are expected to create breathtaking mobile app experiences in AR and VR, and with compatible hardware entering the market, we can’t wait to get this party started.
6. Mobile Wallets and Payment Gateways
Frictionless payment methods are what customers demand from all the apps they use. There has been a gradual but significant change in the ways that users prefer to shop. We’ve slowly moved from cash to credit, debit, to mobile wallets, and digital currencies.
Mobile commerce has, thus, successfully, become a preferred shopping mode. So, for businesses, to be able to create a great app experience, integrating payment gateways as well as mobile wallets (like Amazon Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, etc) that provide secure encryption will become staple in 2019.
7. More Businesses will Invest in Cloud Integration
It took years but the world is finally waking up to the possibilities offered by cloud computing and integration. Streamlining operations, reduced costs in hosting, better storage, and loading capacity, along with increased user retention, are few of the many advantages of developing mobile apps over the cloud.
8. Instant Apps are Coming around
2016 saw the birth of instant apps – native mobile applications that are smaller in size than usual apps, user-friendly, and highly convenient because there is, well, just no need for downloading. As the name suggests, they can be accessed instantly without any download at all.
With users constantly demanding better user experience and shorter load times, instant apps are indeed the trend that 2019 will welcome, and for good, thus eliminating the waiting time required in the installation.
9. Mobile App Security to Gain Extra Attention
Yes, we know it is nothing new, but with Uber coming out of the metaphoric closet and accepting the hacking, and even Facebook and Google admitting their security lapses, app developers will be looking to invest more in cybersecurity, given it is directly linked to users’ data privacy and protection laws.
The finest minds in the industry will have to up the ante to drown out the uncertainty around mobile apps.
10. Beacons Technology
The Beacons technology has been around for some time now, and 2019 will make its presence stronger still.
We’re likely to see it more than ever in the form of beacon-enabled airports, mobile payments beacons, and even automated personal beacons. So, the trends will be to create more usable apps to work on beacons technology and make virtual guides and personalized information sharing smoother.
11. Predictive Analytics to Influence Mobile UI/UX
Mobile apps are going to move on from being mere utilities, to being an integral part of your workflow. Giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple are already employing AI to use predictive analytics to enhance the customer journey across the UI/UX of their apps, and 2019 is set to witness advances in this field.
12. Rising Popularity for On-Demand Apps
What was once being termed as an inevitable bubble in the realm of mobile app development, is now the future. With industries embracing the on-demand business model like an old friend, one can expect UI/UX enhancements, mCommerce facilities, predictive analytics, and business bots, to fuel the growth of Uber and Zomato-like apps in 2019.
At the risk of sounding like a cliché, one cannot emphasize enough about smartphones being the future, given how trends in mobile app development have managed to captivate users across the globe for the last 3-4 years. As we usher in another year, inquisitiveness and excitement galore reside in some of the finest brains in the business, that look forward to the future of mobile app development.