App trends to keep an eye on in 2020

Global mobile app revenues continue to grow worldwide and are projected to hit the $581.9 billion mark in 2020, up from $461.7 billion in 2019. Considering the breakneck speed at which new app development technologies enter the fray, that’s hardly a surprise.

Mobile apps are not merely a means of communication exchange. They’re standalone enablers of full fledged commerce models. Whether it’s mobile wallet apps, mcommerce apps, mobile games with in-game purchases, on-demand service apps, or any of the funky meet up apps – these pieces of code and web design are big business. No wonders, opportunist galore for mobile app developers.

Like every lucrative market, mobile app development offers its unique challenges. Among the most onerous of these challenges, for mobile developers, is to be unique, without compromising on the intuitiveness of the app.

Lets take a look:

1. 5G Wireless Services

  • 100x Energy Efficiency

  • 10-100x Data Rates

  • 5-10x Latency Reduction

  • 10-100x Connected Devices

  • 100x Area Traffic Capacity

The biggest technological trend that we are all waiting for – 5G wireless services. This is more than a mere trend for mobile app technology in the coming year. It will be a technology that will cast impact on the future of mobile technology in a big way even beyond 2020. The one defining characteristic of 5G is that it is stated to be 100 times faster than 4G.

The technology has applications beyond just the impressive promise of speed. Additionally, the technology will have its application in data security, 3D gaming, and augmented reality among other things. The technology itself and its impact are so momentous that mobile companies like Verizon and Samsung are already ready to launch their 5G enabled chips.

Considering the massive scope of 5G services, it is important that mobile app developers create apps that can make good use of this high-speed technology and enhanced data security.

2. Beacon Technology

  • There are already 700 million existing iBeacons in the form of iPhones

  • 82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision

  • Beacons are expected to influence over $4 Billion worth of US retail sales

This is one of the most relevant technologies when it comes to business mobile apps. Powered by Bluetooth technology using wireless transmitters, beacon technology can be applied in location technology and proximity marketing. When merged with IoT, beacon technology can be used quite profitably in the retail sector.

There are some microtrends associated with the beacon technology that will surface in the mobile app development world like mobile payments beacon, AI-enabled chips, automated machine learning, and beacon treasure hunting!

3.Instant Apps

Instant Apps offer speed, take less space and perform like a website, but better. The most lucrative quality of these Apps is that you can try the App without actually downloading it. Though Instant Apps have been around since 2016, but in 2020 the year is only going to get bigger by adding convenience for developers and app users alike. Instant apps are essentially native apps that work like websites but have enhanced capabilities.

App users are attracted to instant apps because instant apps can be used as a trial to get access without having to download the actual app.The instant apps are lucrative because they are smaller in size than a regular app, have website like functionality, offer great user experience and does not even use the device memory. As of now instant apps are available for a limited number of apps on the Google Play Store.

4. Blockchain-Mobile Apps

Blockchain Apps are estimated to reach $10 Billion in 2020. You’ve already heard of blockchain’s impact on several verticals, right from banking to retail. 2020 will see blockchain impact mobile app development in a big way. In the wake of burgeoning security threats for mobile apps, developers need to innovate and try novel ideas, and blockchain is right up there.

Blockchain systems are based on the idea of interconnected nodes in a network. This means that the security of a block depends on the others. This makes blockchain based systems many times more secure than any system using traditional web security protocols.

Blockchain technology is all set to bring its inherent qualities of security, reliability, and simplicity to the world of mobile app development in 2020; be prepared. Mobile app developers will do well to equip themselves with the skills necessary to leverage this technology in their mobile app architecture.

5. AR and VR

AR and VR applications started with a bang, got a lot of attention, but were soon limited in scope to applications in gaming. However, the past few years have seen rapid innovation in these technologies. The release of ARCore by Google (2018) and ARKit by Apple (2017), proved instrumental in speeding up innovation in AR and VR based mobile app development.

According to Statistics, the AR and VR market will hit $16.8 billion in 2019 and increase dramatically in the coming years. Gaming apps will be the dominant medium for revenue generation in the AR/VR app industry.

AR and VR will provide use cases like interactive walkthroughs in virtual or mixed reality environments, and mobile apps will be the enablers of this revolution. This means that mobile app developers will need to stay up to speed with technologies such as SDK/VR and AR support software/game dev engines such as Unity, EasyAR, and Vuforia.

6. Mcommerce

Mobile wallets are now ubiquitous. Considering that cash used to be the king not many years ago, it’s baffling how m-commerce has proliferated and literally changed the ecommerce and payments landscape.

Mobile wallets and payments processing apps have made users comfortable with the idea of spending via their mobile phones, and the market is far from saturated. So expect a lot more innovative m-commerce models to appear, and expect apps to enable users to participate and make the most of these models.

A good mobile app must score high on user engagement, transaction security, and user experience design. Business owners are now focusing on mobile marketing as the hub of their marketing efforts, and mobile apps are central to this strategy. This means there are several opportunities for mobile app developers to latch on to and be a part of the m-commerce success journey.

7. Low Code Mobile Apps

According to recent figures, there is projected growth for the markets of global low-code development platforms from $4.32 billion in 2017 to a whopping $27.23 billion by 2022 at a compound annual growth of nearly 44% during the forecast period. That’s a CAGR of 44.49%. It makes sense considering how low code platforms allow businesses to create customized apps, and businesses are always keen to invest in tools that enable process customization. The speed of development of low code apps makes them a viable, low-risk, and agile technology for businesses.

2020 will see low-code development focus on visual development, making it easier to use for professionals with limited IT knowledge and skills. Additionally, there are some other great benefits too – minimal cost of maintenance, low cost of development, more agility, ease of deployment. All these make low-code a force to be reckoned with, in the world of app development.

8. On Demand Service Apps

On-demand service apps bring convenience to users who require a service as early as possible. Mobile apps have become the go-to tool for disruptive brands to woo customers via on demand services. At the core of every successful on-demand service is a mobile app that connects users to the service.

On-demand apps have proven popular in the food and grocery delivery industry as well as the entertainment sector. Other sectors including healthcare, travel, and fitness are slowly adopting the technology, paving the way for its strong growth. App developers would do well to latch on to the opportunities of learning in this lucrative market.

9. Chatbots

Chatbot apps will redefine the way businesses communicate with customers and internal stakeholders. Chatbots are built with the capability of ‘learning’, which means the ROIs are positive, and payback periods delightfully short.

Machine learning powered chatbot apps will allow for improved user engagement. Customer retention will be possible thanks to more advanced chatbots, which is another major reason why these apps are all set to go big in 2020.

App developers will need hands-on experience in data science, natural language processing, and machine learning, to develop value adding chatbot apps.

10.Cross Platform mobile App Development

Let’s face it, cross platform development is nothing new. Flash and HTML5 are the perfect examples of how cross platform development tools can enable innovation and expression in the world of web technologies.

Tools like Adobe PhoneGap and Xamarin have made massive leaps throughout 2019, making it easier for developers to create apps for all mobile OS without repeating effort.

2020 is set to be the year for cross platform mobile app development to go mainstream. Cross platform mobile app development is a win-win. Businesses save money, lower the time to market, expose their apps to a larger customer base, have lower maintenance hassles to deal with. The benefits are just too many and too good to ignore.

Next Steps:

If you own a technology business, lead a tech team, are a tech product developer, or a technology enthusiasts – know that mobile app development is undergoing rapid transformations.

Early adopters of latest trends in the mobile app development marketplace have major advantages over competitors. Mobile apps can often keep audiences captive, provided they’re the first to market, and offer truly value adding user experiences.

The trends we’ve talked about in this post are already manifesting themselves, and will be ‘big’ by 2020. Identity the ones most relevant to your target market and build innovative solutions around the same.

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