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Sep 23 2021
There are over 5 million apps at any time on Google Play and Apple Stores. However, the ever-increasing demand for smarter and more innovative solutions is always creating demand for more apps.
In 2022, mobile app development will get bigger as the world embraces more advanced technologies and people’s attitudes towards mobile applications in general change.
As many mobile apps and technologies that were trends a few years ago become mainstream, many others are emerging that every player in the industry needs to keep up with.
In this article, we look at some of these emerging mobile app development trends and their impact on the business space and life, in general, going into 2022.
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Modern app development has the luxury of utilizing 5G technology—the newest generation of telecommunication networks that’s already displaying stunning connection speeds. In fact, Opensignal reports that 5G was between 1.6 and 15.7 times faster than 4G on download during trials.
Together with the improved security and increased number of possible connections per square kilometer that 5G enables, the support of this new networking standard is on the verge of becoming one of the critical 2021-2022 mobile app trends.
5G is transformative for mobile developers because it expands the possible functionality of apps. The gaming industry can leverage the speed of 5G to promote mobile versions of highly demanding games like Fortnite and Clash Royale.
Going further, 5G also opens a door for creating more sophisticated and realistic AR/VR apps, streaming quality 4K-8K and 360 videos, and introducing more interconnected IoT devices into the market.
Achieving high conversion rates is paramount when it comes to mobile applications—and pretty tough too. You have seconds to grab a user’s attention, persuading them to install your application, and not much longer after that to convince them to stay. This is where instant apps (App Clips for iOS devices) come into play.
Instant apps represent a key segment of the 2021 mobile app trends, giving users an opportunity to try an application before downloading it. They store minimal amounts of data locally, and users are not obligated to install anything to use them. A user simply needs to click on the link that the developer posts on their social media or website, and the app will be launched.
BuzzFeed, the NY Times, and a rapidly increasing number of other businesses are already using instant apps in their mobile development to win the battle for customers.
Using GPS in your software is one of the multi-purposeful mobile technology trends that suit any industry. Retailers, for instance, can use the concept of geolocation-based apps to help users quickly find their stores. You don’t need to look up the nearest Walmart or IKEA at every new place anymore—simply install their apps once, and they will automatically scan your location and lead the way.
Likewise, apps like Grubhub use GPS to improve customer experience by showing clients where their delivery person is at the moment and how soon they will arrive. Besides goods delivery, geolocation-based apps are also useful in the automotive industry (Google Maps, Onfleet, Geotab), travel and hospitality (Airbnb, Booking), sports (Nike+, Runtastic), and dating apps (Tinder, eHarmony).
The wearable market is maturing. According to Statista, there will be 1.1 billion connected wearables in 2022. Mobile app development trends point to the fact that the development of these devices is a heady gold rush. Not only would websites and apps work on mobile devices as well as desktops, but they should work seamlessly on wearables. This would make configuring them a challenging task, but it would soon become apparent that smartphones would be as passé as desktops are now to mobiles.
The trend, however, has suddenly shifted in 2020. In the midst of a global pandemic, wearable devices are seen as potential early detectors of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases. Activity trackers, such as FitBit, and smartwatches are equipped with features that continuously monitor physiological data in real-time, which can help in the early detection of any deviations from an individual’s normal health baseline. Among the notable studies and applications of this subject was conducted by Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In May 2020, Northwestern University unveiled the first wearable COVID-19 monitoring device. The revolutionary project earned them a $2.4 million award from the US Department of Defense, which will fund its further development and deployment.
The market for wearable devices will continue to grow which means that there will also be a growing demand for mobile apps integrated with these devices.
Wearable technology offers enormous opportunities, especially for sports and healthcare industries. The ability to measure and analyze vital signs in real time attracts people to smart wearable devices: watches, bracelets and even jewelry.
This is where Machine Learning will also come into play – from making predictions and recommendations based on health indicators to even detecting illnesses in the early stages.
The inclusion of virtual and augmented reality elements in mobile software has spiked since apps Civilisations AR came to the market. An augmented reality creation from the BBC, Civilisations AR serves an educational purpose in a truly stunning fashion. It allows users to explore ancient objects and interact with them, rotating, moving, and scaling them.
As trends in mobile apps, AR and VR are already applicable for many purposes besides game development. In education, virtual reality provides useful hands-on training experiences while being safe and relatively cheap, which presents a particularly significant advantage to healthcare, aerospace, military, and industrial fields.
Augmented and virtual reality can also attract customers when used for online shopping (allowing users to “try” an item on through their phone), marketing, as well as house and property tours.
Since it was first introduced in 2013, beacon technology has grown significantly from being Apple’s low-energy Bluetooth device to a globally recognized technology with more than 400 million deployments in 2020. According to GeoMarketing, there currently are 3.9 million proximity sensors deployed globally that use beacon. Despite this, however, 70% of consumers are unaware of this technology and that brands, retailers, and ad agencies are using it to send push notifications to customers.
But it’s not all just about retail. Beacons offer a personalized experience. People are 19 times more likely to engage with a product when it’s advertised using a beacon. Native apps that capitalize on beacon technology and integrate it seamlessly with the beacon signal will thus, expedite a conversion or enhance the interaction between the customer and the brand. Beacons can even be used for AR and mobile payments.
Another potential use case of beacon technology is for tracking and curbing the spread of COVID-19. Google and Apple both announced a contact tracing framework using Bluetooth in the form of Exposure Notification API. This technology allows mobile devices to ping and receive random beacons that will be downloaded to a server and compared with a list of people confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.
Machine learning (ML) can significantly reduce the time spent on developing apps. But while AI and ML can optimize app development, they can also reduce errors human programmers would have overlooked. Existing apps now incorporate AI elements, including chatbots, but some personalize certain elements of a customer order. For example, the fast-food chain McDonald’s is leveraging big data and AI to personalize its drive-thru menus based on factors like the customer, time of day, or the weather.
In the healthcare industry, AI has been used more in reducing the time spent on administrative tasks. But in 2020, the use of AI has expanded to telemedicine during AI-triage and consultations. Furthermore, AI-powered thermal scanners have also been deployed to reduce physical contact and transmission.
It’s clear that AI and machine learning will continue to remain as key drivers of technology developments in 2021 and beyond. And while AI-assisted medical equipment is a start for the healthcare industry, we can also start expecting AI-powered apps on wearables and phones that control an IoT ecosystem.
Blockchain technology has been around for some time now, but it is more famous in the cryptocurrency sphere as it powers most digital assets.
The main concept behind blockchain technology and what is making it an emerging trend in mobile app development is that it creates decentralized databases. There is no need for a single service provider or company to act as a gatekeeper with these decentralized databases.
Therefore, apps dependent on this technology are more secure as no one person can modify the databases in an attempt to get access to sensitive user data.
As security becomes more critical in app development, in 2022, blockchain technology will be a crucial component in the development of most mobile applications.
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