The advantages of an app over a website are well-known, but with around 2.87 million apps on the Google Play Store and 1.96 million on the Apple App Store, is there any room left to compete? Both app stores were launched in 2008, and it's fair to say that global app use and the prevalence of mobile application design service providers have skyrocketed–but we're far from reaching the limit!
Last year, Android and iOS users downloaded a whopping 230 billion apps, so while developing a mobile app yourself might not be an option, there is a bright, innovative future ahead.
Future trends in mobile app development
The first thing to talk about is 5G, the much-hyped fifth-gen wireless network, which most carriers only started leveraging in 2021. If you're unfamiliar with 5G, the big selling point is its speed. It's incredibly fast and outperforms 4G one hundred times over on most networks so users can connect with multiple devices and wearables lightning fast. Information transfers also take place in fractions of a second, boosting UX with minimal latency.
Why is 5G such a big deal in the future of mobile app development? As a basic example, you can create new streaming apps that enable customers to watch full-length HD movies without poor image quality or endless buffering time.
Next, we'll take a peek at some other innovations in app development that you can expect to find in your mobile app store soon (if not already).
Virtual and Augmented Reality Apps
VR and AR have been around in the world of gaming for some time and work by imposing graphics on real-time images or creating artificial environments where users can move around. Mobile apps are evolving to recognize the potential of VR and AR, which have been used in:
- Real estate to allow remote viewings of properties
- Beauty and fashion, in which apps allow users to try on clothing virtually or test different make-up colors
- VR training in healthcare, which is primarily used to educate medical professionals on delicate procedures
Apps that can provide a real-life experience have become more popular in a post-pandemic world as brands seek opportunities to bring their business to their customers, rather than the other way around.
Artificial Intelligence in Mobile Apps
AI is another technology that has changed the way mobile apps are developed. Although this isn't a new concept, we're now learning about new ways to harness the power of AI. Algorithms can collate data and use machine learning to predict user behaviors and needs; one particular application is speech or facial recognition with biometric security now common in banking apps. Mobile apps incorporating AI can also build new levels of data security, identify fraud immediately, and determine whether a transaction matches the user's typical activities.
Mobile App Compatibility With Wearables
There are countless wearable tech items on the market, including smart earphones, fitness trackers, blood sugar monitors, and smartwatches. In the last twelve months, the wearable tech market grew to $116 billion and is estimated to expand to $265 billion in the next four years. The healthcare sector is particularly interested in the potential for new mobile apps to sync with wearables and include functions such as heart rate electrocardiograms. Smart locks controlled by a virtual key stored in an app wallet also look like a future hit and improve security while avoiding the inconvenience of carrying a set of keys.
How Will Mobile App Development Change in the Years Ahead?
The apps we know and love today might look very different in just a short time as technologies like AI, VR, and AR become more accessible. Developers remain in high demand and are creating faster, more interactive apps that will be the future of app design–and will transform how we communicate, buy, and do business.