Imagine a day without your phone. You will feel as a body without a soul, right! Whether it is a deed of hiring a cab, recharging your phone, ordering a pizza or shopping online, you will instantly reach for your smartphone. The phone is your friend in need and is one of the most crucial accessories in our life. Mobile technology and apps continue to thrive with its awe-inspiring presence across various aspects of life. We cannot deny the fact that mobile apps have become an essential element of the digital anatomy. In fact, they are on their way to become (even more) omnipresent.
The increasing number of usages associated with smartphones and wearable devices will continue to be important for businesses and life. A new era of Internet of Things apps, wearable devices began in 2014. Enterprise apps continued to thrive for some time as businesses are increasingly focusing on integrating mobility in their core business process. Developers exclaim everyday that the app landscape is constantly changing. So keeping up with mobile app development trends isn’t an option anymore. It’s the order of the day.
Trend #1: The Ecommerce App-Only Trend
Today everyone is getting mobile savvy. So is the case in ecommerce. Two big giants of ecommerce companies in India Myntra and Flipkart decided to shut their website and transit to app-only platform. According to them, 90% of the traffic and sales were made on smartphone or tablet. Various analysts believe this positive trend will continue over the next 4 years as more and more consumers adapt to m-commerce.
Trend #2: iOS and Android ‘Fight’ will Continue
Apple and Android have a strong presence in the mobile OS market. According to research Firm IDC, Andoid has 82.8% market share as at Q2 of 2015, followed by iOS’ 13.9% and Windows phone’s 2.6%. Interestingly enough, the 2% lost by Android over the same period from last year has been mostly gained by iOS. The remaining 0.7% market share is split between all the other smartphone OSs available. This, it is clear that we will continue to see both the mobile leaders iOS and Android entrenching themselves further in not only mobile markets across the world, but also the psyche of mobile users. This ferocious battle is essentially good news for developers and users.
Trend #3: Wearable Technology Hacking the Future
The sheer presence of wearables brings with it a number of trends. We have trends like the seamless integration of wearables into fashionware. Sure enough wearables have long been associated with fashion but what used to be futuristic concepts of wearable devices that were only suitable for the catwalk have now become more conventional accessories that almost mimic their traditional counterparts. Take for example smartwatches – they look like and are worn like conventional watches. In other words, wearable devices are taking a form that users would be more ready to wear. This in turn means an evolution in the apps designed for wearable devices. So for example in the near future it is more likely that we will see development for fitness tracking apps in a watch rather than device-specific fitness trackers as sales for these devices that can only do fitness tracking plummets at the expense of say, smartwatches.
Indeed, wearable devices have been making a lot noise in the digital world and surprisingly for good reason. Wearable technologies in 2015 have moved beyond Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Apple Watch. The big brands like Apple, Samsung are trying to go one step further in improving wearable technology and make it more tempting for the end users.
Trend #4: More Digital Mobile Payment Providers
The launch of Apple Pay in October 2014 has not been so much of a success as promised by Apple. Moving forward, we have now witnessed a change in the way financial transactions take place across the digital world. Samsung played catch up with its very own Samsung Pay and now other mobile payment apps such as Wal-Mart’s CurrentC and Android’s Android Pay are expected to be launched within this year. With these amazing technologies and lessons learnt, it is expected that mobile payments will become easier and safer as time goes by until the ‘standard’ is established.
Trend #5: The Internet Of Things will witness Huge Growth
More than a new trend, this is a year-on-year trend, although it has gained and will continue to gain a faster traction in years to come. Basically, the smartphone will be even less limited to just being a phone. It will be able to connect with multiple devices in a more seamless manner and it will continue to replace other devices such as remote controls. In terms of app development, this means that we will witness new types of apps as demands for such usage increases. We will also see an increase in the functionality that an app can do as smartphones are set to be equipped with more processing power.
The Internet of Things will be the largest device market in the world. The estimation is that by 2019 it will be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined.
Trend #6: Messaging Apps Boozing High
We are currently witnessing a fierce competition between mobile messaging apps and social networks. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber have 2.125 billion monthly active users globally (users who accessed the apps at least once in a 30-day period). That’s compared to the same number, 2.125 billion, users of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram combined. Thus its clear messaging apps have high penetration in comparison so there is great chance of winning the battle. Also, research carried out last month (August 2015) by Pew Research Centre shows that 36% of smartphone owners use messaging apps.
Trend #7: More Beacon and Location-based Wi-Fi Services
GPS is notoriously variable when it comes to in-door mapping. And thus, the Beacon and location based Wi-Fi comes into picture. These services have been getting a lot of awareness lately and people are increasingly curious about how Wi-Fi and beacons play together in indoor locations. Beacon services will introduce a new world of possibilities for location awareness and countless prospects for interaction with potential customers.
Trend #8: Change in Development Objectives
Last but not least mobile app development has seen a trend that has yielded an increasing number of cloud-driven apps (such as Dropbox and Google Drive) that seamlessly integrate with their desktop counterparts, so expect more of these. Security is and is set to remain one of the primary challenges of mobile apps. For example, in the case of enterprise mobile apps, end point security still remains a big headache especially where BYOD is practiced. Mobile apps are also characterised by a shorter development lifecyle where the market requires that apps are quickly designed, developed and deployed to obtain a quick return on investment and secure a bigger market share (given that there are so many apps doing essentially the same thing). Luckily for us, in this market that focuses on get-there-quickly and grab-as-much-marketshare as possible, we are still seeing an ever-increasing focus on creating great user experiences for mobile apps too.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in mobile UX, then taking the course on Mobile User Experience, which includes templates you can use in your own projects. If, on the other hand, you’d like to…
- learn all the details of Usability Testing
- get easy-to-use templates
- learn how to properly quantify the usability of a system/service/product/app/etc
- learn how to communicate the result to your management
… then consider to take the online course Conducting Usability Testing.
Lastly, if you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, the online course on User Experience could provide you with the necessary knowledge. Good luck on your learning journey!
(Lead image: Depositphotos)