Mobile applications for smartphones and tablets are products that affect our everyday life all the time. Fitness trackers wake us up, news aggregators deliver fresh stories, social media helps to reach friends and colleagues, readers and podcasts facilitate education, games and videos provide for the needed relaxation, and so on. Numbers prove the growth: worldwide app market revenue is projected to reach $580 billion in 2020, doubling the level of 2017.
Can you imagine your life without these apps at all? We doubt that. Whether you are a mobile developer or just a user who wants to know what to expect, this guide is for you. Read on to find which trends will shape the industry soon.
Mobile Apps and Their Benefits
The digital app economy rises and rises gradually as more people join it. Global application downloads grew to 115 billion in 2019. Visual Capitalist reports that the majority of top-rated applications divided into two groups: social media & messengers and streaming platforms. WhatsApp was in the lead with more than 850 million downloads. TikTok and Messenger exceeded 700 million, while Facebook almost reached this level.
Let’s look at the popular categories to understand the current demand:
Games. Well, we all love games. They help us to spend time, relax after work, learn something new, or interact with other people. There are tons of different games, including ones that use advanced tech like AR-based Pokémon Go.
Lifestyle. As people become more focused on their health and productivity, they tend to use more assistants. There are apps for sleep, sport, personal development, time tracking, diet, planning, and more.
Social media. Apart from already mentioned apps, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat were among the most downloaded products. These applications and messengers fulfill the primary need: to keep in touch with other people and let them know about your life.
Streaming services. It is another big category with highly popular apps made possible by streaming platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, an Amazon Fire Stick. Your favorite YouTube, Netflix, and Disney+ are streaming systems focused on video. On a par with them, there are music streamers, e.g. Spotify.
Useful tools. This category represents various apps that we use as professional or daily tools. For example, Evernote is a digital notebook while WPS Office works with docs. As well, here are system tools: launchers file managers, etc.
8 Trends to Watch This Year
For all who want to know a bit more about mobile software development services, we have defined eight essential trends. Some of them root back in early/middle 2010s, others emerge now. Take a look to grasp where the industry is going and how it will affect other sectors.
– 1. 5G Connectivity
To start with, 2020 should bring a new mobile Internet standard. Talking about speed, 5G is reportedly 30x times faster than 4G as it delivers 1 Gbit per second compared to 20-40 Mbits. Thanks to this upgrade, mobile apps will be able to process much bigger data packages at much higher speeds. This will open a way to better AI adoption, smoother instant apps, improved security, and so on. In other words, 5G should boost other trends.
– 2. AI and ML
This trend is here for a while, but who can say that it loses power? Artificial intelligence, paired with deep machine learning enables dozens of lucrative opportunities. From entertainment things like FaceApp to virtual assistants like Siri, AI projects help in almost every aspect of our lives. Here are some examples that will be demanded in 2020:
– Adaptive batteries.
– Chatbots and smart assistants.
– Identification tools.
– Predictive systems for businesses.
– Smart camera/photo apps.
– Voice recognition and processing.
– 3. AR, VR, MR
It is another common idea that may flourish in 2020. By combining virtual objects that you can see with special headsets and augmented reality available via simple smartphone cameras, the world is entering the phase of mixed reality. It allows interacting with virtual objects placed over the real environment. From games to design apps to professional tools for architects or physicians, MR products represent a revolutionary approach to ways we see the world.
– 4. Beacons
This trend may look pretty fresh for the majority of users. Beacon technology utilizes Bluetooth signals and launches relevant notifications that target phones can receive. For instance, if you want to buy a laptop, beacons will trigger near appropriate gadget shops showing you current deals. Beacons are wonderful for marketing, but they also can be used in tourism, healthcare, games, and even mobile payments.
– 5. Instant Apps
When you want to try a regulate app, you have to download it. With instant apps, things change. These are small, convenient, and download-free demos that you can get without wasting storage space. Instant applications are popular among developers, thanks to better conversion rates. However, Google Stadia delivers video games without downloads. Why mobile apps can’t do the same, especially with 5G availability?
– 6. Mobile Payments
Millions of customers already use mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. They remove the need in cash and even plastic cards because you can pay with your smartphone only, using NFC tech. Researchers predict that mobile payments will reach almost $14 billion by 2022, so we will see wider adoption and new players in this segment. Apart from NFC, RFID and audio wallets will rise, as well as their security will become stronger.
– 7. On-Demand Apps
The boom of sharing economy also kickstarted on-demand applications. In a nutshell, they provide for ordering specific services just when you need them. Taxi apps like Uber, food delivery apps, domestic helpers, babysitters – these offers fall into the category of on-demand services. We expect these applications to become even more popular in 2020. Many developers want to jump into this wagon, so do not miss it!
– 8. Wearables and IoT
Finally, one of the most successful technologies has all the chances to disrupt industries this year. It has two aspects that are strongly connected:
1. Internet of Things. This technology connects devices and allows them to exchange information. Owners control these ecosystems using only one hub or virtual assistant accessed via a smartphone. IoT allows interacting with appliances, home systems, connected tools to optimize daily processes.
2. Wearable gadgets. These things act as main parts of IoT solutions related to customers themselves. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, healthcare sensors – all of them collect data, make it transparent for users, and provide insights into productivity and health. Wearables also need parent apps on smartphones, usually.
Combined, these development points can drive the need for advanced apps tailored to new demands. Moreover, the world will focus on edge computing – data processing tasks handled by devices, not hubs or smartphones. Of course, this approach requires proper development, too.
Creating Apps in 2020
Apart from trends that shape the whole mobile development industry, it is crucial to consider fundamentals. Successful applications are not ones that follow all trends but ones that add value. If your product addresses the pains of customers, it has more chances to hit millions of downloads when compared to an app with a perfect tech side but no value at all.
From business to entertainment, from blockchain to edge computing, mobile applications flood all existing markets and industries. In 2020, developers should combine core values with innovative ideas. Hence, they will be able to deliver competitive products tailored to the demand needs of users around the globe.