The mobile app development industry evolves at warp speed.
The capabilities of mobile devices—and the networks they operate on—change continually.
And that’s good news.
Between Google and Apple, mobile app stores have nearly seven million applications between them.
To stand out from all that competition, you must keep your mobile app fresh.
New mobile technologies help by giving you additional features and functionality to offer your users.
Technologies like 5G, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), wearable devices, and others have significantly impacted how apps are developed and used.
And new technologies change recurring trends, like mobile app security. Users are getting smarter about protecting their data and want more secure apps.
Let’s explore the impact of these technologies on mobile app development, and how they are shaping the industry’s future.
Mobile providers began upgrading their networks to the 5th Generation, or 5G, in 2019. 5G is now the global standard for mobile communications.
5G networks offer faster download and upload speeds, as well as lower latency. These speeds allow developers to create more complex and sophisticated apps that require real-time data processing.
For example, a medical app that uses 5G networks to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs in real-time allows doctors to respond faster and gives them more accurate information. This can be a literal lifesaver in emergencies.
Lower latency and higher speeds mean a reduction of data congestion on 5G networks. That means you can move larger amounts of data back and forth, use higher image resolutions, and create games and apps that react immediately to users’ interactions.
By improving data streaming potential, reducing latency, and boosting reliability, 5G has given mobile app development much more flexibility to create faster, feature-rich, and more attractive apps.
The reduced latency of 5G networks coupled with more powerful mobile device processors will also enable the development of more immersive and interactive apps, such as AR and VR experiences.
When many people try VR for the first time, they experience motion sickness. Why?
Usually, it’s because of a lag between their body’s movements and the VR display’s response. Less latency means your eye will see what it expects to see immediately after you make a move, resulting in fewer moments of nausea.
5G’s reduced latency, then, should help make mobile VR experiences less stomach-churning.
The primary use case for VR is gaming and entertainment, offering players a more realistic and immersive experience. However, a few organizations are exploring the use of VR for education and training purposes. One example is the medical field, where doctors use VR to train for surgeries in a virtual environment.
In addition to VR, interest in AR is rising (again). After early disappointments, major tech companies like Apple and Google are developing AR devices. And the technology shows promise for mobile app developers.
One possible use case is adding AR functionality to a shopping app to drive greater purchase rates. For example, if a customer can use AR to see how furniture would look in their home before they buy it, they may be more likely to make a purchase.
AR also has applications in medicine, from assisting surgeons in the operating theater to helping doctors better diagnose their patients. Manufacturing, logistics, and education can also benefit from AR tools.
And, of course, there’s entertainment and gaming. Several such apps already use AR, with Pokémon Go being the most well-known example.
Late last year, Google announced the return of their once-abandoned AR headset, Google Glass. Apple also seems to be working on an AR/VR headset expected to debut this spring. These devices (and a few others) could make AR and VR one of the hottest mobile app development trends for the next few years.
Something interesting to note about Apple: They are reportedly working on new software tools that will allow both developers and customers to use Siri to create augmented reality apps for their AR/VR headset.
Wearable devices will continue to have a significant impact on mobile app development. The growing popularity of smartwatches and fitness trackers has led to the development of a new generation of apps specifically designed for these devices.
For example, fitness apps sync with smartwatches and wearables to track users’ exercise data and motivate them to adopt healthier habits. Additionally, these apps can also be used for healthcare purposes, such as monitoring vital signs and sending alerts in case of an emergency.
As wearables get more powerful, mobile app developers are building independent apps specifically for these devices. Native apps for wearables will likely be a mobile app development trend that lasts for the next few years.
AI and ML
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) continue to impact mobile app development significantly.
Though both technologies have been around for a while, they are still a driving mobile application development trend.
AI capabilities go far beyond virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa. AI features you can implement in a mobile app include:
- Image and text recognition and classification
- Face detection
- Predictive maintenance
- Sentiment recognition and classification
- Speech recognition
By all indications, Big Tech has embraced AI. Last year, Apple released Core ML 3, the latest version of their iOS machine learning framework. Core ML 3 makes it easier for developers to build AI into their apps.
The use of machine learning algorithms can help apps adapt and improve their performance over time by learning from user data and behavior. This can include things like predicting user needs or preferences, identifying patterns in user behavior, and making real-time adjustments to the app’s functionality or user interface.
AI-powered natural language processing enables apps to interpret and respond to casual speech and phrasing. Similarly, computer vision allows apps to interpret and respond to images and video.
Additionally, AI can be used to analyze large amounts of data to make predictions and recommendations based on user activity. It’s how streaming services suggest videos a user might like and shopping apps suggest products based on a user’s past purchases or browsing history. AI can even provide insights to help developers improve the overall performance of an app.
AI will continue to influence mobile app development, from the backend development process to the frontend user experience.
Currently, a fraction of available mobile apps use chatbots. As mobile AI gets more powerful, it will make chatbots more prevalent in mobile applications.
There are several benefits of chatbots for mobile app developers, including:
- Cost-effectiveness: Chatbots can be a cost-effective way for developers to provide customer service and support, as they can handle multiple interactions simultaneously and don’t require a human operator.
- Personalization: Chatbots can be customized to provide personalized responses to users based on their preferences, previous interactions, and other data.
- Scalability: Chatbots can handle several simultaneous interactions, making them well-suited to handle high traffic and a large number of users.
- 24/7 Availability: Chatbots can operate 24/7, providing users with support and information at all times.
- Improved user experience: Chatbots can improve the overall user experience by providing quick and accurate responses to users’ questions and requests.
- Automation of repetitive tasks: Chatbots can automate repetitive tasks such as taking orders, making reservations, and providing information.
Chatbots have been around for a long time, so it may seem strange to think they’ll be a mobile application development trend in 2023. However, the advances discussed above—namely 5G and AI—will make building responsive, human-like chatbots into your mobile apps easier.
It’s difficult to imagine a time when app security won’t be a trend to watch.
The increasing number of mobile apps has raised the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. And the criminals behind them have gotten smarter. As a result, security will continue to be a mobile app development trend for the foreseeable future.
App users have gotten better at spotting suspicious activity and security risks. They’re more hesitant to share passwords or provide sensitive information to third parties, like app developers—especially if they use your app for banking or making purchases.
As a result, mobile app developers have begun including security features like Sign in with Apple.
Rather than giving you all their personal information, users can create an account and sign in using their Apple ID. On newer iPhones, they can even use Face ID. Not only do users see it as a more secure option, but it’s more convenient, as well.
Keep Your App Fresh
Whether taking advantage of new mobile app technology or maintaining a trend that continues to be important to your users, keeping your app fresh is critical to your success.
Leveraging the latest mobile app development trends can help you deliver feature-rich apps that will wow your users and help you stand out.
If you need help developing a fresh mobile app that will wow your customers, we can help. Contact Taazaa today.