Mobile development is the place where there must be more innovation because it is actively growing at break-neck speed. With more than 1 billion smartphones and 179 billion mobile applications downloaded per year, businesses need to strategically plan and execute their mobile-ready applications.
The mobile application market is dominated by Google apps (Gmail, Maps, Search), Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube) and whichever gaming app you like (Pokemon Go, fortnite, Runescape). Giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Bank of America use mobile applications for branding, improving customer engagement, direct marketing, etc while small and midsize businesses are also following with whatever they can mobile trends they can implement.
The best and effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. Mobile application development is driven by advancements in technology which requires businesses to have a forward-thinking vision for the next few years. Below are some of the trends which will determine the future of mobile application development.
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1. Wearable devices
According to IDC, 101.9 million wearable devices were shipped in 2016, an increase of 29 percent from the 79 million units shipped in 2015. The latest trends in smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Microsoft’s Hololens shows an upcoming change in computing and the transition from basic to smart wearables. New opportunities are opening for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers.
The latest smartphones will become the center of a personal-area network consisting of wearable gadgets such as on-body healthcare sensors, smart jewelry, smart watches, display devices (like Google Glass) and the myriad of sensors to be embedded in clothes and shoes. This technology will communicate with mobile applications to deliver information in new ways enabling a wide range of products and services in areas such as sport, fitness, fashion, hobbies, and healthcare. Thus, wearable devices connected with smartphones will influence the next generation of mobile application development strategies.
2. Internet of Things and Mobile-connected Smart Objects
According to Gartner, there will be 26 billion connected devices by 2020 which includes several hundred smart objects such as LED light bulbs and fixtures, toys, domestic appliances, sports equipment, medical devices, and IoT controlled power sockets, etc. These household and business smart devices and objects will be a part of the world of Internet of Things and will communicate through Apps on a smartphone, tablet or other voice controlling device (Alexa or GoogleHome). Smartphones and tablets will act as remote controls, displaying and analyzing information, interfacing to monitor “things” that can tweet or post, paying for subscription services, and ordering replacement supplies.
There will be many established companies such as Microsoft, with its Intelligent Systems Service, and enterprise software vendors like SAP, with its Internet of Things Solutions, also adding Internet of Things capabilities to their offerings.
3. Motion and Location Sensing
Most mobile phones have location sensor capabilities which use multiple positioning methods to provide different distinguishing pieces of location data. Having the ability to know an individual’s location to within a few meters is useful for providing highly relevant contingent information and services. Motion technology is used in security, anti-theft devices, power-saving and for games. Location technology is useful in geotagging, games, people finding, vehicle navigation, and fitness apps. Apps that take advantage of having the precise indoor location currently use technologies such as Wi-Fi, imaging, ultrasonic beacons, and geomagnetic.
In the future, more technologies such as smart lighting will also become important. These smart technology devices will use motion and sensor technologies combined with mobile applications to enable a new generation of extremely personalized services and information.
4. Innovative Mobile User Experience Design
Having a complete and sound user experience is a requirement for most business apps nowadays. Having the ability to effectively display data and content on your mobile user interface is important for the success of your enterprise mobile app. Designing and developing new patterns depicting intuitive designs and interactive interfaces is what design-lead product creation is all about. Designers are learning to create apps that can accommodate mobile challenges, such as partial user attention and interruption which has become a problem with so many distractions.
Mobile apps will expand to exploit technologies with integrated features such as interactive content layers, circular design pattern, cards and manipulation of content to grab the user’s attention and keep them engaged. Adding features that create “augmented reality” by allowing the users to interact with the content in further detail will help businesses to keep their customers engaged and coming back for more. Leading consumer apps are setting high standards for user interface design, and all organizations must master new skills and work with new partners to meet growing user expectations.
5. Application Performance Management (APM)
Performance bottlenecks in app testing are often caused by one or both of two factors; diversity of mobile devices and the non-deterministic nature of mobile networks. Improving the testing and quality assurance process can be accomplished by using mobile metrics and monitoring tools, collectively known as Application Performance Management (APM). These APM tools provide important visibility into app behavior, deliver statistics about which devices and OSs are adopted, and monitor the user’s behavior to help to determine which app features are being successfully exploited.
As more enterprise infrastructures shifting to the cloud the application landscape is changing, APM tools and the developers face increased challenges to provide real performance benefits across systems with virtual perimeters. Modern enterprises require robust tools that can monitor resources used by applications, correlate that data with meaningful user insights, and align performance with business processes.
6. Enterprisewide mobile management
The main dimensions of Enterprise mobile management (EMM) software technologies are application and financial management, and more importantly security. Enterprise mobile management (EMM) includes people, processes, and technology using mobile computing for streamlining businesses. This mobile management strategy should also include application wrapping and containerization, and some elements of enterprise file synchronization and sharing. This technology and the tools that come with it will mature, grow in scope and eventually address a wide range of mobile management needs across all smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The future and evolution of EMM will be a convergence of several mobile management, security, and support technologies.
We will not be able to ignore the importance of mobile applications in the digital ecosystem. Building consumer apps will continue to become more important as the demand is expanded and mobility is taken more seriously. The mobile technology trends and innovations are something that businesses should keep an eye on.