Tech moves fast, and that’s more true in the mobile sector than anywhere else.
If you’re hoping to bring an app to market in 2019, you need to know the state of the industry, and how it’s changing.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the biggest mobile app development trends for the coming year. Keep reading, and you’ll learn:
- Which new features from Apple and Google matter most to app developers
- How new hardware will transform the way people use their phones
- The latest trends in support, marketing, and design philosophy
- How you can get started creating your own killer app
Platform: Android (for now)
Instant Apps are a feature by which apps can be loaded and opened directly from a web link.
Touching a link to an Instant App opens it almost immediately, as the name implies, and allows the user to quickly jump into a game, video, or other rich media object.
The feature was introduced for Android towards the end of 2017. There are already hundreds of millions of Android users with access to Instant Apps.
Major brands like Vimeo, the New York Times, and Buzzfeed have embraced the technology, making it an almost sure thing that Apple will introduce their own version.
Platform: Android (for now)
Lazy Loading is a technique to speed up web page load times.
It works by only downloading the media that is currently on screen. If the user hasn’t scrolled far enough to see the images towards the bottom of the page, then they simply aren’t loaded.
The effect is that pages can be rendered almost immediately, and using much less data than rendering the entire page.
It’s not a new concept, but Google codified it towards the end of 2018. Until then, it was up to web developers to implement lazy loading.
Now, Chrome handles the process itself, effectively giving its benefits to the entire web.
Like Instant Apps, the feature is popular. It won’t be long until iOS adopts it, too.
Platform: Android and iOS
Wearables are a lot bigger than Fitbit these days.
In fact, making software for wearables is one of the biggest mobile application development trends today.
There are over 300 million wearables in use right now, running the gamut from simple Bluetooth pedometers to the new Apple Watch Series 4.
The latest from Apple incorporates its own cell transceiver, allowing it to make and receive calls even if the user doesn’t have their phone with them.
Meanwhile, Google is gearing up for the Pixel Watch, and it’s set to offer major competition in the space.
All of these devices will need apps, and mobile developers are already lining up to provide them.
AI is one of the biggest buzzwords in tech. Giants from IBM to Amazon are investing, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s everywhere.
In the mobile apps vertical, AI promises to touch every aspect of our lives.
Microsoft is exploring its use in translation software, as an enhancement to Skype.
Amazon’s AI-driven store concept gives customers an incredibly streamlined retail experience. Visitors simply pick up items and walk out the door, with purchases charged to their Amazon accounts via the app.
And finally, AI is the cornerstone of Big Data. The emerging tech of collecting vast amounts of information to provide a personalized user experience is simply not possible without AI to process the data.
Out of all the technologies on this list, AI is likely to be the most important.
The first chatbot was Eliza, dating back to 1966.
They’ve come a very long way since then, to the point where a user might not even realize they’re talking to a program unless the program tells them so.
In modern software, technology is making the biggest impact in customer service and tech support.
Allowing a user to get their information from a machine without the need for a human rep brings a whole new meaning to self-service.
The use cases for mobile are obvious. As people engage with more and more companies, offering more and more complex products, they will need more and more support.
Chatbots are already serving purposes from helping customers find deals on flights to helping them choose the right appliance to buy.
With mobile, they can do all this on the go, in the store, or from the couch.
Like AI, blockchain is set to completely change the way we think about data.
The inherent privacy and security of the technology have enormous implications for everything from medical records to criminal background checks, and of course currency.
For mobile, blockchain promises secure, cheap, anonymous in-app purchases.
Users who are still leery of providing their credit card information via app will have no such fear when payments are perfectly secured.
Blockchain may also be used to encrypt all data on a phone, drastically reducing data breaches and hacks.
HTC will soon bring the Exodus to market, a new phone that incorporates blockchain as a basic design feature.
Platforms: Android and iOS
Beacons are low-powered, low-cost Bluetooth devices that can ping any phones within about 300 feet.
They’ve been around since 2013 when Apple introduced the iBeacon, and Google soon followed suit with the Google Beacon.
In 2018, Google started sending free beacons to local businesses around the United States.
Paired with their Eddystone protocol, which works with both Android and iOS, these beacons can send notifications to nearby devices, even if the devices do not have an associated app installed.
Although the technology has been simmering for a few years, 2019 is when we can expect them to truly take off.
You can thank the rise of wearables. They encourage mobile users to leave their Bluetooth turned on.
Advertising isn’t the only use for the technology. Large public spaces from airports to sports stadiums are already starting to install them for indoor navigation.
Innovators in the mobile space have an opportunity in 2019 to leverage beacon technology, which will soon occupy a large portion of public mindshare.
Platforms: Android and iOS
2018 was a banner year for AR, but 2019 promises to take the technology even further.
The multi-billion dollar industry encompasses everything from Snapchat filters to the far more pragmatic Measure app, now standard all ARKit 2-compatible iPhones.
What 2018 taught us is that the market doesn’t need dedicated AR head-mounted displays. Users are more than content to use their phones as their interface, pointing the camera at real-world objects and interacting with the virtual world on-screen.
Combined with ARKit and ARCore, the augmented reality SDKs released by Apple and Google, respectively, this opens up a massive opportunity for mobile app developers.
Users are hungry for more and better AR experiences, whether for entertainment or utility. The first devs to provide them will win huge market share.
Finally, not a new technology. Rather, a philosophy.
Today’s mobile app consumers increasingly value security and privacy.
Recent years have seen a slew of hacks and data breaches, along with mistreatment of information by some of the biggest institutions in tech.
All of this has driven home to customers that when they use the Internet, the Internet may also use them.
Several of the technologies on this list, such as blockchain, may be used to enhance data security.
Others use data in new ways, but developers must keep privacy in mind more than ever before.
Aside from any ethical concerns, today’s customers simply demand it.
How AppReal Can Help
There’s a great deal of opportunity in the future of apps.
The mobile app development industry trends towards leveraging the latest and greatest techs, but only when they benefit the user.
In 2019, all these technologies and more offer genuinely new ways for people to use their devices, and the market is ready and waiting.
All it needs are the apps. With mobile device usage continuing to rise, 2019 is a year when big ideas can make a big splash.
At AppReal, we specialize in building offshore development teams. With tens of successful projects to our name, we can work with you in any industry, any vertical, and anywhere in the world.
If you’re interested in hiring a remote development team for a long-term project, we can help.
To get started, just fill out the contact form below. We’d love to talk to you.
And by the way, if you’re getting started in app development, then here are a couple of other articles that will help you on your journey.
To learn how to properly manage your new offshore team, read our guide to offshore team management.
And if you’re new to the industry, here’s a primer on how a modern app development team operates.