The mobile app market continues to grow and expand. App revenues were $69.7 billion in 2015, which will increase to $189 billion in 2020.
If your business is seeking a piece of the pie or wondering how to use apps, you’re no doubt looking at where things are headed. Older technologies are always phased out while new markets emerge. Your competition is going mobile (as is everyone). How can mobile apps affect your business?
Take note of these trends in mobile app development.
IoT - The Internet of Things is only getting larger. Sensors are cheaper and smarter than ever, so despite some security concerns, IoT devices are popping up in our homes, our cars, and every other aspect of our lives. We’ll need apps to manage them.
Wearables - If you’re not wearing a device, you will be soon. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 213.6 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2020. Apps meant for wearables can help collect, analyze, and present data. While wearable devices may come with their own apps, there is room for others. An app called Wearable Widgets, for example, puts almost any home screen widget from your phone onto your Android, Samsung, or Sony smartwatch or Google Glass™.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) - Step aside, Pokémon Go. Now there are other AR games in town — and more coming. Pokemon’s real-world game interaction gave people a taste of what’s possible. Now, dozens of games and fitness apps incorporate the physical spaces around us into the game. AR is making its way into our shopping and real estate lifestyles and is predicted to change manufacturing, healthcare, travel, and education. While headset wearing isn’t yet mainstream, the number of VR users is on the rise. This segment is also expected to change not just gaming, but how we consume content, from books to movies to shopping.
Enterprise Apps - Business owners, take note: people don’t leave home without their phones, and more are expecting apps in nearly every aspect of daily life. In many cases, apps are starting to replace software. Whether to organize operations or increase employee engagement, business owners are increasingly turning to apps for solutions. One example: Restaurant chain Red Robin built an app to manage its waiting lists.
Live streaming - Streaming video of events happens more each day and not just on Facebook and YouTube. Instagram, Live.ly, and Live.Me all offer various streaming services. Expect to see more app solutions related to streaming video.
App Streaming - Although our phones are impressive machines, they can only hold so much. That’s why one new trend is to “stream” an app, a way of using it without downloading it and taking up space. Many smartphone users aren’t browsing stores looking for new apps. Streaming would offer a way to try new apps and keep more apps visible — not just those with massive marketing budgets. Right now, Android is offering 100 instant apps on Google Play, but it’s only the beginning.
Security - With more apps coming online, security is a growing concern. We continue to connect more pieces of our lives through our laptops, phones, IoT devices, wearables, and more. We hand over a lot of data to apps, making it easy for hackers to gain access. People will be searching for security solutions — not just in the form of new apps — but within all apps going forward.
Machine Learning - Machine learning (ML) is showing up in more places, including app stores. Google Now and Prisma emerged in 2016, both relying on machine intelligence. Google Now uses a natural language user interface to offer concierge services. It can answer questions, make recommendations, and delegate actions. Prisma is a photo-editing app that uses ML to turn an image into artwork. While the use of machine learning abilities isn’t widespread yet, it’s only a matter of time until apps are telling you what movie to watch, what to do next on your to-do list, and perfectly guessing what you want to buy next.
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