In terms of mobile app development, the last few years have been epic, especially in the smartphone section.
The number of smartphone users has increased from around 199 million in 2015 to 373.88 million by 2020, and the demand for smartphone applications is rising. In line with this trend, the number has increased from approximately 2.1 million apps in the third quarter of 2018 to 2.47 million apps by 2020.
This increase in demand has opened mobile applications to several new technologies and innovations, including artificial intelligence and smart contracts.
Some of the latest trends in the app development field are;
1. Virtual And Augmented Reality
The concept of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for a while, something which the games sector has readily adopted with games like Resident Evil Biohazard, Batman Arkham, and Battlezone – even some YouTube videos offer virtual reality support.
The most significant gains in 2020 though, are the opportunities that both VR and AR technologies presented to the broader business community which extends beyond computer games.
The famous games Pokémon, the innovative face-recognizing filters of Snapchat and Instagram are just a few examples of things you can achieve with this technology.
As wider-ranging acceptance of VR/AR is experienced across the business sector, it is anticipated similar products from tech giants like Apple and Google will become commonplace.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Due to the global acceptance of AI and Machine Learning, its inevitable rise in popularity is hardly surprising. The tech has been around for more than two years.
The world has already seen its implementation in the Apple Siri, Google Assistant, FaceApp, Replika, and Microsoft Cortana.
Artificial intelligence this year gained significant traction amongst development companies using the technology for applications other than chatbots, including data mining, smart search results, analytics, decision management, and hardware automation.
AI technology is now used to provide 24*7 customer support and in some cases combining AR and VR to reinforced learning for a better and more personalization application usage experience.
3. Blockchain Technology
The tech world experienced one of the most considerable contributions to the digital revolution with the conceptualization of blockchain technology in 2008.
Since then, businesses and developers have applied this tech by creating smart contracts, mostly for cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain’s real potential presents far greater opportunities than just digital currency management. App developers are now integrating this tech to improve property transfer, IoT data collection/use, and for storing critical data such as licenses and passports in digital form. Blockchain technology has gained swift acceptance amongst governments globally with plans to use blockchain for maintaining birth, death and voting records. Github generated its first digital passport in 2014.
This trending technology will allow app developers to create completely decentralized applications where apps do not require any humans to control or regulate them using smart algorithms and AI for decision making. In Australia, RocketLab leads the way in building websites and platforms using blockchain technology.
4. Instant Apps
Instant apps are a recent innovation that has gained only limited usage. Right now, Google Android is the only company to use instant apps to its full potential.
The concept behind the technology is simple; the ability to generate a smaller, lighter version of the main application negates the need for any download.
Since the application does not acquire any offline space, it does not impact on the storage of your smart device. Developers are warming toward this technology as instant applications are capable of increasing their visibility in the app store.
Although Google Play seems to be leading the charge with applications offering a ‘Try It Now Button’ along with the install button, the concept is relatively new, and not yet gained acceptance with all developers.
The newly upgraded app and games like Ludo King, Garena Free Fire, and Games of Sultan are some apps that are leveraging the Instant App trend.
5. Next-Gen Networking
The hottest topic in 2020 is network technology with a lot of talk revolving around the move from 4th generation to 5th generation (5G).
5G enables developers to create faster applications than ever consider possible. Boosting 100 times better efficiency, three times more spectrum, and ten times more connection density support.
By reducing the loading latency to as low as 1ms; 5G supports hyper-density with much smaller cells, improving apps real-time functions, data security, flexibility for cloud storage and augmented aspects.
6. Beacon Technologies
Beacon is a small, low energy wireless transmitter that sends signals to the nearby smart devices. With this technology, the app developer can add an interface that will enable location navigation without using a third-party application like Google Maps. Beacon technology can also use this technology to create an indoor positioning system and location-based applications.
Some businesses and stores use Beacons for tracking leads generated through their online portal. The concept is simple; the beacon detects the smartphone of the customer entering the store for their app ID.
If the consumer uses your store ad and has searched it before coming-in, the beacon will mark it as an app-generated lead.
7. Internet Of Things Application
The internet of things or the IoT industry has risen to a massive scale in 2019 with almost every tech company taking steps towards IoT technology with even eCommerce giant Amazon releasing its virtual assistant, Alexa.
Enabling mobile app developers the ability to control common appliances with mobile apps such as home and office products like air-conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines.
The speed at which the need for IoT application is rising, there is no denying that soon IoT will be a significant player in the software development market.
The Final Words
Mobile app development is a volatile industry prone to change almost daily as customers demand better, faster, stronger and friendlier apps. To this end, there is a constant need for developers to keep abreast of new technologies and concepts as they occur to tend to consumer demands adequately.