Mobile phones have been human’s closest friends for many years. But 2020 brought them even closer. Everyone locked inside their home during the pandemic was clicking, tapping, scrolling, and browsing on mobile screens to pass their time, which led to a drastic increase in mobile usage, and mobile apps, in the past year.
The second quarter of 2020 saw a 40% year-over-year growth in mobile app usage. April 2020 alone saw 200 billion hours spent on mobile apps, which is a record high. Even the consumer spending on mobile apps increased and hit $27 billion in those three months.
That time and money wasn’t just spent on existing apps either. Users across the globe during Q2 have downloaded over 35 billion new apps. This usage is expected to continue soaring in 2021. No wonder more businesses will be launching their mobile apps to clutch benefits from this booming industry.
But simply developing and launching a mobile app is not enough. It also needs to be up-to-date with the latest mobile app development trends to gain an edge and stay ahead of the game.
7 Mobile App Development Trends You Can’t Miss Out on in 2021
IoT Integrates With Apps
Smartphones, smartwatches, smart cars, smart homes, and smart cities. You name it and it has become smart thanks to the internet of things. This smart technology connects everything in order to make the exchange of data more collective and efficient. No wonder the IoT market is predicted to cross the $222 billion mark in 2021, out of which $161 billion is expected to raise from software like apps alone.
This year, developers will create new apps to connect and control smart-everything with clicks, taps, and scrolls on smartphone screens. People will become more accustomed to monitoring and controlling things around them remotely on their phones. This will, in turn, soar the demand for IoT-enabled apps in the market. IoT-integrated mobile apps in 2021 will control areas such as healthcare, automobiles, and household devices.
Apps Optimized For Wearable Devices
In the market for almost a decade now, wearable devices still have not reached their full potential. In 2021, one mobile app development trend will surround wearable devices. Be it smartwatches, fitness bands, trackers, VR devices, or any other device, there will be an influx of new apps developed to monitor and manage wearable devices.
Covid-19 was a significant factor in the increased adoption of wearable technology. Many consumers purchased ear-worn devices, fitness trackers, and smartwatches to self-track themselves and stay healthy during the pandemic.
New apps optimized for wearable technology will come forward to take advantage of the burgeoning market.
Increase in Apps Native to Foldable Devices
New foldable devices on the market are attracting more mobile users than ever. These devices are sleek, advanced, and state-of-the-art. 2020 saw some much anticipated foldable phones entering the market, and more will launch this year.
The evolved version of the classic flip phones, these phones fold and compress the screen size to suit the users’ usage preferences.
They might use the folded version while making calls, sending texts, and checking notifications. But while watching videos or playing games, they might want to watch on the unfolded, bigger screen.
Not convinced that this is a mobile app development trend to watch? Well, in 2022 over 50 million foldable devices are expected to be shipped across the world. This means app developers need to build apps for foldable devices that can work seamlessly on screens that change shapes and sizes.
Apps to Offer Real Experience With AR & VR
With everything going on in the digital ecosystem, there is a growing demand for a real-life experience. Whether they are browsing clothes, accessories, or home products, they want to see how the product would look in real life.
Together, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will pave the way for more realistic experiences while shopping for products and making digital purchases. Apps will be optimized with AR and VR in mind to bring online items to life. This would not just enhance the customer experience but also provide a better resolution to ineffective and not-right purchases.
For example, IKEA recently launched IKEA Place where you can visualize the true-to-size 3D model of any object in your house before making a purchase.
We will see more similar apps created with AR and VR integration this year. Even holographic participation through 3D avatars in virtual meetings will gain popularity. Apps for shopping, traveling, and security will also use AR and VR to show real-life scenarios.
More Apps Move to the Cloud
Cloud has disrupted the IT ecosystem, but it hasn’t been able to penetrate the mobile app industry. Offering cloud storage in mobile apps will allow phones to run smoother because the apps won’t be required to store data or information on the mobile device. These apps would free up space on the phone and even make apps work more seamlessly.
Cloud-native mobile apps will have codes written for a cloud-first approach. The three cloud hosting platforms – Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS – would be taking care of the majority of the app’s hosting and server needs. With edge computing, IoT, and 5G technology, the future of mobile app development seems to be more cloud-based.
Apps Become Decentralized With Blockchain
A sizable populace still associates blockchain with bitcoin only. Today, businesses across the globe utilize blockchain to secure transactions. All types of applications across any industry vertical requiring data immutability can easily integrate this technology.
Blockchain can reduce any type of fraudulent activity during in-app transactions. Even for apps in the government, healthcare, and other sectors, blockchain can eliminate the risk of data theft or hacks. With decentralized data, blockchain-backed apps would be more secure and less prone to any ransomware attack or cyber hacking.
Blockchain-as-a-Service will gain prominence and will lead to a mobile app development trend in 2021. This will make things easier for all businesses because they don’t need in-depth knowledge or expertise of Blockchain. They can simply host their apps on BaaS platforms.
Apps for M-Commerce Growth
A few years back, it was the norm for people to check out products on their mobile phones and make purchases on their desktops. Now, people use their mobile phones for more activities and make purchases on them frequently.
Most consumers would consider making payments on a mobile app rather than a mobile website. Businesses should take note and build their mobile app with payment capabilities, integrating many platform options.
- Mobile security will be a top factor while building any mobile commerce app.
- Purchases through voice commands on smartphones will also be something developers consider while building an app.
- Many mobile commerce apps will integrate Augmented Reality to help consumers visualize the product and, therefore, boost sales.
- Mobile payments, mobile banking, and mobile shopping will dominate mobile commerce in 2021.
- One-click payment will become more common with mobile wallets and UPI payment options.
Bottom Line: Infuse Apps With Latest Tech
Mobile apps will continue to reign as mobile app usage soars in 2021. Users have become more digitally conscious and desire nothing but the best experience from apps.
In order to meet the increasing demands of customers, businesses will need to infuse their apps with the latest tech. But make sure to start small. Build an MVP for your mobile app and test it on early adopters. If it gets a positive response, great! Move ahead with the business model and technologies. If they repost issues or don’t receive the kind of response you expect, pivot!
You need to use the latest information on mobile app development trends to build an app with the capability to go viral. You don’t need to use all the technologies and the trends in a single app. Analyze your business and the target market’s behavior to utilize the trend best fit for them.