The forecasted number of apps downloaded in 2017 stands at 197 billion – apps aren’t going anywhere.
But they are evolving.
New trends for mobile apps
There are four key market trends that we think will have a big influence on apps as they evolve:
- Internet of Things – IOT isn’t new, but the mass adoption of it is. IoT is now an expectation – smart houses are very much a thing. It’s firmly in that “adoption” status – now it’s a case of “what’s new?” We’ve been doing some exciting as-yet-unreleased work with smart buildings, and we expect the market to follow suit. So, expect to see more, richer apps that monitor the heating and lighting in your home, through to mobile solutions that control office conditions and employee whereabouts.
- BYOMA – consumer revolutions often drive industry ones, and the importance of mobile within business has increased dramatically. “Bring your own device” has been trend for years – it saves on expensive equipment, the time spent training users and overall has been proved to give worker productivity a boost. The latest trend isn’t about devices, it’s about useful mobile apps. We expect to business owners to encourage the adoption of productivity apps that staff members themselves have found and an openness to their use in the workplace.
- Voice – The Superbowl ad of the year was for Alexa. That tells you all you need to know! Voice is the UX that consumers are now starting to rely on. Users can now see the value in voice – it’s the next big leap in interface after touchscreen. Understanding how screen-based apps will work with voice-based skills is going to be important. At Apadmi, we think that VUX will be critical for brands and business to win in this area, which is why we’ve been hosting workshops and tech lunches for businesses and developers alike.
- Wearable apps – The Apple Watch Series 3 release at the end of 2017 took things to a new level. The ability to make calls, send messages and stream music without being connected to a mobile phone changes everything. It’s also opened the door to developers to build new kinds of wearable apps that can use the watch’s own network.
What’s next for app development?
We’ve talked about trends in the market, but what about for the actual developers working with this technology daily?
There are a couple of big things to note:
Truly Agile working
Many companies are realising the benefits of adopting agile working in a commercial sense, and what was once feared is now considered on all kinds of technology projects.
It’s a maturity of the traditional business mind-set into something that’s become more familiar around technology – even the government has section on agile working methods as part of its Digital Services Standard.
But when it comes to mobile, we think it’s critical. Mobile tech, behaviours and devices move too quickly for any other approach.
The customer experiences are well documented – some great, some less so.
Those who have got it right – Topshop, IKEA, Converse, ASOS – they’ll inevitably be followed by a lot more, because it’s just got a whole lot easier and infinitely quicker to write code.
The release of ARKit by Apple and ARCore by Android don’t just save MONTHS of time – they have enabled much more sophisticated solutions with improved motion tracking and environmental understanding. Keep your eyes on AR – it’s growing now.
What makes a great mobile app?
Well – that’s a massive question! We’ve got an eBook on exactly this topic.
You can download it for free now and find out the top 11 tips that we think can help you work out what’s best for your organisation.