In 2021, the number of smartphone users worldwide crossed the number of three billion. Studies are predicting that it will increase to several million more in the next couple of years. Out of 3 billion, 1.46 billion smartphone users are only from three countries: India, the USA, and China. But, the number of smartphone users isn’t the only factor propelling the mobile application development industry; it is also the advancements in frontier technology and the rising consumer demands for better and unique experiences that have put the iOS and android developers on their toes.
Mobile app development companies need to keep abreast of the latest trends in the app market. App developers must keep studying market patterns and find ways of innovating new solutions in line with the latest trends. In this article, we discuss the top 10 app development trends of 2021 and beyond.
Table of Contents
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a set of interconnected devices and technologies. The internet of things (IoT) is a network of resources that enables things to connect, interact, and share data. It consists of electronics, software, actuators (movers), and the internet.
The things in the internet of things (IoT) can be any organic or human-made object to which we can assign an internet protocol (IP) address and exchange data over a network. It can be a human with a device embedded to track his/her cardiac health, a livestock animal with an injectable ID chip, or a shipping container with an attached temperature sensor that sends data to a logistics administrator.
App developers in IoT use artificial intelligence, machine learning, GPS, sensors, various data-analytics programs, mapping tools, robotics, etc., to make the applications more dynamic and functional. It is slowly growing as the top trend in mobile application development thanks to its numerous applications. Some of the most promising ones are:
- IoT in Home Automation: People can remotely receive data from and control stuff like thermostats, home security, door locks, household appliances, etc.
- IoT in Contact Tracing: The demand for IoT-based software solutions has surged during the covid-19 pandemic. iOS and android developers are creating solutions that can detect people with symptoms or trace contacts with positive patients. Smart sensor devices and IoT technology are assisting government agencies in effectively monitoring regions with high infection rates.
- IoT in Healthcare: Perhaps the sector which is more than ready to adopt the internet of things technology in healthcare, especially after hitting the pandemic. Doctors can implant IoT devices to the patient and measure their vitals, such as sugar level, brain activity, cardiac status, blood pressure, etc. The doctor can then access the data from a remote location to analyze and provide recommendations.
The internet of things adoption is still in its nascent stage. The early adopters will have the advantage of possession of valuable data on which they can act. Businesses are rapidly embracing IoT to boost efficiency, gain a greater understanding of their customers and provide a better user experience.
The Fortune Business Insights report projects the global internet of things market size to reach US$ 1463.19 billion by 2027. The principal clients who will ask for IoT-based mobile app development will be from the healthcare and agriculture sectors.
Smart wireless devices mean more than just a smartphone today. Integrating wearable technology is the next big trend in mobile application trend in 2021. Google Glass (smart eyewear), Ringly (intelligent jewelry), Apple’s SmartWatch are a few examples.
Although wearables have been around for a while, their popularity is increasing more these days. By 2026, the trend analysts expect the global wearable technology industry to expand from US$ 116.2 billion to US$ 265.4 million. More smartphone applications will be developed with wearables in mind in 2021. With wearable technology, users can interact and gain notifications from thousands of applications without pulling their smartphones out.
In other words, we’re exploring a whole new dimension in user interface design and smartphone app development with intelligent devices. Application developers have to remain alert to recognize, learn, and effectively leverage the growing potential of wearables in android and iOS app development. Technocrats should keep the following things in their mind while designing and developing apps with wearable technology:
- Cloud Integration: Cloud will be integral to the functionality of the wearables, like for computing and data storage. These clouds will have very private and sensitive user data, like their health information, for which embedding a security mechanism and protocols is a must for the app development team.
- Application Design: The application designers must keep the notification messages short and quickly understandable. They should design the notification with fewer words, supplement or complement them with audio and visual clues like different colored lights and voice memos. Since there is very little space for tabs, assemble them ergonomically for hassle-free access and control.
- Enabling IoT: Wearable app developers must incorporate the internet of things in their product development. It will open the gates for rapid innovations and delightful user experiences by integrating mapping technology, motion sensors, health sensors, GPS data, and much more.
As per Statista, there will be about 2.7 billion 5G connections worldwide by 2025, with 410 million in North America alone. In terms of the current situation, the United States of America is the leader in the 5G rollout, with 270 million residents getting access to 5G networks.
5G can positively influence the smartphone app industry in the following ways:
- Quality Video Streaming: 5G will revolutionize streaming services as 4K video streaming, without buffering, on mobile devices will become a reality.
- Strengthen Emerging Technologies: With its wider bandwidth, handling VR & AR 3D objects will become seamless. It will also help to improve data sharing for wearable devices and accelerate internet of things adoption.
- Boost to Healthcare: With increased 5G penetration, the digital health sector will witness a paradigm shift in applications like remote surveillance, telesurgery, and telemedicine. It will facilitate real-time and flawless communication between patients and doctors by maximizing speed and minimizing latency.
With 5G penetration, the speed and efficiency of using mobile services will drastically improve. The penetration of 5G will ultimately boost the functionality of mobile apps. It will allow android and iOS developers to add new features to apps without negatively affecting the app’s performance.
Cloud-Based Application Development
A cloud-run app means an internet-run app with almost all its components stored online with some (or all) processes executed in a cloud server(s). When we say “cloud-run application,” we mean that the user communicates with it via a smartphone app or website, and the data processing gets done through an API on a remote server base. A user’s interface only acts as an input device in this situation, and it does not host the bulk of processes.
With advances in computing and integration, the cloud, which began as a hosting service, has now opened up new possibilities in mobile app development.
Cloud is the most dependable medium for storing and accessing a massive amount of data safely and quickly. Users and app developers alike are getting benefits from the expanding universe of cloud computing and integration. Cloud has helped to make smartphone application developers work simpler. It has also helped iOS and android app development companies to save costs on physical infrastructures. On the other hand, users are enjoying impeccable apps without worrying about their devices getting crashed.
Some current trends in cloud-based app development include:
- Multi-Cloud: The use of various cloud computing and storage services in single network architecture is a multi-cloud strategy. Businesses use Multi-cloud architecture to maximize processing capacity and storage while reducing the risk of data loss and downtime.
- Hybrid-cloud: A hybrid cloud architecture combines on-premises, public, and private cloud services, and also syncopation between these platforms. Information is communicated instantly between environments using hybrid cloud computing. Based on cost, efficiency, and security, an organization can migrate data and applications between different cloud platforms with ease in a hybrid-cloud architecture.
Using AI & ML for App Development
AI, using machine learning, can now do complex tasks like smartphone application development. The algorithm can learn the development process from historical data and identify issues/bugs to fix them in real-time, whether for Android or iOS app development.
By integrating AI/ML in applications, the apps can learn user behaviors and actions through their regular usage patterns and perform necessary operations without human intervention or instructions. When you pair AI and IoT, the user would no longer need to tap their fingertips to complete tasks. The AI-powered apps can effectively control homes, computers, vehicles, and things like that.
According to Global News Wire, the global AI market size will expand from US$ 58.3 billion in 2021 to US$ 309.6 billion by 2026. Artificial intelligence can make applications intelligent and, as a result, boost overall efficiency. AI and self-learning algorithms will change the way apps are developed in 2021 and beyond.
AI-based predictive analytics employs machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining, and simulation. Apps can use predictive analytics to give users product recommendations or make other forecasts using data from standard metrics, usage data, data mining, and other AI sources. Data collection from smartphone apps and subsequent insights from them helps a business deliver value to its customers. When you incorporate predictive analytics with your applications, the results are dynamic.
App developers can refine their applications using predictive algorithms, resulting in higher consistency and better performance. It aids in increasing customer satisfaction and ROI.
Predictive analytics will become more mainstream in 2021, affecting a wide variety of smartphone applications. The main goal will be to improve the UI/UX. The concept is that no two users will have similar expectations and purposes while using an app service. Here are some examples of predictive models:
- Predictive models can identify trends in typical fraudulent cyber behaviors and spot irregularities, allowing earlier fraud detections.
- In combination with IoT-embedded sensors on the equipment, manufacturing units can become proactive in fixing breakdowns even before they happen, thanks to predictive maintenance models.
- Many other OTT platforms, like Netflix, are now using predictive analytics to curate content for their users to give them an element of personalization.
- More than user experience design, the healthcare industry is trying to develop predictive AI to improve diagnoses and examine triggering health events in the users’ journey to predict a fatal trigger and save lives before it’s too late.
Android Instant Apps
A Google Android instant app is a small piece of software that allows users to try out a part of a native Android app without installing it on their phone. Google allows developers to divide the functionality into stand-alone modules for making instant apps possible.
Instant App is a blessing for android app developers and their companies. It’s a marvelous way to increase traffic and revenue and get higher ratings on Google Play. It also gives benefits and freedom to the users. It’s a simple but effective way of reaching new users without the need for them to download your application.
Having instant apps for e-commerce will become a must for e-commerce platforms, especially for items that users do not frequently purchase, like television, household appliances, and even real estate. They will only need to browse Google to find the product item on your platform, and they will get a deep link to the app’s product page. From there, they can complete the purchase and log out without the need to ever install the app. It gives an easy and delightful experience to the user.
For Android developers, instant apps offer limitless possibilities. Instant applications make it easy for developers to offer services like signing up for an account, shopping, and other activities. It’s much simpler to build a pre-configured app for an Instant app.
According to Statista, mobile e-commerce will generate US$3.5 trillion by 2021, accounting for almost three-quarters (72.9%) of all e-commerce revenues.
Why Are M-Commerce Applications Gaining Popularity?
There are three main reasons behind it:
- Mobility: Users get the freedom to shop at any time and anywhere.
- Speed: Mobile apps generally load faster than web applications.
- Personalization: Users can save wishlists, shopping preferences, and see items based on their activities and purchases, thanks to the improved algorithms and AI integration.
How to Reel in Customers for Your M-Commerce App?
The competition is increasing, and every brand is striving to enhance their user experiences to outshine others. To ensure that you don’t go wrong, consider the below tips:
- Provide offline access: It is part of improving the customer experience by minimizing, if not eliminating, the inconveniences created by poor internet connectivity.
- User-Centric Design: In your design, stick to simplicity and intuitiveness, and select visual elements such as typography, product photography, icons, etc., with precision.
- Accessibility: Make your m-commerce app user-friendly and accessible to all people. Millions of mobile users have hearing or visual impairments, and not making your app accessible to them could be a costly mistake because your competition will.
- Compatibility with different devices: Your solution should perform equally well on Android, iOS, or other devices and be optimized for various screen sizes and resolutions to cover a broad market.
- Security is imperative: Any e-commerce platform deals with a massive amount of user data, and therefore having security features is of paramount importance to retain trust. Android and iOS developers must provide several levels of security in their solution and ensure timely maintenance and support after the launch.
Mobile Wallet Integration & E-Wallet Apps
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay are among the best-known examples of mobile wallets. In 2021, mobile wallets are becoming a crucial part of almost every e-commerce application. Since a growing number of people are becoming used to and enjoying the freedom offered by digital wallets, the penetration rate of mobile wallets in apps will rise dramatically in the coming years.
Why Should You Integrate Mobile Wallets with Your E-commerce Platform?
- Ease of transaction: In contrast to accepting payment modes like online banking or credit card transfer, integrating an e-wallet as a payment option for your app is simple. Incorporating mobile wallets into your app would make it easier for users to complete a transaction. Payment workflow is a very imperative user-experience consideration.
- Multiple security levels: Mobile wallets encrypt every transaction. Besides, if a user loses his or her mobile, his or her financial information will be pretty safe. It’s because the handset and the app have multiple levels of security, like phone passwords, app PINs, and fingerprint and facial recognition locks.
E-wallet App & Covid-19 Pandemic
Going mobile means going touchless during a pandemic. Near-field communication (NFC) card payment without a card is becoming the new normal. Individuals will not need to touch the swipe machines and credit cards and thus reduce the risk of infection. Also, NFC ensures faster transactions that would mean less time in the store.
Apart from NFC, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is another contactless payment technology. It enables the cardholder to complete a transaction by waving the RFID card in front of a contactless payment machine.
According to Statista, the number of proximity mobile payment users in the USA is 69 million. The share of mobile wallet payments in the total e-commerce transactions in North America is 29.3%.
Augmented reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality
Extended Reality technologies, like AR, VR, and MR (mixed-reality), will be among the top mobile app trends of the decade. It is already conquering video entertainment and gaming applications. However, now augmented reality is slowly entering other kinds of applications. L’Oreal is using AR to help its users see how the makeup will look on them. Other apps are also using AR for virtually trying out apparel, glasses, and hairstyles before going for them.
By using your AR/VR-based applications and immersive tech gadgets:
- Doctors from different geographical locations can perform live surgeries remotely.
- Travel enthusiasts can virtually visit an exotic place and swim under deep oceans.
- Workforce apps can use AR or VR-based induction programs for new hires and new equipment training for existing employees.
In short, many extended-reality-based app ideas are likely to become completely functional mobile apps in the current decade. Especially for clients from the entertainment, gaming, healthcare & medicine, manufacturing, and tourism sector.
The mobile application development industry is rapidly evolving. You won’t remain competitive if you create applications today using knowledge from two or three years ago. Therefore, it is crucial to stay updated with the latest smartphone application trends in 2021 and beyond.
Both android app development and iOS application development skills are increasing in demand as businesses cannot survive without catering to the mobility needs of users. It is now simpler than ever to create an application. All will be a hundred times better, quicker, and easier in 2021, thanks to the advent of 5G speed and groundbreaking mobile app development trends mentioned in this article.
I am Bhupendra Prajapat, working as a Digital Marketing Specialist at Advantal Technologies. Advantal Technologies is a leading IT and software development company working with clients from various business verticals. We work on cutting-edge technologies, including mobile app development, IoT, Blockchain, and AI.