[Column] Nick Durrant: New app trends that will help businesses succeed in 2020
Mobile apps are reshaping all industries and business leaders need to quickly adopt the latest mobile app trends in order to succeed in 2020. It is also critical for businesses to integrate the latest mobile app development technologies in order to reach a wider target audience and more importantly, to gain growth.
The innovations in mobile app development will impact all the online digital business products globally. According to Gartner, by 2023 more than 25% of the mobile apps, progressive web apps and conversational apps at large enterprises will be built or run through a multi-experience development platform.
Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant says by merely implementing the right strategy will not necessarily ensure a higher success rate because the mobile app industry is changing rapidly. “So, to keep abreast with the ever-increasing customer demands, it is crucial for businesses to incorporate the latest mobile app trends.”
He says new technologies are gaining popularity making it more efficient to build and maintain apps such as the growing popularity of Facebook's React Native and Google's Flutter.
Here is a list of some key mobile app development trends to consider:
Application Performance Management (APM)
APM helps boost the overall app performance and has become a preferred tool of quality assurance testers for the app testing process.
Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM)
EMM helps streamline the mobile computing business processes, it's a platform that enables businesses to securely authorise mobile devices that are being used by employees on the company network. It not only strengthens the security structure but also helps staff to be more productive by enabling the exchange of applications and data over mobile devices.
Beacon technology is one of the biggest mobile app trends, it is being embraced by many industries for its location technology and proximity marketing functionality. Beacons are wireless transmitters that make use of Bluetooth technology to send signals.
With speeds nearly 100 times faster than 4G, 5G technology will most likely be one of the top trends in mobile app development in 2020. Mobile companies like Samsung and Verizon are already launching their dedicated 5G-capable chips and LG is also planning to fuse 5G services into its devices. With such an array 5G services, mobile app developers need to design apps to take advantage of faster network speeds with enhanced performance.
Wearable devices such as smartwatches, fitness bands and trackers have been around for some time already. They are changing the way people interact with smart devices. In a report by Statista, it claims a staggering revenue of $33 billion generated by wearable devices by 2019. Surprisingly, many apps still don’t integrate with wearable devices.
Mobile app developers must keep an option to integrate apps with wearable devices. They require a set platform to run e.g. Apple Watch requires WatchOS and Android smartwatches sync with WearOS. Wearable devices will also be less dependent on the smartphone, currently, it still needs to be kept close to the smartphone to function.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has seen a significant breakthrough in new technology in mobile application development. AI has not only made the mobile apps smarter, but it saves the mobile app development company a huge amount of time, effort and money. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the AI market will experience revenue growth of more than $47 billion by 2020.
Internet of Things (IoT)
By the end of 2019, global Internet of Things (IoT) sales were expected to reach $1.71 trillion and by 2020, the total number of IoT devices should reach 20 billion. This convenience has already become a mobile app requirement, developers need to make apps IoT friendly.
Augmented reality (AR)
In 2020, AR integration will be an essential step for the mobile app development industry. Google and Apple used AR platforms for adding AR capabilities to their apps. There are many apps like Ikea that are already using the technology to enhance the user experience. Snapchat and Instagram have already been using AR for some time already, the stickers and animations are only possible through the AR technology.
Blockchain technology is already been used by many payment apps for providing trustable and uncompromised safety during transactions. Blockchain has surprisingly entered the mobile payment market and is offering a more secured money transaction option for mobile users. Online banking and eCommerce has evolved enormously, but with the advent of Apple Pay and Google Wallet, customers are gradually shifting to m-commerce.
Businesses need to integrate a payment gateway into their apps. Mobile giants like Samsung are working on enhanced scan and pay techniques to make mobile payments more convenient. Apple is also working on a peer-to-peer money payment system called Apple Pay.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Developed by Google in collaboration with Twitter, AMP is a lean version of HTML to accelerate the speed of mobile pages. AMP enables mobile app developers to create complex websites with fast loading speeds and high performance across all mobile devices.
Google has integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results, it has helped developers reduce web page loading time. With a good AMP score, businesses can now achieve a better conversion rate, reduce the bounce rate and increase user retention. It will also boost the user experience. Google will also soon be providing a mobile search box that will help users find mobile-friendly websites.
Cybersecurity is a key aspect of all mobile app developments and will continue to dominate this space. Business leaders should explore deception technologies to catch the staff that have defiled the company's network. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has also increased the risk of mobile apps being attacked. It means mobile app developers need to work on the app security from the beginning and use a different approach.
Also, with more apps including a payment or money transaction feature, means a more robust security infrastructure. Developers now need to embed code encryptions, secure backend and API, and also include trusted payment gateways to ensure user safety over the app.
With nearly 5 million apps available, there are very few that have incorporated chatbots to facilitate better user experience. Businesses need to integrate this trend in their apps to ensure future growth, chatbots are crucial and welcomed by the users. Mobile apps that offer online shopping and food delivery services are integrating chatbots to help consumers get common queries answered without having to contact customer support.
According to Gartner, chatbots will be saving $8 billion for companies between 2018 and 2020. Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant are already much smarter and have many new features that help simplify people’s lives by assisting them in their day to day tasks.
To make the app function seamlessly across multiple platforms, businesses need to ensure that their apps integrate cloud technology in their app development strategy. Cloud technology will also ensure streamlined operations, reduced hosting and equipment costs and enhanced storage capacity.
Cloud computing integration also helps mobile apps store large amounts of data more efficiently to carry out complex tasks. Cloud storage platforms like AWS, Dropbox and SlideRocket have made it possible to run an app directly in the cloud, they help in increasing the reliability, speed, processing power and security of the apps and enable apps to deal with large amounts of data.
Predictive analytics can be used to make future predictions by analysing existing data, it uses techniques from data mining, machine learning, AI, statistics and modelling. Tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook have already enhanced the customer experience by integrating AI to use predictive analytics.
“The mobile app industry will continue to expand at a rapid pace and the competition will grow exponentially, especially amongst mobile app developers. It is therefore critical to understand the trends before developing a new app. One also needs to understand the benefits and limitations of every new technology in mobile app development,” he concludes.