During 2020, massive changes happened in our lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are more people taking advantage of digital tools for keeping in contact with family and friends, but they are becoming more informed and conscious of their health, and more.
As a result, the mobile app industry has shifted with new trends in mobile app development that are expanding rapidly this year. Every new year starts with new innovations, ideas, and trends that bring about changes. 2020 was a very interesting year for mobile applications, and here are some of the top app development trends for 2021.
AI and Machine Learning
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are not new concepts in the tech industry anymore. Over the past few years, AI has become an extremely powerful trend in technology and this is set to continue into the future. Although there are still various aspects of AI that are yet to be explored so that companies can recognise and take advantage of its several benefits, more and more businesses today are making use of AI and machine learning in smarter mobile apps. For example, banks are more regularly using mobile apps that are based on machine learning, and AI and Machine Learning can be extremely useful for developing smarter mobile apps that can be used to ultimately deliver a much more personalised experience to users by decoding and making sense of more information.
Internet of Things
In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a major trend that has already created a lot of buzz around the world. Today you can get a huge range of smart items connected to smart applications, especially around the home. You can find smart speakers, smart lighting, smart thermostats and even smart appliances like fridges that you can connect to an app to find out exactly what you’ve got in while you’re in the supermarket. IoT technology is now used and encouraged by several business industries including healthcare, real estate, transportation, eCommerce and more.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented realities have seriously influenced many business industries over the past few years. Advanced technologies that offer an extremely realistic experience, AR and VR are increasingly used by marketers today to promote campaigns and target their audience using mobile apps much more effectively. The VR and AR technology is definitely a main trend in app development to look out for in 2021, with companies set to expand specific spaces using these technologies to better engage with their audience. Mobile apps in particular are set to continue developing with more elements of virtual and augmented realities with social media campaigns at the forefront. With integrated AR filters, Snapchat and Instagram are predecessors of this trend, and eCommerce companies are also increasingly using AR technology to provide a more interactive and immersive experience to customers when shopping. It’s also one of the top technologies in modern online gaming.
Since 2016, the rise of instant apps has become more popular, progressing quickly. Unlike other native apps, instant apps do not require downloading and are very user-friendly and convenient, with a smaller size. These are native mobile apps that you don’t need to download and install on your smartphone. Since they are smaller in size, they are able to provide a better user experience without using up all the memory on your device. They are easy to use and easy to share with friends, so we are likely to see even more instant apps emerging when it comes to 2021 app development trends.
Another increasingly important app development trend to watch out for is on-demand application. Today, chatbots have grown to become a crucial component when it comes to on-demand app services. Chatbots allow businesses to respond quickly to their customers in real-time, and have proven to be an extremely effective framework for providing customers and users with personalised answers to their questions or concerns without a long wait. Mostly, businesses are using chatbots that are a part of popular messenger apps such as Facebook, Skype and Slack. However, the evolution of AI has made chatbot integration with native apps easier for companies. Over the past years, chatbots have undeniably improved mobile app functionality. They can boost user engagement with their conversational and easy to use interface, and drive app adoption.
The way that customers shop and pay for goods and services has been shifting a lot over the past few years, with huge changes seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with more contactless payments being encouraged throughout 2020 in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The preferred method of payment over the years has gone from cash to card payments, and today, digital wallet apps are the latest payment trend, with more and more users turning to apps such as Apple Pay, PAYTM and Google Pay. Since most banks now offer more mobile banking features to customers, 2021 is likely to increase the number of mobile payment apps available. In addition, mobile wallets have created a large movement in the market and we can be assured that there will be more competitors joining the market to take advantage of the growing demand for mobile payments and money transfers.
When you have connected with technology, speed is always going to be a top concern. And 5G technology is set to deliver speed ten times faster compared to previously. Testers and developers must use 5G network speed during the development of an application, which in turn is affecting the latest trends in mobile app development by increasing mobile app functionality. When adding new features to the app, developers need to ensure that there will not be any performance issues while using 5G. The new network is far better compared to 4G, and its usage is likely to be uplifted a lot throughout 2021.
The blockchain has become one of the biggest disruptions in technology this year. Bringing a new and unique degree of transparency and security to digital transactions, most of us now know what Blockchain technology is due to the cryptocurrencies market and the impact on this growing sector. Today, business across various industries such as retail, healthcare and finance are increasingly planning on leveraging blockchain when it comes to developing their mobile apps, which is likely going to turn it into one of the top app development trends for this year.
From 2021 onwards, we are expecting a range of innovative and emerging technologies to have a huge effect on mobile app development. The COVID-19 pandemic of last year has already thrust several emerging and slow-moving technologies such as augmented reality to the forefront of mobile application development, with businesses looking for new and inventive ways to engage with their customers during a time where online interaction and engagement became more important than ever before.
Today, users are increasingly searching for mobile applications that are trendy, fast, highly responsive and developed with all the latest technologies in mind to make using it as easy as possible. However, mobile app development trends are always changing and consistency is not something that we often see for a long time within this industry, with the latest versions of operating systems leading to new and updated releases. In 2021, the overriding trend of customer engagement and interaction is set to be the driving force behind many of the biggest app development trends to watch.