There are around 2.1 million apps available for download in Google’s Play Store and around 1.8 million apps available on Apple’s App Store officially. It is expected that by 2022, the total number of app downloads globally will be over 258.2 billion. These figures might increase every time you read this blog but the context we wanted to convey is clear. Mobile apps are here to stay and they will drive the future of business in a smartphone-dominated generation of consumers. However, as far as businesses are concerned, there is a plethora of opportunities they need to explore to connect their business services with the mobile-savvy consumers of today. While enterprise mobile application development is the key, there are quite a lot of areas to focus while strategizing and building your business's mobile app today.
From devices to operating platforms, the mobile app sector has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last couple of years. So how do you decide the growth path for your business's mobile app? To begin with, you need to know the trends that define the mobile application development landscape today. This is why we have rounded up the top 5 trends that will drive mobile application development for businesses today for you to identify and invest on the right one to reap value at the earliest. Here are our picks:
Internet of Things
Internet of Things or IoT as we all know is at a very rapid stage of growth today. From consumers to businesses, the number of devices that are getting connected to the internet and communicating information has grown drastically over the past couple of years. Studies estimate that there will be over 64 billion IoT devices globally by 2025. Since smartphones form most of these devices, developing mobile applications will surely require a focus on integrating IoT capabilities as well. Businesses will need to find new ways of enabling their customer-facing mobile applications to interact with other smart devices that may be present in a customer’s home or office or with them on travel. Industries ranging from automotive to retail and from healthcare to education will have their eyes set on taking services to the customer’s in newer and innovative ways using IoT and this will be one of the key narratives in their enterprise application development objectives which include mobile app development as well. An example could be medical apps that allow doctors to continuously monitor patient status from anywhere. This is made possible thanks to smart health monitoring wearables and implants that can transmit vital health data which is processed on cloud-based health systems. Diagnostic reports will then be made available for patients and doctors on a mobile app helping them to make real-time decisions on medications based on this data.
As consumers increasingly seek new experiences if they want to spend money on something, businesses are constantly looking for ways to offer this freshness across all their touch points with the customer. When it comes to their official mobile apps, the scene is no different. The high rate of growth in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), is a boon for businesses to utilize their mobile apps and incorporate new immersive experiences via AR and VR for their customers right at their fingertips. By enabling interactions beyond the typical smartphone screen, businesses can utilize the surrounding environment of a customer to deliver services in an interactive manner. The market for AR and VR apps is poised to take giant leaps with businesses projected to invest considerably on the technology by 2022 when their market worth is expected to peak USD 192 Billion. Some typical applications of AR and VR in the enterprise mobile application scenario would be virtual trial rooms for fashion and other accessories. Buyers can try on different looks on their mobile phones using AR filters for fashion accessories. Another example is having a live demonstration of how a particular paint finish suits a customer’s home wall or how a furniture piece would look in a customer’s home. This will allow consumers to make more informed decisions and will be of high demand in the coming years.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and related innovations like cognitive automation and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are no longer a horizon that has a boundary wall keeping smaller businesses out. Over the years, companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and other big titans have made their advancements in AI technology public and offers these capabilities in the form of services that any business can utilize with a commercial fee. This allows them to develop mobile apps that can embed AI and ML functionality such as intelligent assistants, speech recognition and personalized recommendations to boost customer experiences. Further to this, mobile apps with AI capability can learn about a customer’s habits and preferences by analyzing their patterns such as movement, screen viewing time, usage of other apps, etc. This insight can be used while creating targeted marketing campaigns to yield better results. More and more businesses are integrating with modern day virtual assistants like Google Now, Siri and Alexa to help make their apps more autonomous and responsive to customer needs. By using machine learning, mobile apps can tweak a number of their offerings like user interface or recommendations after exploring trends in customer behavior for such features in the past.
The digital wave that has won consumer's hearts is reflecting in almost every day to day activity that they engage in. One of the most rapidly growing areas in terms of digital adoption is payment infrastructure. As more and more businesses offer multiple digital modes of payment for their goods and services, the need for innovations to differentiate amongst competitors is becoming ever more significant. With the large-scale growth of smartphones having Near Field Communications or NFC enabled communication capability, tap and go payment options are rising. A business could offer tap and go payment option through their mobile app and consumers who have NFC enabled smartphones can simply tap their smartphones at the counter on existing card machines without having to swipe their debit or credit card. The mobile app would have to be configured to facilitate NFC based payments and this becomes a focus area during the app development stage. Additionally, businesses can focus on creating their own personal e-wallet within their mobile apps to help users make a faster and hassle-free purchase of products and services. The growth of e-commerce or more accurately mobile commerce will also be a decisive factor that businesses would have to take into consideration for developing payment infrastructure through their mobile apps. In the US alone, mobile commerce is expected to form at least 53.9 % of total e-commerce sales by 2021.
Being the last entity on our list, security is in no way the least important trend that will drive mobile application development practices for businesses. In almost all the other 4 trends we covered, there is a significant focus on information and data exchange between various stakeholders. Security thus becomes the most important element to ensure that other trends can be seamlessly incorporated into mobile application development streams without risk. Increasing instances of security breaches and fraudulent cyber crimes call for enterprises to invest more on fortifying their consumer-facing technology infrastructure and this includes their mobile apps as well. This will ensure that losses in terms of business goodwill, as well as sensitive customer data leak lawsuits, will be minimized in the long run. Besides, it will also boost the confidence of customers to supply their sensitive data with your businesses systems to realize more personalized service value.
For businesses looking to connect with the smartphone frenzied consumers of today, a mobile app that offers seamless service experience is of utmost priority. When you decide to build one though, there arises the question of the number of innovations it must incorporate to remain a favorite amongst the competition. If you are facing this question in 2019, then we have 5 of these covered in this blog. These are the 5 most promising technology trends that will decide the course of your consumer-facing mobile app in 2019 and perhaps for a few upcoming years as well. Once you have decided to invest in these, it requires expert guidance and implementation advisory to help roll out the most consumer-friendly mobile app for your business. This is where Fingent can prove to be a decisive advantage. Get in touch with us to explore new possibilities with your business's mobile app aspirations and stay above the competition.