The global mobile application market is hot, and it’s on track to sizzle for years to come. According to Statista, global revenue from mobile apps is expected to reach $613 billion by 2025, up from $318 billion in 2020. With this growth comes plenty of opportunities for mobile software developers and engineers to supercharge their apps and deliver a best-in-class experience for their users.
As the end of 2021 draws near, it’s time to look forward and plan for the year ahead. This blog post will examine the 2022 forecast for mobile application development, including the trends and opportunities mobile software developers and engineers need to know.
Software development teams play a key role in driving revenue for their companies. Apps that meet a unique need, are innovative in meeting that need, and provide a high-quality user experience will see the highest levels of user retention. In other words, the more users, the more revenue.
To make sure your app ticks these boxes, you need to understand the latest trends in technology, user behavior, and the market - including how those trends are evolving. The better you can convert these trends into software features and enhancements, the more your app’s user base - and your business - will grow.
2022 is the year that previously fringe technologies will become more mainstream—5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) will all see increased adoption to meet the demands of the modern consumer. People’s lives are also becoming increasingly digital, and this extends to how and where they shop, how they get their information, and how they communicate. We break down these trends and more below.
While not yet mainstream, the adoption of 5G is increasing and is on track to become the new standard for mobile technology. According to Statista, the global 5G technology market is forecast to hit $620.72 billion by 2030. With user-friendly benefits like increased performance speed, fast data transfer, and lower latency, the time for your mobile app to support 5G connections is now.
Internet of things (IoT) technology and mobile-connected smart objects have been around for years, but the market is growing and IoT spending is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The biggest driver behind cloud and IoT adoption is security, an increasing concern for businesses. With over $120 billion spent on IT security in 2019 worldwide, it’s easy to see why companies are looking for other solutions. IoT and the cloud offer other benefits, including reduced operational costs, improved efficiency, and increased connections to other platforms via APIs.
In the quest to deliver personalized user experiences for mobile apps, AI that uses predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms will be the key technologies to incorporate. AI is essential for navigation, speech recognition, and natural language processing (NLP). Behavioral algorithms can also enhance security by analyzing user behaviors and detecting fraud, suspicious activities, and potential information breaches.
As more shoppers prefer to buy online, more retailers are building native apps or progressive web apps (PWAs) to provide a better shopping experience. Unlike e-commerce, mobile commerce (or m-commerce) involves online purchases via a mobile app and not a mobile web page. The mobile commerce market is expected to be worth around $22 billion by 2022, likely because many B2B and B2C companies have seen an increase in engagement, conversion rates, and revenue growth after building a PWA for their business.
PWAs are becoming more popular because they fill in the gaps left by most native apps and web pages. Benefits like reduced dependency on internet connections, faster loading times, automatic updates, and faster development times make PWAs a popular choice for both consumers and companies.
Similarly, instant apps are gaining popularity because they allow users to test the app before downloading and installing it. While it might seem that preferring a more lightweight app experience would make users more fickle, it appears the opposite is true: PWAs have a 36% higher conversion rate than native mobile apps, according to the Top 30 Progressive Web Apps report - and they often require different testing requirements.
Statista projects there will be 1.1 billion connected wearable devices in 2022, with North America forecast to have around 700 wearables and the most 5G connections made using wearables. Wearables are another way to bring convenience to your users: the ability to receive notifications and messages on their smartwatch was the highest-ranking function of wearables for U.S. users (Statista). Within the wearable market, fitness tracking has seen a positive and upward trend in demand with the rise in health awareness of the general consumer population.
Beacons were introduced in 2013, but they are becoming more popular for mobile app development, particularly for retail businesses. For consumers, the benefits include real-time, location-specific deals and alerts and the convenience of mobile payments (an essential element of m-commerce). For businesses, beacons allow them to understand their customers’ shopping preferences and patterns and turn this data into a more personalized shopping experience.
The integration of AR/VR technology in mobile apps is still an emerging trend, but it’s important to watch. The global AR/VR market reached $12 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $160 billion by 2023 (Statista). As AR/VR technologies advance, they will drive a transformation of gaming, entertainment, travel, and live streaming mobile apps in particular. AR/VR technology is another way to interact with customers in a more personalized way: consumers can try on clothes, see how a new sofa would look in their living room, or visualize themselves on the beach vacation of their dreams.
With the COVID-19 further accelerating the trend for consumers to move much of their lives online, there is a new push to deliver more personalized experiences to every consumer. The mobile app development trends for 2022 reflect this digital transformation and focus on user satisfaction. Incorporating applicable trends into your mobile app’s feature roadmap will set you up for success into the new year and beyond.