Welcome to the mobile-first era where there are plenty of opportunities for mobile software developers and engineers to supercharge their apps which is critical when every experience matters to customers.
With the mobile app market continuing to grow rapidly in 2023, what lies ahead in the coming year for mobile application development? What trends and opportunities do mobile software developers and engineers need to know to remain competitive?
Knowing the latest trends in mobile app development can help you pivot when customer expectations and market conditions change suddenly.
5G networks will fulfill user demand for a powerful mobile network that offers increased performance speed, fast data transfer, and lower latency. Mobile app developers can capitalize on 5G to improve app functionality and include new features, such as immersive augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences, improved live-streaming, and better cloud capabilities.
The demand for mobile app development services is expanding in manufacturing, healthcare, and retail as companies strive to create seamless connections between smart devices and mobile apps.
Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud offer significant benefits, including reduced operational costs, improved efficiency, and increased connections to other platforms via APIs. For example, manufacturers use IoT mobile applications to monitor equipment performance or remote work sites.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will continue to be critical components of mobile app development as customer expectations for personalized app experiences grow. Real-time data collection and user behavior analytics will drive how apps personalize search, chatbot engagements, and app authentication for frictionless user journeys. Analytics can be used by ML to customize news feeds, offer AI-powered chatbots that know a customer’s history and communication preferences, and that detect fraud, suspicious activities, and potential information breaches.
Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) involves online purchases via a mobile app and not a mobile web page. M-commerce is quickly growing as more customers spend time on apps. Mobile wallets and in-app payment features also make it easier for users to complete purchases without having to leave the app. For this reason, more retailers are building native apps or progressive web apps (PWAs) to provide a better shopping experience.
Wearable technology continues to be widely adopted, particularly in the healthcare and sports industries. Wearables, such as fitness trackers, provide users with the convenience of receiving messages and notifications while on the go. With improvements to newer models and 5G connectivity, it’s no surprise that the demand for mobile apps for wearable technology is increasing. Mobile app developers following this trend will need to focus on making apps user-friendly, responsive, and interactive.
Beacons were introduced in 2013, but they are becoming more popular in mobile app development, particularly for retail businesses that saw revenue share increase to over 65% in 2021 from beacon deployment. Beacon technology is innovating business because it uses Bluetooth low-energy signals to transmit data based on a user’s location. For consumers, the benefits include real-time, location-specific deals and alerts. For businesses, beacons allow them to understand customer shopping preferences and patterns, turning this data into a more personalized shopping experience.
Advances in AR/VR technologies are driving the transformation of gaming, entertainment, travel, and live-streaming mobile apps. Customers want deep, immersive experiences and AR/VR technology enables them to try on clothes, see how a new sofa would look in their living room, or visualize themselves on the beach vacation of their dreams. The challenge for mobile app developers is creating experiences that can be accessed and enjoyed on older mobile devices.
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are 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 quicker time-to-market make PWAs a popular choice for both customers and companies. Some-well known PWA sites are Pinterest, Forbes, and Trivago.
Similarly, instant apps are gaining popularity because they allow users to test the app before downloading and installing it. Companies using PWAs and instant apps benefit from better performance, improved customer experience, and reduced development costs.
Cross-platform development means creating a mobile app using a single codebase that can be run on any iOS or Android platform. Coding the app once and then releasing it to multiple platforms saves you time and money while reaching more customers with an app that has a consistent look and feel across devices. Companies with cross-platform apps include Walmart, Instagram, and BMW.
Mobile devices are vulnerable to security threats and targeted attacks. A survey of global mobile users by Statista revealed that almost 45% of iOS and Android customers would stop using a mobile app and tell their friends to do the same if they believed an app wasn’t secure.
Testing apps during development is crucial for discovering vulnerabilities before release, as customers will no longer trust an app’s brand if there are any signs their data is at risk. Adding a biometric login that requires a fingerprint or facial scan to verify the user before providing device access is one solution for increasing app security. Biometrics are unique to the user, never change, and can’t be forged.
Accordingly, app security should remain the number one priority of mobile app development teams in 2023.
Low-code app development requires little to no coding ability to create a mobile app. Instead, developers use frameworks with user-friendly tools such as drag-and-drop, editors, and simple APIs to build the app. Low-code can save time and money during the app development process and can be undertaken by someone who doesn’t have coding skills. This allows your mobile app development team to be innovative, increase productivity, and ship to market faster.
One of the most popular growing mobile app trends is voice recognition technology because it satisfies the demand by customers for a faster response time. Instead of typing a search request, customers use voice commands that the device interprets to execute a function. For example, with Amazon’s Alexa mobile app customers can ask the AI-powered Alexa virtual assistant to check the weather or order groceries.
Customer expectations will drive what’s next for mobile app development. Customers want to socialize, work, do business, and be entertained from the palm of their hand. For this reason, nothing but a high-performing experience on the device of their choice will be acceptable.
Daily active users (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU) are metrics your mobile app development team should be tracking. This data not only tells you about user engagement but can also provide direction on where to make improvements or highlight technical issues that could result in customer churn.
Faster time-to-market is always paramount in mobile app development and release velocity is increasing every year with 35% of developers releasing code twice as fast according to a GitLab survey. Using a DevOps platform, automated testing, software configuration management, and other tools help developers predict outcomes and plan projects more effectively. The result is greater release velocity.
More importantly, you need to understand the latest trends in technology, user behavior, and the market - including how those trends are evolving.
Customers enjoy the convenience of managing their lives online and, as a result, are spending more time on mobile apps. As customer needs evolve, in 2023 your mobile app development team will face the challenge of ensuring apps provide high-performing, frictionless user experiences. Understanding how the latest technology trends can improve mobile app development will help software developers and engineers meet customer demands while remaining competitive in a constantly changing market.
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