Ever since the accessibility to smartphones increased, there has been a quick surge in the mobile app development industry with most first rate services moving to mobile stores. As per stats from Gartner, a revenue of $77 billion can be generated in 2017 with over 268 billion downloads, which is a jaw-dropping rise of 962.5% between 2011 and 2017. It was way back in 2014 that desktop users were surpassed by mobile users.
Google Play currently has 2.2 million apps while in the cleanup process, the iTunes store, with over 47,300 apps deleted by October 2016, has close to 2M apps.
With wearable technology topping charts in 2015 and cloud-based services and apps a key feature in mobile development for 2016, it is interesting what’s in store for 2017.
Apps today, aren’t built for smartphones alone; but for a gazillion other gadgets including wearables, smart cars, connected homes, IoT enabled devices and a lot more. 2017 holds a huge opportunity for both entrepreneurs and tech-consumers with an indeed exciting space.
Here are the Top 5 Mobile App Development Trends of 2017:
1. Continued rise of Location based service apps:
The likes of mobility apps and others saw an eventful rise in the past few years for the availability of GPS on almost every mobile device. LBS’s are certain to see an evolution in terms of providing its users with the ease of real-time information. Google Traffic started about nine years ago and till date serves as the milestone of LBS’s, while there still remain areas where it can be put to use to. Location specific payment portals, indoor mapping, retail, security, travel and tourism etc. are fertile grounds to explore. However, location based services, since their inception have been known to consume hardware batteries really fast. Therefore, hardware advancements to suit the services can go a long way in the flourishing the location based services.
2. Android Instant Apps:
In May 2016, Google announced its Instant Apps feature that enables to instantly run without having to download or install. While 2016 saw the rise of Progressive Web Apps, that delivered a reliable performance in recreating the experience of an app on mobile browsers; 2017 has the prospects of seeing Android Instant apps becoming a common trend.
Android users will have the comfort of not having to wait for an app to download, saving internet data and the most important concern of a regular mobile user- no consumption of phone memory. However, these apps are generally a preview version of the actual app and are missing some advanced features but instrumentally provide a quick insight of the app, along with the same experience.
3. Integrated Utility Apps and Augmented Reality:
Augmented Reality has been considered a gimmick for app promotion. But as time went by, the AR technology has been put to multiple uses as well; being used more productively and effectively. In the iOS10 update, one feature that caught user’s’ eyes was the identification of words and phrases by the device, further suggesting a related emoji. This is now tentative of being capitalised with relative actionable items to pop up.
For instance, identification of the word “coffee” can open up a calendar request notification, detection of the word “cab” can open a mobility app; social media sync, location sync can be other added features.
Another landmark progression in the field of Augmented Reality is Austrian GIS Supplier Grintec’s exhibit at the INTERGO 2016. They exhibit a fully 3D/AR enabled GIS Augview for mobile. The innovation combined 2D/3D GIS data with the view of Augmented Reality ‘realizing’ the details otherwise concealed from the human eye, like underground pipes etc. This will eventually benefit municipalities and utility companies to avoid costly errors, like errors in measurements, improving quality of work, etc. Given the elevating digitisation in the business world, Dominik Garner of Grintec believes AR is certain to take off.
4. Unchallenged IoT Integrations:
The IoT industry in its current state is up for a major boom. Apps catering to the Internet of Things best integrated will be the first to sail the wave. A good move for 2017 will be to develop mobile apps, considering that major industry players in education, health, automobiles, security, smart homes etc have started experimenting with and integrating IoT advancements. App developers will have to make use of relatively complex mobile platforms for lucid IoT integrations, along with an enterprise back-end infrastructure for easy data sharing between devices. For easy accessibility of data that is stored and shared, data analytics as well become a key focus area.
5. Embedding AI within Apps:
Artificial Intelligence is prospective of laying a huge impact on how things in the industry work. As much as AI gained popularity with Google Messenger, developers can enable machine learning to devise innovative ways in which the apps could themselves customize what the users see based on their previous personal preferences or data that is location-specific.
Such services, also known as Neural Networks can see a shift in usage from big data centers to common everyday devices like phones, cameras and other IoT-compatible devices.
With the above being the major 5 trends for mobile app development in 2017, another arena to see successive progression in the year is data security given the access users provide to most apps. In the coming year, it is more likely to see more security features in-built in the app, making a huge difference in security. This is a high priority area, with security measures being taken either at the API level of app development or using codes to access the apps.
The coding on iOS apps is also witnessing a shift from Objective C to apple’s own coding in Swift, which is potent of providing a much better user experience and features on iOS. Rich audio and visuals can also be considered a notable progress in the mobile app development trends, probable in 2017.