The mobile app development industry is constantly evolving. Technology advances, consumer demand and a wide range of other factors have a direct impact on mobile app trends.
Keeping up with the latest trends is arguably the most important aspect of success in this space. As a member of the Forbes Technology Council, I am constantly researching patterns and communicating with other technology leaders about gaining an edge.
Mobile app resellers need to keep up with new trends to better serve their customers. This content prepares creators and producers to take their brand to the next level with mobile development.
Are you ready for mobile app development changes in the coming year?
The list below is more than just a hunch or my personal opinion. I have used fact-based research to come up with the top app development trends dominating by 2021.
1. Internet of Things (IoT) App Integration
IoT is far from a new concept. But the increase in mobile penetration in many regions and categories has created appropriate opportunities for the Internet of Things.
People have become accustomed to using technology to improve their everyday lives.
IoT describes a growing network of devices connected to the Internet, providing convenience and automatic control to consumers. Smart home technology is a perfect example of growth in the development of IoT and mobile apps.
Mobile applications can be used to adjust the thermostat in a home from a remote location, lock or unlock the front door, and connect to home security systems. Refrigerators and other home appliances can also be connected to mobile applications.
The Global Internet of Things market is expected to reach $ 222 billion in 2021. The $ 161 billion estimate will come from software like mobile apps.
This is a 14% increase from 2019. As you can see from the graph, IoT is poised for continued progress in the coming years with software leading the way.
According to Statista, revenue from technology connected to the Internet of Things will eclipse 1.6 trillion by 2025.
In 2021, I expect to see more mobile app development keeping IoT in mind. Household appliances, vehicles and healthcare are three specific markets to monitor.
2. Apps for Foldable Devices
It seems like a lifetime ago, but my first cell phone was a flip phone. Phones have changed markedly over the last decade. Touch screens with one or one button have captured the market.
But over the years, foldable devices have started making a comeback. 2019 saw the release of foldable devices like Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X and the new Motorola Razor.
These smartphones bend to compress or expand the screen size based on user preferences. For example, a user can make a call with the device turned off, but unfollow the device and watch the video on the big screen.
From an app development perspective, resellers and content creators have to keep track of these devices when creating or updating apps.
The idea is that an app should display its display as screen folded or unfolded.
Right now, the foldable device is a part of the overall smartphone market share. But this will change in the coming years. According to a USA Today 2019 study, 17% of iPhone users and 19% of Android users are excited about purchasing a phone with a foldable design.
According to Statista, around 3.2 million foldable phones were sent in 2019. This forecast is expected to reach 50 million units by 2022. For this to happen, 2021 will be a big year for foldables, meaning that app developers must plan accordingly.
3. 5G Technology
The rollout of 5G will have a major impact on the 2021 app trend. For mobile app developers, resellers, and creators, this technology is designed to change the way apps are used and built.
A look at the expected growth of 5G smartphone connections over the next four years.
2021 will have about 3.5 times more 5G connections than 2020. These connections will almost triple by 2022.
What does this mean for mobile app development?
Speed and efficiency will be greatly improved. In fact, 5G is expected to deliver a 10x reduction in latency, increasing network efficiency and traffic capacity. Compared to 4G, 5G will be 100 times faster, depending on the mobile network operator.
The accessibility of 5G will eventually boost the functionality of mobile applications. This will allow developers to add new features to the app without negatively affecting the performance of the app.
Developers and mobile app resellers must use 5G network speeds during the testing and development phases of creating an app.
3. Development for Wearable Devices
Wearable technology has been trending upwards for years now. This is not necessarily a success in the market. We have seen smart watches, trackers and fitness bands for some time.
But wearable devices are yet to reach their full potential.
Take a look at this graph of eMarketer about wearables entering the United States.
While we are not seeing a staggering year-over-year, growth is stable. The trend of wear has changed and will continue to change the way mobile apps evolve.
For example, Apple made a major announcement about wear and app integration at WWDC 2019. The new watchOS 6 brings the Apple App Store to the Apple Watch. Independent apps are being created specifically for these devices. This has created a huge opportunity for app resellers and content creators.
In 2021, wearables will be made keeping in mind more mobile apps. Users will be able to download thousands of apps directly from their wrist.
We are just beginning to scratch the surface with wearables and mobile app integration. The coming years will be exceptionally progressive in this category.
4. Beacon Technology
Beacon technology has been adopted by a wide range of industries. From retail to healthcare and hospitality, beacons can add advanced functionality to almost any mobile app.
The first mobile app Beacon was developed back in 2013. But in the last few years, significant progress has been made in this technique.
Here’s an example of how beacons work with mobile applications. Suppose you are a mobile app reseller who builds applications for retailers. Your customers can install beacons in their stores that connect via a user’s Bluetooth if the app is on their device. When a user passes through a beacon, they can be immediately notified of sales or specials on products in that store.
Beacons can also help track buyer behavior in stores. They can find out if a user is spending significant time in a particular corridor. The application can automatically trigger a push notification to entice sales at a later date related to those products.
The main advantage of beacon technology is proximity marketing. This ultimately improves the customer experience within a mobile app.
According to Statista, the beacon technology market is growing at an annualized annual growth rate of 59.8%. Estimated market value will reach $ 56.6 billion by 2026. This is ten times more than 2016’s $ 519.6 million.
5. Mobile Commerce
I cannot make a list of 2021 app trends without mentioning mobile commerce. This trend has been dominating till 2019, 2020 and will continue in 2021.
It seems that everyone is using mobile apps to increase revenue. From large retailers to personal content creators and personal brands, there is a lot of money to be made in this space.
Mobile e-commerce functionality is a top feature for mobile app resellers to display during client pitches. Every day another business seems to be launching an app to increase sales.
We are not quite at this point yet, but we are almost reaching the age where you need a mobile commerce app to stay competitive. Every person and business sold online is competing with such giants as Amazon. To keep pace, you need to repeat what makes those brands successful; An app topped that list.
By the end of 2021, more than 72.9% of total ecommerce sales will come from mobile devices. Apps play an important role in the present and future success of mobile commerce.
Chatbots have been around for over a decade. I remember my first conversation with these bots in the late 1990s on AOL Instant Messenger.
Over the years, chatbots have evolved and become much more advanced. The popularity of chatbots on websites has increased due to consumer demand. It has become the new standard of customer service
But of the millions of apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, just a small fraction actually use chatbots. This will change in 2021.
Since chatbots are powered by AI technology, their responses are becoming human-like. We have already discussed how AI will continue upward, and this is one reason.
The global chatbot market is growing at a rate of 24% every year. It was expected that in 2020 25% of all customer service technical interactions were facilitated by virtual assistants. For this to happen, chatbots have to enter the mobile app development market.
7. Mobile Wallet
We have already discussed the role of mobile commerce for app development in 2021. But the way people are paying using their mobile devices is also evolving.
Mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are trending upwards.
According to a recent report, a $ 6.1 billion transaction took place from Mobile Wallets in 2019. It is expected to reach $ 13.98 billion by 2022.
In short, the mobile wallet market should double in the next two years.
Mobile wallets should be kept in mind for app development in 2021. Wallet integration should become a standard feature for every app that processes transactions. Currently, this is not the case. But the penetration rate of mobile wallets in apps will increase significantly in the coming years.
8. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence and machine learning both led to mobile app development years ago. But we have only started scratching the surface of how these advanced technologies can be used.
When we first think of AI, virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa come to mind. However, use cases for app development go much further than this.
Last year, Apple released Core ML. This latest version of the iOS machine learning framework was created to help developers embed AI technology into their apps.
9. On-demand mobile apps
On-demand mobile app development is trending upwards in 2021. Apps like Airbnb and Uber have shown how successful apps can be in this space.
Users spend $ 57.6 billion per year using on-demand services.
Mobile app development is constantly changing. If you are building an application today using the information of two or three years ago, you will not be able to remain competitive.
As a reseller, you can treat your Bible-like 2021 mobile app trends. In this way you can gain an edge in your space.
Not every app you create needs to be implemented in every trend. But you should have a general understanding of how the market is shifting so that you can adopt accordingly.
Based on my extensive research, the 15 app development trends that I outlined above will dominate by 2021.