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Did you know? Publishers released 2 million new apps and games in 2021, bringing the total number of apps and games ever released to over 21 million. Not just that, over 4,35,000 apps were downloaded every minute in 2021! With more smartphone adoption and deeper internet penetration, a significant rise in the publishing and downloading of new apps and games went as expected. But the still prevalent pandemic further added to this rise- as more people stay at home and switch to remote working systems and applications that keep them engaged. What we also observed over the last one or two years is how the adoption of mobile apps has cut across the barriers of skeptical use cases and penetrated into the industries where it seemed less promising initially.
As the wide-scale adoption of mobile applications continues, it is needless to say that every business, irrespective of the size and industry, must switch to mobile apps whether it is for internal or external stakeholders’ engagement and operations. We have already seen how the digital transformation wave disrupted businesses that failed to identify opportunities in time. As a subset of digital transformation, mobile app development for enterprises is another opportunity that enterprises already are making the best of. Those who haven’t leveraged mobile apps yet are also considering it, and this applies to every industry. But there’s one important thing that enterprises using mobile apps for business or considering to adopt must know. Mobile app adoption isn’t a one-time thing. Like a business initiative, a mobile app must be gradually scaled, upgraded, and kept up-to-date with the latest trends that define the way how apps are being used by the end consumers. And this includes not just the technical but the strategic side of things, too.
Mobile apps for businesses initially intend to connect better with consumers, engage them, or serve as a point of contact that is preferable to customers. Internally, it helps to streamline operations and improve efficiency. But even then, there’s always scope for improvement and enhancement. And with advancing technology, the chances of a mobile app becoming less efficient, losing to competitor apps, and becoming obsolete are quite high. At [x]cube LABS, we work with multiple technologies, and here are the top technologies we identified that will complement the power of mobile apps.
5G has been a buzzword for quite some time now. A report by Trendforce states that in 2022, 47.5% of devices will have 5G. As 5G connections globally continue to grow, it’ll impact how and what mobile apps can offer to end-users. For instance, the improved speed, expected to be around a hundred times faster than 4G, would reduce the latency significantly. This means that video streaming apps will get smoother, the integration and performance of integrated AR/VR will be faster, and developers can explore more features to add without worrying about the negative impact of slower networks.
Apps for foldable devices
According to Statista, foldable phones shipments globally are forecast to grow to 50.1 million units by 2022, from the projected 3.2 million units in 2019. This means that as an app developer, one must keep in mind that they can provide a better immersive experience with a larger screen size if they plan to implement AR/VR, a video streaming feature, or games that can provide a better experience when provided with larger screen space. Not just that, a larger screen size in foldable phones also means the scope for multitasking parallelly. This opens up engineers to a plethora of opportunities to make their apps stand out innovatively.
AI and ML
AI and ML have been a noteworthy trend in the space of mobile app development and there’s a lot more happening in the space. Just last year, a lot of AI-based fun apps that gave moving effects to photos, face morphing on clips from movies, witnessed a lot of engagement. Besides new innovative ways of engaging users, existing apps can be seen enhancing user experience by using AI and ML capabilities. Google Maps, for instance, introduced a live indoor navigation feature last year. Apple took ML applications to an all-new level by allowing developers to not just load pre-existing features but to create new ones using deep learning. This year, using AI and ML to improve existing apps and overall user experience would play a major role and hence should be on the top priority of developers that are ready to scale their apps.
Mobile app security
With the hype around mobile app security and data, even users who didn’t bother about their data previously have become more conscious about sharing their data and how it will be used. Data, privacy, and security are now becoming selling propositions for many companies. Take Apple’s advertisement, for example, where they tell the users that they can now choose who tracks their information.
With growing awareness of data and security, consumers want to have the assurance that their data is protected. This doesn’t mean that the phone or app will not share their data with unwanted parties but also means that their data is secure and protected by the parties they have shared the data with. Privacy and security measures, therefore, are becoming more crucial not just from an enterprise security point of view but also from a consumer’s perspective. Some businesses are taking security to the next level by exploring and implementing artificial intelligence in cybersecurity in addition to best practices for enterprise security in general.
Blockchain, a hot topic in technology for another year now, is not slowing down any time soon either. The security that comes with blockchain is well-known. Mobile app development companies now plan to create mobiles and apps that support blockchain use cases and applications. HTC and Samsung already released devices that support blockchain technology- the HTC exodus 1 and Galaxy S10, respectively. It is only a matter of time before cryptocurrency-enabled payments catch up and hence developers must anticipate this as a thing of the very near future, if not today when considering new technologies and trends in mobile app development.
By leveraging the power of predictive analytics, developers can create apps that are futuristic, high-performing, and exceed customer expectations. We’ve seen customer-centricity as a key factor that decides the success or failures of an app. As the ways of achieving customer-centricity continue to evolve, an essential tool that comes into play is predictive analytics. Developers can use historic data on customer behavior and analytics to not just provide them what they like but to reduce pain points as well, as early as in the UX wireframing stage, if not later. This can significantly reduce cost in the development cycle as well as the one arising from user attrition.
The Internet of Things is definitely not a new concept but its seamless integration with mobile devices is an obvious expectation from mobile app users worldwide. Given the penetration of both IoT devices and mobile internet worldwide, the scope for apps and devices that support IoT integration is large. According to a report, the Internet of Things market is expected to reach $264 billion in 2022, out of which, $190 billion is expected to come from mobile apps. At [x]cube LABS we have already worked on solutions that integrate IoT and mobile apps- from wearable devices and IoT-enabled wallets to connect lighting systems, and more.
We’re at a point in the technology ecosystem where acquiring expertise over new technologies might appear easier but the success would depend on how effectively and strategically it fits where it is being implemented. We mentioned in our e-book titled Creating a Mobile App Development strategy: A Comprehensive Guide for Enterprises how we have seen many enterprises fail because they simply decide to go after loaded features or copy what the competitors are doing when in reality, the success boils down to how effectively and conveniently can your solution solve a real problem and ease customer pain points. This requires a 360 degrees approach to mobile app development where your mobile app strategy is complemented by the latest technologies. You need to objectively look at the market research, customer-centricity, analytics, and a lot more before you zero down on your choice of technologies and start its implementation. And that’s where an enterprise like [x]cube can help.
We have listed seven critical parameters that strengthen your mobile app strategy.
As a reader looking to kick off this year with mobile app development, you can feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation on your existing or new mobile app development initiatives.