Latest Trends in Mobile App Development

Portable devices grab our attention more than ever before, and we wonder what the effects of these gadgets will be on the lives of the younger generation. As we analyze the impact of technology as part of our daily fuzz, mobile devices have established themselves as indispensable tools. They have infiltrated our life to the point where we feel naked without the feel of our smartphones tucked in our pockets. How does mobile development change to adapt to the heavy demand of millions of users? Short answer – quickly.

Because of mobile applications’ popularity, mobile app developers are on a constant mission to produce the tools that they hope may become the next ‘big thing,’ loved by thousands, why not millions. When it comes to peaking user engagement, the usual suspects are applications based on communication.
However, chat-based apps are not the only way to engage customers. There are countless ways of building a useful app, waiting to be discovered by curious software engineers or clients who will hire them to realize a bold idea. Let examine the few trends in mobile app development we think need more attention.

Subscription-based Model

Asking your customers to subscribe to your services takes a lot of dedication and mutual trust, usually possible after years of consistency in providing services and looking into feedback data. Netflix or Amazon’s Prime package are examples of packaged services that clients readily sign up for on a monthly, even annual basis. The subscription model is not new by any standard, only the way sectors, who previously had nothing to do with this method, quickly learn ways to adapt it to their business specifics.

Subscribers are always, in effect, returning clients. The subscription model’s success depends on the number of regular customers and details related to product quality, reusability, and life cycle. For example, supermarkets always have opportunities to run subscription-based promotions, especially during shelf cleaning days or special deals.
Subscription services are tightly related to another tech trend – cloud computing. Both PlayStation and Microsoft are pushing their console-based services to the cloud. In effect, technical requirements in the gaming industry, for example, won’t be such a nuisance for their customers every time a new title arrives.

Cloud Technology

The bright future of mobile app development is tightly interwoven with the cloud tech. In fact, without cloud support, mobile apps like DropBox or Asana would be completely impossible. Cloud computing pours a lot of meaning into the idea that most digital users are used to using a different set of devices, continuously alternating between one or the other.

Cloud computing promotes cross-device services, which is one tremendously healthy way to maximize product exposure and revenue. The future of mobile app development indicates that the cross-platform approach is the best way to reach your customers since they pick the channel that best matches their personal preferences.
Cloud technology proves to be a perfect match for the quirky demands of mobile app development. For example, cloud-based data storage improves the performance on the user’s side while, at the same time, development operations can be streamlined cost-effectively. The cloud essentially helps enhance the experience of both those who use the app and those who produce it.

UX

Mobile eCommerce sites collectively contributed to raising the bar for global business standards. During the process leading to the rise of mCommerce, user experience always remained the focal point of eComm owners. UX-driven factors are already entered as part of base requirements for ranking on Google. With 2021 picking up steam, we are excited to see who did their homework and retain their image. Without a well-executed UX-based strategy in place, otherwise competitive businesses will struggle to stay relevant.
User experience has a massive role in determining the fate of all mobile applications. Whether the app succeeds or joins the growing pile of failed IT projects, we bet UX has something to do with the outcome.
The demand for excellent user experience has elevated the planning phase of mobile app development into the laboratory-grade data analysis process. Without aligning app changes with data related to user interaction, even the best software engineers are doomed to failure. UX teaches us that the best possible scenario for improving a mobile app is knowing how customers genuinely perceive it and use it.

Blockchain & Payment Security

The fast-growing market for mobile apps necessitated a reliable payment method, ones equipped with air-tight security and, at the same time, easy to use. FinTech payment services emerged as an acute response to such need. With the robust capabilities of techs like blockchain, for example, the most significant threat remains losing your phone rather than having your payment account compromised in any way.
When it comes to P2P mobile payments, blockchain has one of the best cashless solutions out there. Security-wise, mobile wallets have a clear advantage over the third-party dependent banks. For example, the notorious ‘two-factor authentication’ response of banks to account security seems good in theory, but it can sometimes work against the users’ interest it is designed to protect.
Once cryptocurrencies enter the business world en-masse, it would be unthinkable to go back to the old ways. Companies like Cryptopay promote blockchain-based solutions as if this time has already arrived. Maybe this is the only approach that will help to pull crypto from the shade of traditional banking and put it forward as a competitive solution to transactions. We will soon find out.

Machine Learning

From the face-recognition software used in security apps to the highly automated warehouses of Amazon, machine learning is getting more relevant by the hour. AI-driven mobile apps have applications in almost every industry out there. Sound-recording apps listen to factory machines’ noises and alert for potential problems by detecting acoustic anomalies.
With the increasing complexity of mobile apps, machine learning has become a tool that developers use to analyze better app’s integrity and the compatibility between its components. ML can assess large amounts of data and store historical data later used for further research. In mCommerce, one of the clear examples of machine learning techniques in analyzing customer behavior and purchasing history. ML led to creating much-preferred eCommerce components like ‘recommended products’ or ‘people also bought.’

Partially fueled by the pandemic’s effects, some AI solutions have led millions of Americans to claim they lost their jobs to robots. However, machine learning goes far beyond the fundamental algorithms of a house cleaning robot or chatbots. Some of the most intelligent solutions possible, thanks to ML, are far beyond what’s humanly impossible – like the sound recording apps from earlier. We think ML is here to support solutions that aim high and are only limited by our imagination, and not just another reason for us to feel threatened we will lose our job to an AI.

User engagement through In-App marketing

In-App Marketing is a brand-new category of engagement with customers that takes full advantage of user activity. Once a message has been sent in email marketing, you have to wait before collecting enough data for a decent analysis. In contrast, in-app engagement is when users are active themselves. Since user app engagement rates determine the application’s quality and revenue potential, what is a better time to engage with your clients other than when they do engage with your app themselves?
The core idea behind in-app marketing is simple and straightforward but easy to fail if overdone. People don’t always like to give newly installed apps special permissions or snooze incoming push-in notifications. Some apps introduce on-screen notifications immediately and risk being shunned because of it. Maybe the customers who test the app don’t like to be bothered with push messages right off the bat. They just downloaded the app, and they are not even sure whether they will continue using the app, let alone being bombarded with messages.

Direct messages aside, there are ways to naturally use in-app user engagement without the risk of intruding or failing to recognize a crucial pattern in user behavior. Social sharing successfully unites various online entities under a common denominator, otherwise isolated in their respective domains.
Apps that have inbuilt social sharing functionalities and go beyond the clunky in-built screen capture have the most incredible user engagement rates of all. What’s more, social shares bring customers with a better retainment rate than those acquired through paid advertisement.

When an application finally gets regular users, other engagement tactics like milestone-based promotions work fantastically. For example, an internal reward system can benefit proactive customers (rating products, writing reviews). If properly configured and presented, internal incentives such as this can improve the entire mobile app network’s overall experience. A symbiotic environment such as this is standard in the natural world but remains a colossal challenge for its digital counterpart.

Conclusion

Most trends we mentioned are about mobile app techs that have been around the block but have never stopped improving upon their previous versions and experience. Mobile tech trends change faster than some people have time to prepare a strategy that matches this progression.
Most of the trends we mentioned directly challenge some of our traditional methods, and we would not be surprised to see some old walls crumbling, giving way to the digital wonders that knock on our doors. Those who embrace changes in mobile app development will ride the wave to excellence.

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Author

Stoil Shopov | Senior Software Engineer

Stoil is a skilled Software Engineer with 8 years of experience and a strong background in mobile native development in Java and Swift. He is also a skilled .net engineer with DevOps skills on Azure and Amazon Web Services. He loves interdisciplinary work and can switch between technologies on the fly.
When it comes to give a helping hand, he's always first and a true asset in all projects he's involved.