To survive and thrive as a mobile app developer, especially business-related apps, you must evolve with the ever-changing trends. Developers who can’t keep up with the technology will produce apps that fail.
The experts at Digital Authority Partners have passed along the four top trends in mobile app development to watch this year. So let’s discuss those right now.
eCommerce apps have been popular for quite some time, but that sector continues to grow. A prediction states that by 2024, mobile eCommerce will comprise 42.9% of all eCommerce, for a total of $620.97 billion.
The trend accelerated during the COVID lockdowns. As you probably know, eCommerce retailers like Amazon had their best years ever due to people staying at home.
Many Amazon shoppers made their purchases on the app. eCommerce businesses that do not have a reliable eCommerce app are losing customers to companies that do. The growing trend towards mobile eCommerce creates a tremendous opportunity for app developers.
The mobile eCommerce trend is robust in grocery shopping and food delivery. Once again, the COVID shutdowns drove many people online, and many of those used apps.
From apps like UberEats to InstaCart, ordering daily sustenance became routine for many people worldwide. As a result, food apps have been the fastest-growing category for the last few years.
However, as the world returns to normal, grocery and food delivery apps slightly decline. But, some people rely on ordering grocery delivery and dinner from their phones. In addition, many people now prefer to do their grocery shopping online. More than 15% of app users order groceries online.
Only time will tell if this app category continues to grow through 2022, but it is not going away.
Mobile Gaming and Entertainment
With casino gaming and sports betting becoming legal across the country, gambling apps and websites are booming. However, revenue from iGaming, being legal in only six states, reached well over $1 billion in revenue during the final quarter of last year.
Once again, sports betting and gambling apps became wildly popular during the lockdowns. But now, some people can’t go a single day without placing a bet. As a result, this category will continue to grow as more and more states legalize mobile casino gaming and sports betting.
But, all types of mobile games will continue to be wildly popular. Games like Hay Day, Homescapes, and AFK Arena have earned their developers billions of dollars. There are nearly 160 million gamers on their mobile devices, and almost 90% of gamers in the US play on their phones.
Other entertainment apps, such as Netflix, are also used every day by avid users. These figures will only increase in 2022.
Why Mobile Gaming and Entertainment Apps are so Popular
- Entertainment is always literally in your pocket and at your fingertips. You don’t need an expensive Xbox or even a gaming computer. Instead, users can play games of various categories directly on a smartphone.
- Mobile users can play a game or watch a movie anywhere, including on a city bus or at the laundromat.
- Artificial and Virtual Reality have made their way into mobile apps for a more immersive experience.
- Mobile gaming and entertainment apps feed the need for escape. These apps provide an incredibly immersive experience.
While the entertainment category is saturated, people are always looking for something new and exciting. So if you understand what people want and deliver a game that satisfies those needs, you can do very well.
AR and VR
Augmented and virtual reality are trends that are not going away. Games like Pokemon Go kicked off this revolution in app development, demonstrating that these technologies could offer a uniquely immersive experience to players. AR and VR technologies have also found their way into educational, art, and map apps.
You can find many examples of both AR and VR in apps today:
- Ikea uses AR allowing shoppers to see how their furniture will look in their house or apartment.
- L’Oreal’s app uses technology to allow people to try on virtual makeup.
- Lenskart has a virtual reality app that allows users to try on glasses.
Google, Apple, and Meta are also heavily invested in AR and VR. For example, the Google Maps app now has a “Live View” feature, allowing users to see the directions using real-world photos.
Apple has also introduced LiDAR, an augmented reality feature, to top-tier iPhone and iPad models. LiDAR makes it possible to take high-quality photographs in low light conditions.
Additionally, LiDAR technology is behind the Ikea Studio Mode app; users can picture where they want to put the Ikea furniture. Then, LiDAR scans the room, placing true-to-scale furniture virtually into the room.
Moving into the future, AR and VR technology will become integral to mobile app development. In addition, AR and VR technology may become utilized in ways we have not yet conceived. Estimates state that the global market for AR and VR technology will go from $27 billion in 2018 to $209 billion by the end of 2022.
This prediction means if you know how to code AR and VR apps, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to leverage the market. In addition, this aspect of mobile app development is sure to bring unique, virtual experiences to mobile users in the coming year.
AI and Machine Learning
Apps like FaceApp and MyHeritageApp have revolutionized photo apps. FaceApp allows users to do simple things, like change hair color, add a beard, or take off a few years.
But the MyHeritageApp has taken the internet by storm; this app uses AI to animate still photos. People have used it to take historic photos to life with fantastic realism. For example, you can take a photo of your great, great grandmother as a girl, and make her blink, nod, and smile with the app. The result is nothing less than impressive.
AI and machine learning-powered apps have been in great demand. For example, Google also added AI to its map app to create driving routes to lower the user’s carbon footprint.
Apple has led the way when it comes to machine learning. The company’s machine learning models allow developers to build uniquely immersive apps. These models act as building blocks, to which the developers can quickly and easily add pre-existing code. But, of course, developers can also create new, unique code for one-of-a-kind experiences.
Developers should embrace AI and machine learning technologies to increase their skill set. For the last few years, these technologies have been among the top trends in mobile development. That trend will continue to be strong into 2022 and beyond.
Together, there are more than 6.5 million apps on Google Play and the Apple Store, so there is quite a bit of competition. So before you start building, ask yourself, how can I make my apps stand out? By following the trends and using the latest technology, you’ll be able to deliver full-featured, stable apps that people want.