You’ve probably already heard the pandemic-related joke about people who turned out wrong guessing “where will you be in 5 years” in 2015. The past 2 years showed how unpredictable events can affect and change everything we consider. Still, we never cease to discuss possible future scenarios, hypothesizing about what is to come, and forecasts for technologies to prevail are no exception.
Mobile applications have come a long way already, improving user interfaces and turning the technology towards context-awareness. For many users, PCs are no longer necessary in everyday use, as handheld devices already satisfy most digital needs. The tendency to go mobile creates a thriving market for applications to cater to users worldwide. As a result, the mobile app market is constantly growing and increasing its worth. This trend won’t change anytime soon, but what more is coming in 2022?
This year’s 14 biggest trends in mobile app development
With one interface to rule them all, super apps are on the rise. Applications that handle various processes and different app functions (e.g. booking tickets, making payments) provide users with access to multiple services from one location. The all-in-one approach carries a great potential for winning customers of digital businesses, offering new opportunities and experiences.
The fifth generation of technology standard is here to stay, and its potential changes apps as we know them. Ultra low latency, high-speed connectivity, and improved security are good reasons for increasingly more devices to enter the market as 5G-ready. With 5G, mobile devices will become more powerful, and capable of fully matching the potential of AR&VR, the Internet of Things, and location-based services.
AI, AI everywhere
Artificial intelligence will keep on improving our interactions with the surrounding world and devices themselves through learning from user-generated data. Everyday applications use AI to cater to the needs of regular users, including real-time translators, chatbots, highly personalized customer experience, and enhancing device security with facial recognition.
Blockchain ledgers are incorporated in mobile app development for various industries, carrying great capabilities. The biggest benefit for enterprises? Smart contracts, the self-executing programs containing encrypted details of set agreements. The deals accelerate closures and payments, as long as both parties fulfill their obligations, without the need for verification by third parties.
Physical money continues its march to become obsolete. Recent years enabled not only mobile banking but everyday contactless payments, safely storing credit card info and personal details. Wallet apps will be more commonly used for fund transfers, investments, and managing finances, tracking transactions, and spending habits.
Building mobile applications with a single codebase, able to run on various operating systems are becoming more popular. Shorter development time, reusable code, easier cost control, and implementation contribute to the dynamic growth of cross-platform development tools using universal programming languages.
With mobile devices present in nearly everyone’s pocket, augmented and virtual (as well as mixed and assisted) reality has more areas to shine. The growing market carries potential in everyday applications, from monitoring vitals, industrial uses, entertainment, to shopping, resulting in the dynamic development of solutions breaking new grounds.
Cloud-based applications are gaining popularity due to their larger storage capacity and improved security. Being resource-friendly, cloud builds present a bigger potential not limited by devices’ parameters and can reach a greater audience as platform-agnostic applications. Utilizing cloud computing removes the need for investing in extensive toolsets and software, simplifying development, and shortening time-to-market.
Low code apps
The low- and no-code approach is growing stronger, enabling the rapid creation of enterprise-grade applications. Using drag-and-drop tools, pre-built components, and smart services facilitates optimization of the whole development process, empowering companies to deliver custom-built applications in less time compared to the traditional way.
Specialized applications change various fields technology has taken by storm. Wearables incorporate mobile devices in daily activities, and serve a greater role in, among others, remote patient care. In the context of the aging population, wearables will play a greater role in telehealth and medicine, improving health services.
Devices with a foldable factor conquer the market, and developers must keep up with the growing demand for adjusted apps, as millions of the new, more immersive smartphones arrive. The novelty provides additional screen space and allows for new features, offering customers greater opportunities in serving everyday needs, ever more substituting desktop computers.
Who said we can only swipe, scroll, and press displayed buttons while using mobile devices? Some smartphones allowed for other actions, like “pinching” the screen, but it never became as commonly used as the mentioned big three. Now, the times are a-changing, and devices will continue to support more gestures, enabling convenient operations, also with facial expressions.
The development of cutting-edge technologies improves the lives of users with special needs. Digital accessibility has become a mainstream topic, and its gravity of giving independence is widely acknowledged. Accessible mobile applications are a window to the world for millions of users, and as such, will continue to gain in importance.
The rapid development of mobile technology enables both choosing ready-made solutions and building dedicated apps to answer specific needs. Custom-built solutions facilitate specialized processes and create unique experiences for clients, playing a great role in modern customer relations.
What will 2022 bring?
The above points are a brief forecast of the most popular areas of the mobile apps market to grow in and which trends users will most benefit from. Recent global events forced the switch of many life aspects online, which echoes in observable market tendencies. Growing focus on customer experience and personalization, followed by the development of particular technologies are the biggest trends sure to stay and shape the digital landscape for good.