Trends Impacting Mobile App Development in 2017

Posted by Alex Misevski on January 9, 2017

The mobile app development industry continues to flourish at a feverish rate. As mobile app trends move from 2016 into 2017, developers expect to witness the continuing emergence of better, cutting-edge technologies that will advance the growth of the industry to higher heights. From an increase in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence to the proliferation of app streaming, here are a few of the top trends impacting the mobile app development landscape in 2017.

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1.  Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Heading into 2017, AI will not only be a significant part of building apps, but in augmenting their capabilities. According to Gartner, AI and machine learning will be integral in creating robust applications that learn, adapt, and function autonomously, instead of simply completing predetermined instructions.

Developers can expect to see a rise in intelligent tools that learn a person’s app development style and assist in creating better, excellent lines of code. This trend is already developing; for example, Microsoft’s Intellisense is embedded into Visual Studio and other integrated dev environments (IDEs) to ensure programmers have a more fulfilling experience.

Though we have seen a number of wonderful AI apps like Prisma, Google Now, and Siri, developers are likely to increasingly utilize AI and associated technologies in enhancing the capabilities of mobile apps, come 2017. Notably, through integrating AI into apps, developers will be seeing more self-learning apps that display information to users based on their personal preferences or location-based details—such as a picture that changes automatically according to your moods.

The increase in adoption of AI in mobile app development will have enormous implications to the industry, especially in terms of enhancing the users’ experience. As such, tech giants are already increasing their investment in AI. Google recently acquired DeepMind, a British AI company. Similarly, Facebook, IBM, and other companies are also investing heavily in AI. To avoid being left behind, get ready to embed AI and machine learning into your apps in 2017.

2.  More Magic from AR and VR

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are invigorating technologies we only saw in science-fiction films in the past. However, in recent years, AR and VR have increasingly gained dominance in the real world through mobile devices, especially in the gaming and entertainment industry.

With AR technology, you can build apps that can transform a user’s immediate environment to appear modified or enhanced by digital components. This technology employed in augmenting images with various layers of other information has undergone remarkable improvements, and is expected to provide more meaningful experience to users.

Some popular AR-based mobile apps include Pokémon GO and the InkHunter app, which allows you try on virtual tattoos before choosing a design.

On the other hand, with VR technology, you can build apps that enable a user to replace the real-life environment with a simulated one. And, with the growing popularity and user interest in the technology, VR apps are likely to receive more downloads from the app stores in 2017 than ever before.

Google’s Cardboard’s increased popularity, Facebook’s increased investment in Oculus VR, and the release of Samsung Gear VR all point to brighter times ahead for the technology. Digi-Capital projects that revenues from AR and VR could hit $150 billion by 2020, with AR claiming a bigger portion at about $120 billon and VR taking the rest.

With the promising trend, the industry expects to see more developers adopting the exciting AR and VR technologies to create mobile apps that offer better user experience and engagement. So, get ready for more AR and VR magic in 2017.

 

3.  The Future is Likely to Be More ‘Cloudy’

Cloud technology will continue accelerating the growth of the mobile app development industry in 2017. Worth mentioning, the need to swiftly develop and deploy cross-platform apps will enhance the demand for cloud-based applications.

With cloud technology, users can comfortably access apps on multiple mobile devices and platforms, without experiencing usability hurdles. Also, since these apps fetch data directly from the cloud, they consume minimal space in a device’s internal memory. More so, this technology provides developers with an extensive collection of resources for creating, integrating, testing, and launching versatile apps, which reduces the overall development cycle, and enhances the average ‘time-to-market’ period.  

According to a recent Cisco study, cloud-run apps will be responsible for about 90 percent of the total mobile data traffic by 2019. This prediction plainly signifies the blossoming mobile app trends concerning cloud technology are likely to continue for a long time, especially in 2017.

 

4.  Increased Emphasis on App Security

With the rapid growth of the mobile app development industry, the number of security threats and attacks has grown, as well. According to a Gartner report, more than 75 percent of mobile apps in the market cannot pass basic security tests.

This calls for app developers to build secure applications with robust safety measures, such as two-factor authentication and data encryption, to prevent unauthorized exfiltration of users’ sensitive information.  

In 2016, iOS and Android made significant steps to continue ensuring the security of their development platforms. For example, during the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company said that all iOS developers must integrate App Transport Security (ATS) feature into their applications starting in 2017. Similarly, Google is also trying to keep things water-tight by enhancing Android’s built-in security features. For example, it employs a more granular app permissions approach and supports automatic security updates.

 

5.  Growth of App Streaming

 Have you ever dreamed of a world where you can browse and navigate different apps, as effortlessly as with the web? We are now one step closer to realizing that dream. With app streaming, users do not need to endure the cumbersome process of downloading apps from the app stores, providing them with the convenience needed to enjoy using apps without worrying about the amount of storage on their phone.

According to comScore, nearly half of smartphone users do not download new apps within thirty days of downloading another. One of the main reasons for this is lack of sufficient storage space; the phones are full of photos, text messages, and other documents, making downloading apps problematic.

Google currently streams apps content to users’ Android phones when they search for information on the web. Whereas approximately 100 apps are streaming-enabled today, that number could rise to more than 100,000 by 2020, according to a Bloomberg report. So, in 2017, we are likely to see a rise of streaming technology, fueled by increasing users’ desire to avoid clogging their devices with numerous app downloads.

 

6.  Other Notable Mobile Trends

  • Instant apps will get more attention: Instant apps are an innovative way to use mobile apps. The initiative is about accessing apps directly on the Internet, without any need for downloading. For example, Google recently introduced Android Instant Apps, which could hugely impact the app industry in 2017.
  • Purchasing and advertising using apps will be more common: With the rapid growth of mobile app development, different types of apps will be available, which can do almost anything, including providing platforms for advertisements and in-app purchasing capabilities.
  • Interest in enterprise apps will continue: In the current mobile-first world, businesses have understood the importance of apps to enhance their reach and efficiency in service delivery. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2017, the market demand for enterprise mobile applications will exceed the available development capacity by five times.
  • Location-based apps will be more popular: With the extensive availability of GPS technology around the world, developers can expect to see an increased growth in location-based apps. Furthermore, numerous tech giants have acquired startup location-based companies in the recent past.

Most of the above trends have already gained momentum, and are likely to become more significant in the mobile app development landscape in 2017 and beyond. If you want to develop an app with these trends in mind, there’s no better time than the present to develop an amazing application that will keep your users engaged and satisfied.

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Topics: Ideas, app development, mobile apps