The Future of Apps: Five Predictions for the App Industry
Can you believe that the first smartphone was released only in 1992? Yet it seems as though mobile technology has been around for ages- partly because we’ve become accustomed to it so rapidly. This quick shift into the world of digital has made room for many creations and expansive growth in the mobile tech industry. Not too long ago, apps were introduced and now using mobile applications accounts for approximately 89% of the users time spent on their phone. The app industry is growing quickly and new innovations are emerging daily. The mobile app industry is expected to grow to from $69.7 billion to $188.6 billion by 2020 according to Statista.
Having been in the mobile app industry for several years, we can understand the growth and increase in usage of apps. Through our experience, we have come to acknowledge that there will always be new advancements in the app industry and we must be on top of it to provide an excellent user experience and an engaging app. Through our research and our work in creating various apps over the years (from restaurants to social media to healthcare applications), we are now able to predict the likeliness of specific innovations sticking around and succeeding.
Here are some of our predictions in what new inventions are in full swing and here to stay and what will come next:
AR/VR: It is no surprise that augmented reality and virtual reality are coming into play for businesses to further their reach and to entice customers. Similar to the viral Pokemon Go, using these types of techniques to incorporate the real world with a virtual world is getting very popular. We believe that this trend will continue on and expand through the use of apps. Including AR/VR into your app not only makes the experience more memorable but it helps to make the user experience smoother and more effective in attaining customers.
The ability to create experiences through the app is very effective in getting people engaged and involved. Especially in 2018, being able to create experiences through the app is more relevant than ever. Millennials are now focusing on experiences over material goods such as cars or homes. Through providing these experiential integrations in apps, it creates for a unique app that can be favoured by many. Being able to provide the user with an out-of-body experience through the use of AR/VR is remarkable and will continue on to be a source of new innovations as AR/VR further develops.
AI/ Machine Learning: Why make a call when Google can do it for you? Through the use of AI and machine learning, we are now able to integrate features in apps that allow the app to think for itself and make sound judgements. With apps like Cortana, you can get the app to schedule meetings and work as a almost a personal assistant through the use of artificial intelligence.
AI is even used in everyday tasks such as your email recognizing some information as spam. These are tasks that might require the human brain to interpret and analyze that can be automated through the use of technology within apps. Similarly, machine learning involves the ability for the app to think for itself and learn from data. An example of this is Netflix providing recommendations based off of the user’s activity.
The use of AI and machine learning will continue to grow as personalized tech products keep hitting the market. With the recent emergence of smart speakers such as the Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, the use of AI and machine learning has been amplified and we believe that will continue to flourish as new advancements are made in the field.
Personalization: Through the emergence of social media and socio-cultural influences, it is evident that this is the era of personalization. Almost every customer wants to be able to express their individuality and appreciated for their loyalty to specific brands. Through this, apps are now implementing ways that users can personalize their experience with Hello tags that might say Hello to the user using their name when they open the app. Also, providing ideas of things the user “might like” in the app has also come into play as it helps provide the user with other options based off of their interests and previous choices.
Social sharing: If you can’t tell your online friends about it, it didn’t happen. That’s the way it is with apps too! Providing users with the ability to share or talk about your app, service, product, or company with their social network allows them to feel more connected and allows you to reach a larger targeted audience.
Apps are now featuring sharing options which will continue to increase based on our understanding of the way people are using mobile apps.
Consistent UX: Humans are visual creatures. It is difficult for us to not judge a book by it’s cover. This is why consistent UX design is so important across all platforms. Investing time and labour into proper design elements to align with branding across various devices including the web is very important. We believe that over the next few years, design will be a major part of app development. Nothing is more daunting than having to navigate through a poorly UX designed app. Investing in this key component in the app development stage is vital now and will continue to be important.
There you have it- some of our predictions. Where do you think the app industry is headed?