Mobile application (also called as mobile app) is a software program designed to run on mobile devices frequently serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on PCs. Mobile applications perform specific task for mobile users and now have been a part of smartphones for over a decade.
In today’s world, technology is booming and there are various technologies that are set to impact the mobile app development. In an epoch when the world is heading towards digitization, mobile apps are gaining traction in all spheres of life and are becoming an indispensable part of the digital ecosystem. The mobile app development industry has been significantly impacted by the advent of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, and Augmented and Virtual Reality. These technologies are leading the development of mobile applications and towards a new revolution. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
The Artificial Intelligence is used significantly in all aspects. It is currently working with a variety of subfields, ranging from general to specific, such as self-driving cars, playing chess, proving theorems, playing music, painting, etc. AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. It is a branch of computer science by which intelligent machines are created which behave like a human, think like a human, and are able to make decisions. AI is software that is able to use and analyze data, algorithms and programming to perform actions, anticipate problems, and learn to adapt to a variety of circumstances with and without supervision. Whereas, Machine Learning is a subfield of Artificial Intelligence, which enables machines to learn from past data or experiences without being explicitly programmed.
Applications of AI:
AI in astronomy, healthcare, gaming, finance - By transferring email and call data into record systems or helping resolve billing issues and updating records; Date security - for predicting a buyer's preferences on sites and protecting against fraud; Social media; Travel & Transport; Automotive Industry; Robotics; Entertainment – Netflix or Amazon; Agriculture - Agriculture is adopting AI for agriculture robotics, solid and crop monitoring, predictive analysis; E-commerce; Education - AI chabot can communicate with students as a teaching assistant and also automate grading.
Examples of AI & ML features implemented in mobile application:
- Image Recognition
- Face Detection – Used as a security for unlocking mobile or for payment authentication.
- Text and Image Classification – Helps user to correct sentences grammatically. Moreover, features such as image labeling and classification, object localization, and recognition are recognized using this technology.
- Sentiment Recognition and Classification – Social media monitoring, brand monitoring, customer support, customer feedback, market research
- Speech Recognition – Alexa, Cortana, and Siri digital voice assistants
- Predictive Maintenance
- Augmented Reality (AR) Vs. Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone whereas virtual reality implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical words in other words it creates a simulated environment.
Examples of AR:
Snapchat lenses and the game Pokemon Go.
Examples of VR:
Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, users can be transported into a number of real-world and imagined environments such as the middle of a squawking penguin colony or even the back of a dragon.
Trends in AR & VR:
- Augmented Reality as a novel way of shopping.
- AR for navigation solutions
- Internet of Things (IoT)
A network of interconnected smart gadgets is known as the Internet of Things. IoT development in mobile apps facilitates the remote control of other smart gadgets using a single mobile device.
How IoT works:
- IoT devices gather data and send it through the internet for processing. 2. Data is analyzed centrally and 3. Instructions based on analysis are returned to the devices.
Applications of IoT:
Smart home appliances, RFID tags, and industrial sensors are a few examples. These sensors can monitor a range of factors including temperature and pressure in industrial systems, status of critical parts in machinery, patient vital signs, and use of water and electricity, among many other possibilities.
IoT mobile application trends in HealthCare, Agriculture, and s Smart Home and Cities:
- Smart home mobile applications help to solve the problem of managing multiple devices in smart homes from one central user control locally as well as remotely. A single application consolidates device-specific applications on a single dashboard to provide a smooth and convenient user experience. For example, users can monitor the temperature and adjust it according to their requirements, even before arriving home.
- Wearable IoT devices like smartwatches are the prime examples of the modern-day application-based use of IoT devices. These devices send data to the corresponding application in the connected smartphone. Users can access this data from the application any time they like.
- IoT devices have a large use case in the field of medicine and healthcare. IoT-based applications enable critical features like simultaneous reporting and monitoring, tracking and alerts, remote medical assistance, etc. Center of Connected Health Policy conducted a study that indicates there was a 50% reduction in the 30-day readmission rate because of remote patient monitoring on heart failure patients. As part of this, reporting EHR in real-time leads to better outcomes in addition to increased convenience for healthcare practitioners. It not only gives doctors, nurses and administrative staff access to the data they need on the fly, but also does so in a way that is totally secure, combating IoT misconceptions.
- Key applications of IoT for retailers include connected consumer, supply chain, and smart-store applications. IoT allows businesses to monitor sales opportunities in real-time on mobile applications and to track missed in-store sales, taking supply and demand planning to the next level.
- IoT has several applications in the agricultural Farm owners can track climate changes, monitor livestock, monitor their inventory, and analyze data from a central mobile application that is connected to the several on-field devices and sensors.
- Smart cities can be the most extensive implementation of IoT-based mobile applications. Applications like traffic alerts and accident alertscan warn citizens as well as authorities and help formulate contingency plans to solve the issues. Lighting is one of the most prevalent examples of IoT applications for smart cities, and many cities today are turning to wireless communications for cost savings and energy reduction. Lumca Lighting of Quebec City is putting smart city lighting to work.
- Wearable App Integration
Considering the growing interest in healthcare, development and use of wearables is trending. Wearables perform the same functions as mobile phones, however, due to their small size they are easy to hold. The wearable apps and devices communicate with relevant mobile applications to provide their owners with the needed data.
Smartwatches track health parameters and supports diagnostic process
Trends in Wearable App Integration:
- A nod ring is a wireless device that allows to launch programs on phone or laptop or run smart home system with a wave of hand or with special buttons on the ring
- Aira are guidance wearable glasses that assist the blind people which way to go. This device informs the blind person about different obstacles on their way.
- GPS SmartSole is a new solution for tracking young adults with autism or seniors with dementia or anyone who can get lost.
- Mobile Wallets
This is a virtual wallet that stores payment and card information in mobile application. This is a convenient way for a user to make in-store payments and can be used at merchants listed with the mobile wallet service provider.
Mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Trends in Mobile Wallets:
- NEAR-FIELD COMMUNICATION (NFC) Payments - NFC payments allow for two electronic devices such as a smartphone and a Point of Sale (POS) terminal, to exchange small amounts of encrypted data
- Biometrics - Biometric technology such as fingerprint, face, or iris scans make mobile payments faster, more convenient, and add an additional layer of security, while also eliminating the need to remember password.
- Smart Speaker System - Routine tasks such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment processing or number verification can be executed automatically without having to speak with a human support agent.
- Beacon Technology
Beacons are tiny devices that deliver notifications and marketing campaigns straight to the end user's mobile app when they are within the range of a beacon. Based on the location where the beacons are deployed, they deliver relevant notifications to the app or direct the users to a specific landing page. Simply, they connect and transmit information to smart devices making location-based searching and interaction easier and more accurate. The fundamental usage of beacon technology is within premises like hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, etc.
Trends in Beacon Technology:
Beacon benefits hospitality industry in some ways, such as quick and smooth check-in & out experiences through mobile device itself, quick info on amenities available, vacancies and exploration of POI (Point-of-Interest), security by locking-unlocking doors using mobile app, orders through mobile devices on-table or in-room, and delivering news and marketing information digitally. In retail apps, beacon can be implemented to get insights of the behavior of consumers while searching ads, local ads, and roaming in the store. Thus, it provides back-office intelligence. Retailers can reap benefits of proximity marketing and location-based marketing. For retail consumers, beacon technologies enhance the engagement, allows to reap benefits of payment. In event apps, it makes registration a smooth process instead of waiting in the queue at different booths, extending networking capabilities by using social media and personal data provided by the users during the registration, provides real-time navigation in the event or tradeshows/exhibitions, multimedia content delivery, and auto check-in & out using mobile app. In public transportation terminals apps, the beacon technology can help to make transportation smart by being a part of IoT applications. The ultimate benefits of the Beacon use are, way-finding, flight/train/bus/tram information, baggage collection, measuring proximity of gate/exit, digital, and contactless ticketing, the booking in advance & payment, and real-time announcements, and messages. Thus, Beacon technology provides end-to-end solutions to deliver seamless experiences for people and the management staff. In goods transportation/logistics & fleet apps, with the help of fixed beacon and mobile beacon concepts, asset tracking becomes easy, big warehouses can take advantages of beacon technology to identify assets of similar kinds or prepare a map of each asset in the huge warehouses. As for moving cargoes, GPS is excellent for location detection, but tagging the goods in moving cargo with Beacon helps cranes and goods loading staff to identify their goods to load and reload in & out the cargoes.
- Cloud-based Mobile Apps
Cloud technology helps organizations store a massive amount of data. This technology, when integrated with mobile apps, enhances the storage capabilities of the applications and increases productivity and collaboration.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is a secure cloud based platform, offering compute power, database storage, and other functionalities to help business scale and grow that securely stores all data on the cloud which can be accessed from around the world.
M-commerce is buying and selling products and services via mobile devices.
Trends in M-Commerce:
- Shopping via mobile apps
- Sales from smartphones and tablets
- Social Commerce Eg. Shopping pages on Instagram, Facebook
Blockchain technology is most renowned for being the technology powering crypto currencies, with bitcoin being the most renowned one. The main idea behind it is creating a decentralized database. An app for exchanging cryptocurrencies can make things easier for asset traders and miners. Like stock market apps, such crypto currency apps allows to have total control over digital assets and trade with them. Cryptocurrencies that are powered by Blockchain can be used for all sorts of payment and transactions through such apps. Electronic wallet apps that store digital assets and money and allow to spend on transactions involve Blockchain technology. Mobile applications such as TokenPocket, Wazirx, Chainyard, and Eos Dynasty are some of the applications that use blockchain technology.
Trends in Blockchain:
- Blockchain integration with IoT and AI - Smart Computing Power, Creating Diverse Data Sets, Data Protection, Data Monetization, Trusting AI Decision Making.
- Cross-platform App Development
Cross-platform mobile development is the creation of software applications that are compatible with multiple mobile devices or operating systems.
- Enterprise Mobile Management and Application Performance Management (EMM and APM)
The master goal of EMM and APM is to maximize productivity. EMM is a mobile management solution that enables enterprises to secure data on employee's personal devices and corporate owned devices. It combines the capabilities of mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), and mobile identity management (MIM) to enhance corporate data security on mobile devices. This is a set of technologies and processes designed to simplify the management of corporate and Personally-Owned (BYOD) devices and fortify the security of the corporate data access using mobile devices. APM is the monitoring and management of performance and availability of software applications.
These mobile app trends of 2020 are a big leap in the app industry. Above mentioned are some sectors where mobile apps are used, but a lot is possible in the future.