When it comes to the mobile app development market, changes are an inevitable fact of life.
In fact, whether we’re talking about user experience, innovative features, best practices, development tools, or the actual technology itself, what’s good and popular today, might not be so good or popular by tomorrow morning.
Therefore, as a developer, or as anyone who employs developers, it’s important to continuously keep yourself on top of the year’s current trends. Which, in turn, will help you keep your work and the products that you develop as fresh and as relevant as they possibly can be.
So with that in mind, we’ve put together the following guide on the top mobile app development trends of 2020. From AI and machine learning to virtual and augmented realities, this year’s trends truly are some of the most advanced we’ve seen in the history of technology.
So keep reading, and we’ll go over all of the pertinent skills, styles, and trends that can be used to help set your development work apart from your competition this upcoming year.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Although many people will often erroneously mistake the two, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two completely separate entities. In fact, machine learning is really only one of the many applications of artificial intelligence.
However, both AI and machine learning have recently become a major trend in mobile app development, which an increasing number of companies are starting to look at in order to take advantage of.
But to help you understand the difference between the two, artificial intelligence (AI) is a type of software that works to mimic human intelligence in a computer or machine. Essentially, the software is programmed, to the best of the developer’s capabilities, to think and react just like an actual human would.
On the other hand, machine learning is used to describe when computers are programmed to use algorithms and statistical models in order to perform certain tasks, without being programmed to do so by a human.
So basically, by using machine learning, AI is made possible.
Today, one of the most popular examples of AI being used in mobile app development is an application known as FaceApp. When used, the FaceApp application takes existing facial images and uses AI to show how the person would look at either an older or younger age.
Lastly, one good example of machine learning is the popular streaming service Netflix, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to learn about what you’ve watched in the past and what you like. And in turn, it will then recommend other TV shows or movies that you’re likely to enjoy.
With that said, both AI and machine learning are extremely effective tools that can be implemented into modern mobile apps in order to better serve their users.
Not only do these types of technology improve the user experience, but they can also be used by the app’s owner to learn about their audience, and how they can offer better products and services that meet their needs.
The Integration of Wearable Technology
Today, another popular trend is the emergence of wearable technologies, such as smartwatches or smart clothing. These devices are single-handedly capable of sending and receiving data via a wireless internet connection to a smartphone or device in order to track and monitor certain metrics.
So, for example, if you’re using a smartwatch, it might be used to track and record certain metrics, such as your heart rate or the number of steps you’ve taken in a day. And then, the wearable tech can relay this information to your smartphone or another wireless device via the internet.
However, with an increase in demand for wearable technologies also comes an increased need for apps that are able to process and store this information.
Therefore, many of today’s businesses are starting to look at creating apps that can be integrated with any number of the different types of modern wearable tech that continue to hit the markets.
Aside from the ever-so-popular smartwatches, which are mostly used to track a person’s fitness habits, many companies are now looking at using wearable technology to address more serious health concerns.
For example, some companies in the healthcare industry are looking at ways to combine wearable tech with innovative apps that are capable of tracking the health metrics of people with serious health complications.
In this case, an app might be used to detect when a diabetic’s blood sugar levels have spiked or when a person with cardiovascular issues might be experiencing a crisis.
Once detected, the app could be used to send the information directly to the person’s healthcare provider or a caretaker, who could then address the problem as soon as possible.
Of course, this is only one example of how wearable technology and mobile apps can be used in conjunction with one another.
But in the end, when it comes to developing modern apps in 2020, wearable tech is definitely something that you’re going to want to be on the lookout for.
For as long as businesses have been around, customer service has always been an integral part of operating a successful business.
And while, in the past, this was mostly left up to actual human customer service reps, today, businesses are increasingly using chatbots and automated messaging to communicate and solve their customers’ problems.
Essentially, a chatbot is a software program that allows humans to ask questions and interact directly with a company or brand via instant messaging.
Today, many food delivery apps, such as UberEats, DoorDash, And GrubHub, have already integrated chatbots directly into their mobile applications in order to better serve their customers.
In fact, according to a recent study, only about 38% of today’s consumers actually want to speak with an actual person when interacting with a company. The rest, that’s 62%, are completely satisfied with talking to a chatbot or any other type of automated messaging software.
Of course, that’s not to say that people prefer talking to chatbots.
But it does help to illustrate the fact that there are many different ways to offer information to consumers, without involving any type of human interaction.
As technologies, such as AI and machine learning, continue to advance, so too does the efficiency of chatbots and automated messaging.
And with this, today’s mobile app developers are entering into a new world of consumer interactions; one where chatbots are at the front and center of practically all customer service.
Mobile Wallets and Payment Gateways
Today, with the enormous number of mobile phones in the world, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that mobile, cashless payment gateways are becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers.
As it stands, in 2020, we’ve already seen a huge rise in the number of people that are using mobile wallets and online payment gateways to transfer money, make their bill payments, and buy goods and services directly from their smartphones.
In fact, in some countries like China, roughly 68% of consumers are now using mobile wallets to spend their money.
But why are mobile wallets so popular these days?
Well, for starters, a mobile wallet makes payment transactions significantly more secure than when buying products or services with cash.
Plus, they also provide users with considerably more convenience and value, since they don’t actually need to handle any cash or cards, and they’re able to pay for almost anything from a single convenient app on their phones.
So, in today’s digital world, and into the future, if the apps you’re creating aren’t compatible with the world’s leading mobile wallets, you might have a hard time getting people to buy anything through your mobile applications.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
These two highly innovative technologies have already overtaken the gaming industry.
And increasingly, we’re seeing other industries, such as healthcare, eCommerce, real estate, and retail, jump on board the virtual and augmented reality bandwagon.
In fact, today, practically every industry out there is working to find ways to integrate these two types of technology into their services to provide consumers with better customer experiences.
In fact, according to AR Post, VR and AR are two of the primary technologies that will have a positive impact on the global economy in 2020.
But although both VR and AR are often confused, they are both significantly different from one another.
Virtual reality, for instance, implies a complete immersion into a virtual world, where the experience completely removes any and all elements of the real, physical world.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, uses software technology to add digital elements into the real world, most often by using a smartphone’s camera.
As one example of augmented reality, IKEA has recently started using augmented reality technology to allow its customers to see what their new furniture will actually look like in their homes.
When it comes to interior design, the truth is that many consumers postpone their purchases simply because they’re not sure how products are going to look once they get it home.
Therefore, in order to remove this simple consumer obstacle, IKEA came up with using AR technology to their advantage.
So, to reach today’s consumers, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see an increasing number of businesses turning to VR and AR in order to better serve their customers.
Compatibility With Foldable Phones And Devices
When it comes to mobile technology, foldable smartphones, and devices, often referred to simply as “foldables”, are quickly emerging at the forefront of the industry.
Therefore, today’s mobile app developers need to be planning their development strategies so that their apps will function properly on both standard mobile devices, as well as foldable devices.
Foldable devices are said to have a positive impact on user experience simply because they provide their users with larger screens, as well as the ability for multi-window usage, much like a modern computer.
Today, we’ve already seen many larger companies, such as Amazon Prime, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, and Microsoft Office, optimize their applications in order to accommodate the upcoming shift towards foldable devices.
So if you haven’t started thinking about optimizing your mobile apps for this type of upcoming technology, you still have a lot of work to do.
Cutting Costs as a Freelance Developer
Finally, as an app developer, there’s no doubt that developing modern software applications is becoming an increasingly costly endeavor, especially when it comes to using technologies like VR and AR, which are still not fully developed but are already quite expensive.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can help to reduce your costs and improve your overall profits as a freelancer.
For example, in order to cut your costs, and to give yourself more free time, today’s developers might want to consider outsourcing some of their work to other freelance developers.
In fact, working as a team is a great way to lower your costs, while also providing your clients and customers with a better end product.
Fortunately, there are many platforms, such as Hiremotely, Upwork, and Fiverr, which offer access to literally hundreds of thousands of freelancers that are all waiting to work with you.
Mobile App Development Trends
In today’s highly competitive digital marketplace, every business wants to be able to provide their users with the best user experience possible.
But in order to stand out from their competition, businesses need to be hiring and employing app developers that are fully aware of the latest trends in technology, which are currently dominating the market.
And, obviously, as technology continues to advance, there’s going to be fierce competition amongst modern businesses.
Therefore, if you’re an app developer, or you employ any developers, it’s important to understand the trends that we’ve discussed today and learn how you can start using them to your advantage.
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