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Mobile App Development Trends to Watch Out for in 2018

Everyone from independent smartphone users to companies use apps in their daily lives or daily businesses. Whether you are the first or the second or both, in a mobile-first world, it’s important to stay on top of technology trends.

Find out below what trends, in our opinion, will define the year 2018.

Blockchain

Because the blockchain technology makes very important in today’s reality promises looks like it has a bright future. A promise of high security and democracy, a possibility to establish a more secure business network thanks to verified online identities, creation of open decentralized web protocols, ability to own and securely exchange our private data with customers or businesses through smart contracts, and much more. Many blockchain-based services are currently in development, including on mobile. We expect that blockchain will increasingly be used in industries ranging from fin-tech, eCommerce, insurance tech to social networks.

Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality

In 2017, AR/VR/MR were a feature of entertainment. But besides video games like Pokémon GO!, these technologies offer untapped potential in other industries like manufacturing, education, healthcare, and automotive. According to a recent TechCrunch article, the AR and VR market is expected to grow by $108 billion by 2021. Both Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARCore) are ramping up work on AR opening doors for developers to create on their platforms. One example of AR would be Google Translate’s Word Lens feature: You can launch a camera mode within the software and snap a photo of a foreign-language text you don’t understand; GT will try to, hopefully, translate the lines.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Recently, Forbes published an article on how huge the IoT will be in 2018. We won’t disagree. Smart homes, cities, connected cars, smart healthcare, smart energy, smart transportation systems — these are some of the awesome solutions the IoT technology has provided us so far. With the advance of deep learning, NLP, image recognition, and neural networks more and more app developers will be rolling out apps based on the IoT.

Conversational technology (Chatbots)

Chatbots exploded in 2017, after Facebook Messenger opened up its own platform to allow third-party developers build their own bots. Today, AI chatbots aren’t just for Fortune 500 companies anymore: Gartner predicts that by 2021 more than half of companies will be spending more per year on the creation of bots than on mobile apps. While conversational UIs need to see a lot more development to offer usable cases, more and more small businesses are adopting AI technology today and this trend is likely to grow.

Full-screen experiences

When we get smartphones with a bezel-less screen — iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5T — it’s a no briner for the companies to use the extra real estate to create more immersive experiences for your users. We think there’s a potential for such apps and the trend will grow in 2018.

Gesture-based UIs

Gestures are the new clicks. Gesture-driven user interfaces result in less clutter, ease of use, and seamless interaction. The technology gave rise to countless mobile games that rely particularly heavily on swipes. All Android Wear games and games like Toy Crush, Clash Royale, and Hearthstone are good examples. With such advantages it’s hard to see why this technology won’t have a future. We believe that with the release of iPhone X, in 2018, we will see more gesture-based interfaces.

Building For Billions trend

Android instant apps, lazy loading, battery-efficient and lite apps – these technologies are geared towards minimizing resources consumption on devices thus helping such apps reach more users worldwide. Besides that, such apps will be more visible in Google Play store. With the Google’s guide for Android developers we expect more developers will be making more efficient apps and games to meet the needs of billions of users globally who own less powerful Android devices.

Cross-platform or hybrid apps

Hybrid apps are more flexible, easier to design and deploy, and suit the variant needs that most business has to satisfy their operations. They also offer more enhanced user experiences with top security mechanisms. In addition, since they are cross-platform, such apps have the potential to reach a wider range of potential users when compared to native apps. One of the 2018’s defining mobile app development trends for sure.

Application security

Mobile apps hold an ever increasing amount of confidential and personal data which, if stolen, can put the user’s reputation or business at stake. One of the biggest trends in 2018 will be making that data more secure. By the end of 2018, we will definitely witness more mobile apps with built-in security features.

Digital wallets and mobile payments

Cashless life is just easier. Growing usage of apps like Braintree and PayPal shows there’s a big market for mobile payments. Google knows it too. That’s why recently, during CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Google introduced simplified mobile payments with its Pay service. We expect many other mobile payment products will emerge in 2018.

AI and machine learning

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Allo—these are just the first ones of the AI tech. Gartner expects that by 2018, world’s 200 largest companies will rely on apps taking advantage of AI and machine learning. We can be assured that in 2018, AI will become more frequently incorporated into mobile apps. Adobe, Google, IBM, Persado, and Salesforce are heavily investing in the cognitive computing, AI, and machine learning programs.

Wearables

The advantages that smartphones usher into our life can be multiplied by wearable devices which are more compact and portable. There’s undeniable potential in this technology. And while so far, the wearable apps market focused on fit-tech (fitness), it will most probably expand into other areas this year. And despite Apple and Google smartwatches and Google Glass weren’t making huge strides, the tech giants are planning to follow them up with a variety of wearable software. The wearables market is expected to grow significantly with CAGR of 49.7% in 2017-2023.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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