2017 is the year of Apple’s iPhone 10th anniversary, the mobile device that gave birth to the mobile app ecosystem that now has more than 3 million apps and counting. We reached a number of professionals working in the mobile development industry to learn what they believe will be the highlights of mobile this year.
Last year Augmented Reality technology got a huge adoption boost with the launch of the Pokémon Go mobile game on iOS. New headsets were released by such tech giants as Samsung, Google, Facebook to push further the limits of what Virtual Reality technology is capable. Both AR and VR are seen by many as the next frontiers for mobile. Last but not least, wearables continued to be yet another frontier of mobile development, with contributions from Apple, Samsung and a countless number of Asia-based companies that released various wearable gear. This year a number of new trends are also emerging including the growth of AI, Chatbots and Messaging Apps as well new forms of user interaction such as voice.
Here are the app development trends for 2017 …
Artificial Intelligence is the internet’s Second Coming. Like many brilliant ideas, it is predicated on a simple premise: people make decisions based on the information they are exposed to. Today, you need to go and search for that information on your own, spending precious time trying to find it. The internet has access to all that information.
What I hope to see more in 2017 is how companies passively capturing critical information about consumer behavior will leverage this information to provide truly personalized recommendations to end users that they act on. That’s where artificial intelligence and beautifully created mobile apps can join hands, technologically, to create an exceptional user experience for all potential users.
The first major foray into AI is the rise in popularity for smart assistants: Alexa, Siri, Cortana and others. The second wave of AI gaining wide adoption right now is chatbots, inside and outside of messaging apps. The third wave of artificial intelligence is tied to the Internet of Things, where many different products can come together and behave in accordance with the owner’s desires (the rise of “if this then that” protocols).
Artificial intelligence has limitless potential applications and in 2017 companies will start experimenting with them. One particular area where companies are not fully taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence relates to location-based services. Imagine if I walk down the street to work every day, following the same pattern: train station, Starbucks coffee shop, office. The ability to serve customers with relevant, personalized recommendations based on their routine, habits and patterns is incredibly relevant today. Companies able to leverage this information can really provide value to customers and shareholders alike in 2017 and beyond.
Mobile application development is a hot topic that’s about to reach the skyline. With a prediction of 6.1Billion smartphone users by 2020, I foresee an overwhelming progress in the field for startups and enterprises. Be it hiring a taxi, buying a gift or ordering food, majority of millennials are gravitating towards a mobile-led lifestyle because it’s quick and convenient. And today’s market is all about how well you connect with the everyday users or your target audience. The industry has miles to go since mobile apps are taking over the world by storm and is a powerful business strategy to create a global identity. It is rightly said that “If your business is not on mobile, it isn’t growing.”
Not only for users, mobile is gaining traction for employees within the organization and enterprise mobility is on the horizon. Mobile internet has surpassed desktops, laptops and tablets and enterprises today realize the significance of having a project management app or a client communication app to promote concepts of Bring Your Own Device and Bring Your Own App for further keeping up with the qualified and top-level workforce.
To encourage and support this transition to mobile, organizations should come up with fresh technology and tools that can handle the new generation workloads. As a part of this transition, I expect most business groups and enterprises to approach expert development teams for various online solutions that can work across multiple devices, across multiple platforms – iOS, Android and both (cross-platform) and streamline their B2B and B2C processes.
As I foresee, some of the mobile app development trends that will dominate in 2017 and the years to come include Wearable Tech, Location-based services, Augmented Reality into Utility apps, On-demand economy, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), Beacon, Chatbots and Hybrid application development.
IoT apps will continue to be an undisputable technology that will cater to a large market and numerous fields. From building smart homes to imparting smart education to engineering smart cars to curating smart enterprises, Internet of Things will have a firm place in the stores of the future.
Mobile app development will get smarter in 2017.
All things considered, with so much data on the internet, so much data generated through apps and so much of it to convey to the audience, big data analytics is just the right strategy. A combination of data analytics and mobile technology will lead to better decision making and better customization, serving individually to every user’s needs.
Arpit Jain, CEO at Promatics Technologies Pvt Ltd
Mobile apps will continue to see explosive growth in 2017. I believe Augmented Reality will be one of the key growth areas in 2017. The popularity of Pokemon Go brought a lot of attention to AR last year. Another area of growth will be Internet of Things. IoT has been gaining traction slowly however it holds huge potential. From physical devices to household products, buildings and vehicles it will open new possibilities everywhere. I am also bullish on growth of enterprise apps as more and more corporate wakes up to the power of mobile. Apart from the above I see no slowdown in On-demand apps space as well.
We believe the trends to look out for in 2017 lie in Chatbots, Virtual Assistants, VR and AR – four areas important to how users interact with content going forward. Chatbots have already started to show the amazing possibilities of presenting all relevant information to the users within a single app and be able to perform tasks without even launching another app. Virtual Assistants like Alexa and Google Home will add more skills and integrations in 2017, making it possible to perform most tasks without ever touching a screen.
Whereas VR and AR will be the biggest drivers for 2017, with most of the long awaited devices coming into developers and consumers hands this year. Which will create a huge push for interactive yet productive content and app creation for these platforms.
App development in 2017 will see some trends continue from 2016; lean MVPs to test market adoption and light UX (no UX). In 2017 we’ll see more businesses taking advantage of ML (Machine Learning) to better understand their business and better focus investments in growth. Additionally we’ll see may enterprise customers converting from 3rd party service providers to more robust/cost effective in-house solutions.
I think this year we will a deep integration of user feedback in apps. Apple just enabled the possibility to rate apps without have to leave them and open up the App Store.
Think of this as something that is already quite familiar when it comes to eCommerce. The tiny little mails that ask you for your product review after your received your order? Something like that!
We saw a 40% growth in Apple App Store revenue in 2016 and I believe we’ll continue seeing high-quality personalized apps dominate the more mature US market. In 2017, developers should look at expanding into other markets including LatAm, China, and India through localization on both Android and iOS as we’ve seen huge spikes in download and revenue velocity in those markets. This also gives smaller developers a chance to succeed in less saturated markets.
Those working in the mobile app industry love how dynamic the industry is – and 2017 will be no different. App developers will be challenged to integrate new technologies like AR, VR, AI, and chatbots into their apps without alienating mainstream users. I think we’ll see a lot of companies beta testing these new technologies to ensure users will utilize them in an integrated fashion with their current apps’ abilities.
We hope this mobile app development industry collective thinking snapshot will help you to be more confident about aligning your company growth strategy with promising mobile technologies in 2017. The famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”, it can be perfectly applied to your business.