Innovative app development trends dominated the mobile app space this year and advancements will continue to reshape the digital environment throughout 2018.
As the demand for apps continues to grow, mobile innovation has become an integral component within every business sector.
Developers are continuously searching for advanced development options to meet user demands and provide cutting-edge experiences.
The mobile app market is growing. For the first time ever, mobile app upstage desktop use in terms of digital time spent, accounting for 57% of total digital media usage in the United States.
Users are demanding predictive performances from their favorite mobile apps. In order to remain top-of-mind, it’s critical for businesses and enterprises alike to pay close attention to every advancement within the mobile environment.
As 2017 comes to a close, here’s what trends are anticipated to command the mobile landscape in the months to come:
Top 5 App Development Trends
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is certainly not a new concept, but the technology is expected to be the driving force behind the next surge in digital disruption.
We’re already seeing major benefits stemming from computer vision, natural language processing, virtual agents, machine learning and deep learning algorithms.
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It’s safe to say that companies should prepare for the AI trend now.
Personalization was a recurring theme throughout 2017, and AI has made in-depth personalization possible. The next wave of mobile apps will be inherently more intuitive and interactive.
Personalized user experiences are no longer an optional enhancement, but rather, a mandatory staple for any mobile application. Leveraging AI and big data makes delivering those experiences achievable.
Gartner predicts that over the next few years, every application will incorporate AI to some degree. Investment in AI is growing at an alarming rate, but deployment has yet to break through commercially.
With billions of dollars being poured into AI acquisition over the past year, be prepared for more compelling use cases to shine through in 2018.
2. Smart Apps
Moving into 2018, smart apps are set to be the next stage of innovation in mobile app development.
Today, we are privileged with access to more data than ever before from connected IoT devices, e-commerce transactions, social media interactions, as well as other unstructured data sources.
By transforming this data into actionable deliverables, smart apps can anticipate users’ wants and needs, and provide contextual experiences.
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Users have incredibly high standards for mobile performance, expecting dynamic, intuitive, and proactive experiences.
Smart apps contain the three major requirements necessary for in-depth personalization: context awareness, intelligence, and proactivity.
- Context Awareness – Smart apps are inherently data-driven. They capitalize on individual, sensor and location-based data and become embedded in a user’s daily routine. Based on previous behavior and personal preference, smart apps will deliver insights in context to provoke actions a user finds convenient.
- Intelligence – With the help of cognitive services, machine learning algorithms, and analytics, smart apps use real-time data to learn from user history and make valuable recommendations.
- Proactivity – Smart apps seek out the user rather than waiting for them to engage. Leveraging messaging solutions like push notifications make smart apps proactive. Not only does this feature benefit the user, but it also improves the lifetime value of the application.
Over the next year, smart apps will continue to penetrate the mobile app market providing one of the largest opportunities to innovate operations in every business sector.
Aside from client services, smart apps have the potential to streamline organizational workflows and business models of every kind.
Cognitive services are improving rapidly, and as a result, reliable and relevant automated messaging is within the realm of possibility. With that said, 2018 is forecasted to be the year of the enterprise chatbot.
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Users want effortless interaction and have come to expect open lines of communication at all times. Almost half of consumers prefer to interact with businesses in a messaging app context.
User expectations will propel enterprises to determine strategic ways to provide human-machine conversations that are efficient, consistent and accurate.
Natural language processing (NLP) is becoming more sophisticated. Text-to-speech, voice-to-text, and deep learning algorithms are transforming conversational interfaces and will ultimately bring chatbots to mainstream popularity.
With each conversation, chatbots will become more intelligent. Eventually, chatbots will be able to interpret and react to voice commands, organize meetings and events, and make contextual recommendations.
As chatbot APIs become more immersive in the year to come, regulatory and security compliances will be a major priority for enterprises.
4. Cloud-Based Applications
2018 is poised to be a big year for cloud application services. Mobile cloud applications are developed to operate through a web browser and can be accessed on a number of mobile devices.
These types of applications are not downloaded to individual devices, and therefore developers only need to write one version of the application.
According a recent study, 90% of total mobile data traffic will run through mobile cloud applications. Hosting an application on the cloud offers a diverse set of features, like API effectiveness, as well as improved connection speed and flexibility.
Blockchain was a major buzzword throughout 2017, and the technology is arguably one of the most important discoveries of our time.
However, the number of companies using blockchain for applications other than banking services is still relatively small.
Blockchain, at a very high level, is an impenetrable digital ledger of monetary transactions, but the technology can be programmed to record effectively everything of value.
Throughout 2018, you can expect to see blockchain in a broad chain of use cases.
For example, Provenance is a retail application platform leveraging blockchain technology to collect product stories, connect them to physical things and embed them online.
By combining blockchain, mobile and open data, Provenance delivers verified information from supply chains to each point of sale to provide shoppers with trustworthy data that is securely documented and transferred.
Over the next year, many innovative companies will likely begin to use blockchain outside of the financial industry.
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The mobile app market is experiencing exponential growth, and 2018 will be no exception.
In today’s tech-centric society, businesses without mobile application solutions are missing out on a substantial amount of market share.
It’s more critical than ever to monitor development trends to keep existing apps up to date and prepare for each wave of digital disruption.