Ten App Development Trends for 2018

For all app developers and software innovators, 2017 has been a creative year with many technological trends from past years improving and plenty of new ideas setting the app vibe for the next year. Here are some of the things to expect in 2018:

1. Internet of Things

The Internet of Things had changed the way we live and how we work. In simple terms, it is the concept that connects any type of device to the Internet. The analyst firm, Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. A UK survey shows that 17 percent of the British respondents made use of three connected devices according to Statista.

Also, the Industrial Internet of Things will transform the way companies operate by increasing economic growth, improving supply chain and productivity to make industries more competitive and innovative.

 

2. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two things that have become indispensable in cloud and app technology because of the use and storage of data. Hosted machine learning models can help companies analyse large and complex data and deliver accurate insights quickly and efficiently.

Data collection is growing fast.  Did you know Tesla has 780 million miles of driving data, and adds another million every 10 hours? “Everything at scale in this world is going to be managed by algorithms and data” says Joseph Sirosh, CVP of Data Group and Machine Learning at Microsoft. In the near-future, “every business is an algorithmic business.”

So, in the new year we are expecting a lot of amazing new developments and great apps. From innovative design to friendly consumer tech, robots, electric vehicles, big data improvements and better cybersecurity, the trends and improvements for 2018 are looking very promising. 

 

3. Accelerated Mobile Pages

It’s amazing how quickly mobile apps have caught up with desktop applications. In a recent report, Statista shows how Apple and Google managed to store over 6.3 million apps since they opened their app stores. To make it faster and easier for people to use apps, the concept of accelerated mobile pages is a trend that will continue to grow in the upcoming years. Faster mobile pages are impacting analytics by improving ad visibility, visits, lower bounce rate and better user retention.

 

4. Mobile Payments

Another growth was the UK mobile commerce showing a total of £31.42billion in the retail m-commerce sector in 2017, according to Payments Cards and Mobile. Lots of businesses took advantage of the growing trend and adopted mobile capabilities to improve their customer experience and to bridge the gap between in-store shopping and e-commerce.

This increase in mobile sales indicates that mobile is fast becoming the No. 1 online sales channel for UK retailers, according to Bhavesh Unadkat, Capgemini’s principal consultant in retail customer engagement design.

 

5. Virtual Reality Apps

Speaking of growing markets, the healthcare, engineering, retail, military, education and real estate are just a few which benefitted from the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. By providing a full 3D view of products and services, it is easier to visualise and process information and change the way businesses sell and offer an amazing virtual experience.

Training in challenging settings has been improved with the help of virtual reality technology such as aviation for simulating the landing of a plane, medicine for students to practice complicated surgeries, firefighters for prepping their first fire and many other sectors. AR and VR give the opportunity to practice and get a real feel for events, giving people the confidence and intelligence to bring innovation forward.

The main difference between the two technologies is, as explained by Augment:"Augmented reality enhances experiences by adding virtual components such as digital images, graphics, or sensations as a new layer of interaction with the real world. Contrastingly, virtual reality creates its own reality that is completely computer generated and driven."

The delivery method is also different with Virtual Reality being delivered through a headset and Augmented Reality being used more in mobile devices, laptops and tablets to changed how the real world and digital graphics interact. 

 

6. Face Recognition Apps

Face recognition apps have become popular because of its non-intrusive and cheap technology. They are mainly used for identification, verification and documentation. There are a few disadvantages that limit the effectiveness of this technology like image quality and size, face angle, light and image processing, but the evolving biometrics show signs of future success.

The poor image quality can be overcome by investing in this technology to detect facial features and gestures faster and more accurate, no matter of the environmental factors. Improved capabilities might be collecting information from a far distance, where the target is in motion. But, there must be a need between national security and individual privacy rights as this is very much a subject of discussion.

 

7. On-Demand Apps

On-demand apps are the apps that get you what you need instantly like rides, take-aways, hotel rooms, meditation sessions, home cleaners, flower deliveries, etc. These types of apps are great because they connect you to your preferred provider quickly by cutting out the middleman and helping you manage your everyday activities more efficiently.

You have probably heard about Uber, Deliveroo, Task Rabbit, Netflix, Twitter... the list goes on. Many of these companies have become industry disruptors and have been challenged by the old legacy systems and government regulators, but they haven’t given up innovating and allowing technology to evolve. The "On-Demand Economy: Mobile Apps That Deliver Convenience Boost Payments Volume" report, describes the most popular on-demand services categories and how the key providers are bringing a new dimension in customer engagement to their markets.

 

8. Enterprise Apps

One of the biggest trends in enterprise apps has been cloud computing where enterprises move some, if not all of their infrastructure to the cloud. Some of the most common types of enterprise apps are automated billing systems, payment processing, content management, CRM, business intelligence, messaging systems, call centres and more.

Enterprise apps have helped organisations improve productivity and efficiency by organising big data and analytics. As mentioned in Forbes, according to a Gartner survey, 2015 will see 79% of surveyed organisations increase their mobile spending by 36%. Future gains in worker productivity will stem in large part from enterprise mobility. Mobility results in (i) increased throughout (as measured by sales), (ii) less inventory, and (iii) fewer operational expenses - three benchmarks identified by Eliyahu Goldratt in The Goal.

 

9. Cloud Technology

Cloud technology is allowing businesses of all sizes to be flexible and agile in the way they operate. According to Aberdeen Group, small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.

Also, this disruptive technology is allowing people to work from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection, making collaboration more efficient with cloud-based workflows and file sharing apps.

 

10. Cyber Security

With the rise of on-demand apps and cloud computing, cybersecurity is very important to help keep data protected. More developers have been adopting higher security in their application development as it offers users more confidence to download and use their apps.

Safety and reliability are one of the most essential features for any app out there. One of the negative trends that has been a major source of concern for years is Mobile App security. According to Gartner, 75 % of mobile applications cannot pass even the most basic security tests. We hope that during the next year this will improve.

Posted on 21 December 2017
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