The Most Important Recent Trends in Mobile Development
While personal electronics were once associated with computers, mobile devices rapidly took over the industry and have since become a main focus of development. With roughly 225 million smartphone users in the United States alone, it’s clear that there’s a massive audience looking for the most convenient new applications in sectors ranging from retail to real estate, healthcare, and beyond.
On the other hand, such a large user base has already attracted countless companies trying to capitalize on that potential through Android and iOS mobile app development. If you’re looking to join them in the nearly $200 billion market, learning more about trends and best industry practices is a great way to start.
The Rise of Cloud Integration
Consumers are still learning about cloud computing and what it can bring to the table, but it’s already a quickly growing field that offers unmatched opportunity. Dedicated cloud services provided by businesses like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google provide reliability and convenience while allowing companies to focus on the core aspects of their business model.
Developing applications using cloud technology can provide a variety of benefits, some more obvious than others. Imagine you’re an online retailer that is launching their new collection. By uploading dozens of new images and products, you may risk decreasing the load time of your app or increasing the probability that your app crashes. But, with cloud solutions, you won’t run into that sort of problem.
If you’re looking to improve user retention, increase loading capacity and storage, or pay less for hosting, you should consider looking into the cloud services listed above.
Using an On-demand Approach
On-demand apps were once limited to a few larger players such as Uber and Airbnb. While those companies obviously remain relevant, the nearly $60 billion on-demand market is made up of businesses of all sizes covering a variety of niches. Many on-demand services are displacing their traditional alternatives and giving consumers a more convenient option.
As companies find new ways to make conventional goods and services available on an on-demand basis, users will come to expect that ease and convenience as part of the experience. Even if you’re not developing an application with an on-demand approach, it’s important to keep in mind the ever-increasing need in today’s world for speed and reliability.
That may mean incorporating payment options directly into your app, so customers don’t have to click into your mobile site to complete a purchase. It also may mean syncing website and mobile app data to create a seamless shopping experience regardless of where and how your customers are interacting with your brand.
Developing for Wearable Devices
Yet another once-niche product that has grown to become much more popular than many initially expected, devices such as Fitbits and Apple Watches are now extremely common, incentivizing the development of specific applications for wearable technology. This sector is expected to grow in the near future as its features become more clear to consumers and price points begin to drop.
On the other hand, wearable technology is in many ways in a similar situation to the early stages of on-demand applications. A few fitness-related programs and other large applications have paved the way for development for wearable devices, but much of the potential they offer has yet to be explored. Businesses that find creative ways to utilize the convenience of wearable tech will be extremely successful in the next few years.
Mobile development is a fiercely competitive field in every area, and that’s only becoming more true as the user base and market size increases. Staying up to date with the latest industry trends is vital to both short- and long-term success. When there’s so much innovation happening every year, you have to keep adapting just to avoid falling behind.
Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Glance Creative, a digital product agency in London. The article was written by Freelance Editor Natalie Abermayor, a graduate of McGill University with a degree in International Development Studies and World Cinemas. Since returning to NYC, she has focused on crafting quality content for the app development industry, with a focus on UX design and use case creation. When she’s not busy writing, you can find Natalie rooting for the New York Rangers, attending concerts, or getting distracted by dogs.
Chris Walton is an accomplished Senior Executive with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries. He is well-versed in merchandising, store operations, inventory management, product design, forecasting, e-commerce, pricing and promotions, and tech product development.
Chris was most recently a Vice President with Target, where he led the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also ran the Target’s home furnishing division for e-commerce. He previously worked for GAP, Inc., as a Distribution Analyst and Manager.
Chris holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
He likes to dress as Darth Vader for Halloween, and his wife also frequently asks him to ask Alexa, "to turn off the music."