Though the internet has grown greatly in the past few years, it’s still very much a Wild, Wild West. Things are always changing, and users’ expectations are always growing. As an app developer, it sometimes feels impossible to stay on top of the latest trends changing the industry.
There are a few things we can all agree on that help us make sense of this changing digital world. First, this is a mobile-first world. People are starting to consider their smartphones as more useful than their laptops and computers. In the Android marketplace alone, there are over 6,000 apps released every day.
Competition is fierce to find new users and actually keep those users. With things like artificial intelligence (AI), integrated experiences, and virtual reality, where do you even begin? This guide will address the top app development trends we’ve already seen in 2018 so you can hit the ground running with your next project.
1. Wearable Technology
It seems like everyone has a new device they can wear that makes their life easier. From Fitbits to Spire Stones, everything is wearable, and this technology is really taking off. While this type of integration between application development and wearable tech is mostly seen in the health industry and manufacturing, we don’t expect it to stop here.
Because users all want immersive technology experiences, wearable technology is expected to grow to an expected $95.3 billion in revenue in 2021. We expect to see new ways for users to mold their devices to their lifestyle, and only time will tell just how this trend plays out.
2. Mobile App Security
We’ve all heard horror stories of big-name companies that are prone to hacker attacks and information breaches. These types of attacks are absolutely devastating for the reputation of the company, and it’s hard to recover your customers’ trust. Smartphones are handling more and more online transactions and customer data than ever before, and that means there’s a need for greater security.
Security measures like code encryption, back-end security, and trusted payment gateways are all practices that should be started in early development stages. It’s never worth risking your users’ information, so take this security trend seriously.
3. Cloud Development
Everything is cloud-based today, including our app development. Mobile app development companies are beginning to utilize cloud-based development since it’s known to have many perks. First, cloud-based apps have streamlined operations and can fetch data from the cloud. This means there are lowered load times and less need for excessive memory storage. Cloud development is a win/win for businesses and developers alike.
4. App Monitoring
In 2018, users are savvier than ever before. They expect their apps to work the first time, and they have little patience when things go wrong. We’ve all downloaded apps that we only used once or twice, and this is a rampant problem. If you don’t want your app to end up in the internet wasteland, you need to get serious about app monitoring.
App monitoring means having a system in place to prevent problems before they happen. Testing and releasing updates go a long way to keeping your app performing perfectly, but things do still happen. If you’re able to track changes in real time, you stand a good chance of limiting downtime. A great place to start is with a log aggregator like Papertrail which will monitor logs automatically (source: https://papertrailapp.com/log-aggregator).
If you’ve tried to contact customer service recently, odds are you’ve dealt with a bot. Chatbots are becoming the new normal in the world of customer service, and app developers are starting to implement them to help users make the most of their app experience. According to Gartner, by 2020, bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions.
Bots are already used by many big companies across the globe, and we expect to see them taking over apps as well. Examples of well-known chatbots include Siri, Alexa, and Duplex, but there are smaller ones as well. These bots are able to assist customers with things like order information, minor tech support, and other minor questions that wouldn’t be a hassle to contact customer support over in the past. This new leverage is helping some companies push ahead of the competition, and it’s always a good idea to find new ways to help users.
As you can see, the world of app development is evolving rapidly. Things that were commonplace a few years ago are already outdated. This world is very much a survival of the fittest, and only the developers willing to push the boundaries on technology will make it to 2019. One smart focus is to always have your customers’ best interests at heart. If you develop your app with your users’ needs in mind, you can’t go wrong.
Finding new ways to help your users means utilizing all the tech tools at your disposal. Whether you decide to follow the path of wearable technology or chatbots, make sure you’re making the lives of your customers easier.