Some changes are sudden and we perceive them as revolutionary while there are still others that happen over a course of time and we rather grow used to them. In the way, mobile apps penetrated enterprises is a transformation of the second type. Still, there are millions of businesses who do not have a mobile strategy in place and almost a vast majority of them do not have their own apps. So, for many businesses, the coming time will be marked with their new mobile journey. That’s expected as usual but it only tells that there will be more numbers of apps with more businesses hitting the app market.
What about the qualitative shift for mobile app development in the time to come? Any clue? Yes, there is an array of development trends that are going to shape mobile apps in the coming years. Some of them are already prominent and well known while a few of them are less pronounced as of now. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Where, when and why: the context will rule
Every mobile app invariably comes with one thing: notification. All of them wants to send users notifications. They want to send notifications when we need it and when we come close to their business stores and when we have reasons to read them. So, it is all about the context of the user consisting of when, where and why part of user situations. If any mobile app still lacks such precise context when sending push notifications to their users, in the coming time they have to make them contextual if they really want to get traction and user engagement.
2. Cross platform and cross-channel will rule
How many interfaces a single mobile app needs to address while offering the same concept and feature set? There are too many of them, isn’t it? You build an iOS app only to extend it to Android platform later and then you come up with your new wearable versions respectively for Android Watch and Apple Watch. You can also come up with a Windows app and a desktop version of the same app. Now for each of these platforms, there are multiple devices available with different screen sizes and device functions.
To address your audience across all these touchpoints you need to come with something consistent and non-variable. Without a standard look, feel and user experience that works across all these interfaces just fine, you either lose audience or risk building too many apps. This is why cross-platform development has become now the most preferred way to stay optimized for audiences across the touchpoints and interfaces. Moreover, with the presence of cloud computing and multi-device security tools, you can easily help your app sync across devices and platforms while guaranteeing a seamless experience.
3. Building user journey
Mobile apps do a lot of things that we never can expect from a website. Mobile apps with a native look and feel just stay at our command all the time and allow us to use it the way we like it. So, nobody anymore thinks apps as stripped down versions of websites.
When apps, unlike websites, remain very personal and native to the user device, the user journey and interaction seems to be automatically important. Just because it promises to be readily accessible and customizable for user preferences, an app needs to ensure fast loading time, clean and instantly actionable Call to Action buttons and least number of steps to get a thing done. User journey comprising these factors will continue to be important for mobile apps in the coming years.
4. Mobile commerce
Mobile ecommerce which is also dubbed as mobile commerce has already taken over the ecommerce sector as several ecommerce sites are actually replacing their mobile website with a new app. Online stores are increasingly coming over mobile app marketplace to get new users. The rise of mobile commerce has got a boost from the recent surge in digital payment systems and apps such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayTM, etc. Mobile commerce will continue to grow and prosper as most online stores will come with their mobile apps.
5. Wearable devices
The growth of wearable devices in the last few years have been unprecedented. Wearable devices starting with the smartwatches and wristbands now have featured across other categories including shoes as well. From reading a push notification message on your wrist watch to answering a call from your wrist watch to playing VR games with a pair wearable tech shoe, you can do a lot with them. But still, wearable are not an entirely independent technology and they mostly work in conjunction with mobile devices. In the coming years, we can expect wearable devices to be standalone with features and functions independent of the mobile app.
Mobile apps are increasingly focusing on individual preference to boost user engagement and in turn user retention. Catering to the individual user preferences and expectations have already become the biggest factor for a mobile app to become popular. This requires continuous evaluation, user testing, and experimentation on the part of app developers. Customization will continue to remain an important push factor to drive growth for a mobile app.
Customization of the mobile app in the time to come will not be limited to so-called push notifications. Whole new ways of customizing an app for individual users can break through the convention. For example, based on the payment method preferred by a customer, a retail app can easily allow him paying for goods with the same payment gateway quickly and without requiring him to go through all the steps. Customization will add value to user experience in a whole array of ways.
The future of android and iOS app development seems bright and promising in terms of growth and impact on everyday life. Mobile apps becoming more customizable and user optimized, their impact on life and works of human beings will continue to grow bigger.
Darshan Patel is a Lead SEO Analyst & Storyteller at Nimblechapps – The coolest android game development and iOS app development services provider company. He believes in using a variety of strategy to create business’s online presence that delight and deliver.