At this very moment, more than 1 billion smartphone devices are accommodating close to 7 million mobile apps across all the niches. The mobile apps penetrated every living space and all business niches imaginable. This could only be possible because of apps’ voracious capacity to incorporate new and innovative technologies that continue to keep coming with unique value propositions.
When location-sensing technologies such as beacons and geofencing first appeared, they quickly became part of the mobile app ecosystem. The emergence of cloud computing, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, and many other technologies just coincided with mobile app development.
Every new technology and development trend became an essential ingredient of mobile apps. Mobile apps emerged over time as the preferred playground for all tech experiments. Mobile apps also continued to become more sophisticated, richly featured, dynamically capable, and versatile thanks to these new technologies.
In recent years, the following technologies played the most crucial role in transforming mobile apps. These can also be taken as the upcoming app development trends to watch out for.
Flutter cross-platform app development
For several years cross-platform apps remain to be the most reliable way to shape the mobile app presence across multiple platforms with a distinct cost advantage for the app projects. Cross-platform apps always lacked the native user experience. But things changed with the appearance of React Native that, for the first time, apart from allowing reusability of code, allowed access to the native UI layer for delivering a highly native look and feel. Flutter, launched by Google in 2017, took this trend one step further with a widget-based approach to introduce native UI/UX elements.
Flutter now stands as the most powerful cross-platform development technology that, unlike other frameworks, does not need a separate bridge to connect the native UI layer. Offering a multitude of widgets for different native features and UX elements, Flutter allows quickly building highly native behaving and native-looking apps involving significantly less coding efforts. Flutter can build apps for iOS, Android, web, and desktop platforms by using the same codebase. On the other hand, Flutter as a framework is well equipped with robust testing tools and features like hot reload to allow instant evaluation of any coding changes.
With such substantial value propositions and a highly modular development approach, Flutter is regarded to be the most powerful cross-platform mobile app development framework that can equally benefit startups and small business app projects with severe budget constraints.
Blockchain mobile app development
Blockchainbrought a new approach to manage and handle data and make data accessible to users through its unique decentralized database ledger focused on safeguarding the data across a chain of data blocks. Originally coming as a technology for digital currencies and fintech payment solutions, soon, the technology was embraced by software applications across all industries.
Blockchain technology ensures never-before data security with a fully tamper-proof database, unmatched transparency with absolute time traceability of data, and sophisticated data transfer and data transmission in the context of mobile apps. Several leading apps representing the fintech and many other niches are already using Blockchain technology, thanks to these advantages. In the coming years, Blockchain will continue to penetrate more mobile apps.
Chatbots helped app users with an interactive interface offering important information that they need while using the app. Earlier chatbots programmed to answer a limited number of queries with specific answers could only be viewed as an alternative to FAQ functions or essential guidebooks offering particular solutions to befitting queries. These rule-based chatbots have now been replaced by intelligent chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. They can communicate humanely and answer questions based upon the specific user intent and other insights.
Hundreds of mobile apps have already embraced intelligent chatbots as the most reliable alternative to online customer support. These intelligent chatbots can play various beneficial roles in mobile apps, including proactive customer support, online marketing campaigns, customer survey, and personalized user experience. As mobile apps tend to be more personalized, intelligent chatbots are likely to be a mainstay of future app development in the years to come.
AR-based mobile commerce apps
Augmented Reality (AR), helping to extend the lived mundane reality around us to the digital space or the digital fact to the lived environment, quickly rose to prominence a few years ago when the mobile game app Pokemon Go was launched and achieved phenomenal popularity all over the globe. Since then, AR was incorporated across all types of apps for offering an innovative user experience. Now the so-called mobile versions of the online stores or mobile commerce apps have started to utilize the technology for delivering a shipping experience fused with attributes of both online shopping and offline stores.
Now, thanks to AR, a mobile commerce app can be used for both online shopping. At the same time, you can easily incorporate offline experiences like walking inside a shopping mall and browsing products at various counters. In the same way, while shopping offline, you can see the product while scanning the tags and ordering the products online through your handheld device. AR will continue to make this division between brick and mortar stores and offline stores blurred.
Intelligent voice interfaces
Finally, voice interactions, voice search, and voice commands have become tremendously popular across all mobile apps. As an increasing number of people these days prefer to speak to their handheld devices to get various things done with ease, voice interfaces are getting popular.
Voice interfaces are also getting more intelligent and capable of understanding human interactions, commands, intents, and moods expressed through spoken words and tonal variations. Natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics make voice interfaces more intelligent and equipped to understand human interactions and respond to them.
Sadly, several other trending technologies are equally responsible for shaping the present-day mobile app user experience. But these technologies, in a way, represent the fast-evolving mobile app development and its value propositions for the users.