With over a billion smartphone users and more than 179 billion mobile applications being downloaded per year, mobile app development is one of the fastest-growing sectors across the globe. 

Although the global market revenue of this sector is expected to reach $693 billion by 2021, a study also suggests that only one in 10,000 apps succeed. Henceforth, mobile app development trends are highly mercurial and keep on growing and materializing. 

The previous year bought several revolutions, with AI and IoT coming into the streamline, and we are expecting the future to be shinier than ever before. 

mobile app revenue stats

Thus, if you are contemplating launching a mobile app for your business in 2020, here are the top mobile app development trends to watch out for. 

Wearable App Integration

Wearable devices are witnessing a surge in demand across the globe. The total number of wearable devices in 2017 was 453 million and is expected to rise to 929 million by 2021. And, with the constant technological advancements, we can speculate the streamlining of wearable devices and applications as an integral part of our day to day lives. 

Smart wearables like Apple Watch and Microsoft’s Hololens show an upcoming transformation in computing and transitioning from basic to smart wearables. In the recent WatchOS update, Apple announced that the Apple Watch apps would no longer need a companion iOS app as they will have their own app store. 

This increasing demand for wearable devices indicates that future mobile applications must integrate with wearable devices. Therefore, business owners and app developers should pull up their socks to get ready with applications that offer excellent user experience to the users of Apple Watch and other wearable devices. 

IoT-Enabled Mobile Apps

A study by Gartner suggests that by 2020, there will be more than 26 billion connected devices, including LED bulbs, toys, domestic appliances, medical devices, etc. Brands like Google and Amazon have already utilized the full potential of this technology by Google Home Voice Controller and Echo, respectively. 

The IoT technology finds several applications in the continuous supply chain in retail, health insurance, and smart homes. And, with the demand for IoT gadgets on the surge, the requirement of IoT-enabled apps is also ought to increase. 

Some of the recently launched IoT products that have turned out to be a huge success are August smart lock, Amazon dash button, and Philips lighting system. Amidst this increasing trend, Google has acquired Fitbit, along with collaborating it with Nest, giving a clear indication that the company is all set to utilize the IoT technology. 

Blockchain Technology

Bitcoin is the first word that comes to mind when we think of Blockchain; however, it is a technology way beyond cryptocurrencies. For starters, it is a decentralized database, which is used to store data that is immutable and unchangeable. This technology plays a crucial role in preventing data breaching and facilitating document fraud.

Cross-border business is on the rise, with business owners eager to explore international opportunities. Numerous smart ledgers and online wallets rely on Blockchain technology to carry out secured transactions. Thus, if you are worried about making cross-border payments via credit cards or other traditional applications, using a blockchain-enabled mobile app, can you an ideal pick. In the near future, Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is expected to take over the existing software market, thereby creating significant opportunities for blockchain-based applications.

APM and EMM

The diversity of mobile devices and the non-deterministic nature of mobile networks are the two factors that lead to performance bottlenecks in-app testing. Application Performance Management (APM), which consists of mobile metrics and monitoring tools, has significantly improved the testing and quality assurance. In the case of enterprise mobile app development, APM is further accompanied by Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM). 

For starters, APM is a metrics combined with Google in 2016 that provides visibility into app behavior, such as delivering statistics about the adopted devices and OSs, along with monitoring user behavior. All in all, APM helps improve the entire functionality of the application. 

These insights have made APM a suitable tool for quality assurance testers. 

EMM, on the other hand, allows companies to safely enable mobile devices that their employees use, which contributes to organizing business procedures. EMM offers critical components such as app security, finance management, and app security. Moreover, EMM not just makes the security structure safe and strong but also enables employees to be more efficient by facilitating the exchange of applications and data over mobile gadgets. 

Beacons Technology

Beacons technology is not a new entrant to the world of mobile development, but it is yet to go mainstream. And, it is expected that 2020 will streamline it even further. Many businesses are making use of beacon-based notifications to connect with customers more circumstantially. 

Beacons utilize Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals, and when your mobile enters the beacon zone, the beacon-based application gets the signal and pushes adequate notifications for the users. 

This technology can be of great advantage to businesses that want to optimize their marketing efforts, as it acts as a bridge between the companies and their consumers. Some likely developments of the beacon technology include beacon-enabled airports, mobile payment beacons, beacon-based physical games, and automated personal beacons. Apple and Google have used the beacon technology in the form of iBeacon and Eddystone, respectively, opening opportunities for both iOS and Android app development. 

Mobile Wallets

The rise of e-commerce has contributed to the massive development of online payment options, such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Moreover, several trends indicate that mobile purchases will continue to rise over the next four years as more consumers are adapting to e-commerce. Mobile wallets are replacing debit and credit cards, which enables developers to build mobile applications that can process transactions without the requirement of physical cards or cash. 

Moreover, Blockchain is also making its way into mobile payments to power the applications with safer money transactions. Tech giants like Samsung are working towards developing a scan and pay strategy to make payments more improved and attainable. In the future, mobile wallet app trends can include wallets that are more secure and can facilitate contactless payments. 

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

From Pokemon Go to the utilization in real estate, architecture, and gaming, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have come a long way. The last year witnessed many mobile apps shifting to AR and VR, and more surprisingly, these apps did not belong solely to the gaming and entertainment sector. Now, these technologies are not only enhancing the quality of gaming and media consumption, but various businesses are including them in several real-world use cases. 

For instance, Google is about to introduce a new AR feature for Google Maps, which can provide users with directions from their camera phones in real-time. In addition, brands like IKEA and Sephora have included augmented reality in their apps to enhance user experience and boost conversion rates. 

Although these technologies are still under development, they will soon be mainstream. For VR, applications like Tilt Brush and Google Cardboard offer a 360 experience. Therefore, in 2020, the integration of AR and VR will be one of the most crucial app development trends to look out for. 

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is no longer an emerging technology but a streamlined phenomenon that is expected to reach the global market value by $191 billion. Hence, more and more sectors and companies are seeking to adopt the AI and ML technologies. And recently, there has been some significant advancement in their adoption. For instance, applications like Replika and Google Assistant have further increased their efforts in using these technologies. Moreover, deep learning, when combined with ML, can provide valuable data and analytics, thereby performing wonders for mobile app development. 

As of now, the medical and manufacturing sectors have showcased amazing efforts in enhancing productivity and efficiency with the help of AI and ML. When it comes to mobile development, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning turns out to be crucial as it can learn the app development procedures from earlier data, identify issues, and troubleshoot them. 

Accelerated Mobile Pages

With mobile users contributing to more than 50 percent of internet traffic, Google has clearly shown its affinity towards mobile users. Its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, in collaboration with Twitter, is an austere HTML version to increase the speed of mobile pages. Google has been integrating AMP listings to its mobile search results, which helps developers increasing the loading time of web pages. Google has further declared that it will soon offer a mobile search box that enables users to identify mobile-friendly sites. Thus, AMP can be one of the pivotal trends in mobile app development in the near future. 

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Wrapping up

With more and more people utilizing mobile phones to facilitate daily tasks, businesses need to have a mobile strategy to engage their users. Although developing a business application is a lucrative idea, its mercurial trends can be challenging to identify. Henceforth, if you are planning to create a mobile app for your business, be sure to follow the trends discussed above.