There is constant change and growth happening in the mobile app industry at all times. The trends and features that made a new mobile app successful years or even months ago are not the same as they are now. Budding and seasoned mobile app developers alike need to conduct market research in order to serve their audience effectively and solve the problems they have set out to eradicate. In order to help, we have compiled a list of some of the biggest mobile app development trends of 2021. Read on to learn more about key ways you can increase the value of your mobile app.
AR/VR in Mobile App Development Trends
Virtual reality and augmented reality have been steadily growing in the past few years and are more accessible and in demand than ever before. Virtual reality made its mark through games and apps which allow you to immerse yourself in a virtual world with the assistance of a headset.
Augmented reality stepped up the game by introducing virtual components to real life that users are able to access with their smartphone alone. A famous example of a successful augmented reality app is Pokemon Go, which launched in 2016. The gameplay focused around catching different pokemon that could be seen on users’ phone screens superimposed on their real-life surroundings such as parks or kitchens.
Other uses of AR in mobile app development include:
- IKEA Place – an app that allows users to digitally place potential IKEA furniture in their current space before buying
- Snapchat filters – different filters allow users to put on different hats/facial hair and even interact with smaller versions of themselves in the real world
- Measurement – both Android and iOS devices have implemented measurement apps which can take point to point measurements of a room using AR technology
With augmented reality technology and applications becoming more commonplace, it will be worth it to explore how you can incorporate it into your app development to provide added value to your user experience. Perhaps there is a feature that you could bring to life in order to make your app more immersive or function more highly. This will be a great trend to embrace because its new status leaves so much room for innovation.
AI in Mobile App Development Trends
Artificial intelligence is another trend that mobile app developers should be aware of in 2021. This developmental feature has given rise to an exciting new wave of creation in mobile apps because of its direct successor: machine learning. Machine learning is “the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy” (IBM). But what does this actually mean?
Machine learning is what’s responsible for many of the mobile app features that we take for granted each day such as predictive text, voice recognition, and face detection for the camera. These are just some of the most common ways that mobile app developers are making use of artificial intelligence. The greatest asset that it poses is being able to really personalize users’ mobile app experience.
Machine learning provides the opportunity to:
- Upgrade chatbot intelligence and abilities
- Integrate voice-controlled assistants like Alexa with mobile apps
- Receive personalized content suggestions on streaming apps such as Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix
Whether your mobile app is geared towards eCommerce, fashion, or dating, the use of AI personalization is likely to take your app to the next level. For this reason, AI and machine learning are a 2021 trend definitely worth diving into while developing your mobile app.
The Digital Wallet
Another quickly growing mobile app development trend is that of the mobile wallet. Years ago, people didn’t conceive of tapping their smartphone down to pay for purchases. But today, Samsung Pay, Apple Wallet Pay, and Android Pay have become increasingly popular as mobile phone users realize how convenient it is to make purchases with the click of a button. In major cities, apps like Omni are extending the reach of digital wallets by making their technology compatible with public transportation.
It’s important to note the supporting data for the upward trend in digital wallets. According to a recent study, 84.6% of Gen Z and 81.3% of Millennials have adopted the use of mobile wallets in the past year. Savvy users are even taking advantage of mobile wallet integration with wearable devices. For example, Apple introduced the ability to use Apple Pay via the Apple Watch even when wearing a mask.
As more and more companies continue to leverage the benefits of digital wallets, it is likely that they will become part of the standard when it comes to eCommerce and mobile commerce. Mobile app developers should get ahead of this trend now in order to work out the growing pains and boast innovation when it comes to offering valuable features to their users.
IoT Applications as Mobile App Development Trends
IoT, or the internet of things, is not a new trend, but rather a concept integral to mobile app development that is becoming more commonly understood with the growth of the mobile app industry. The internet of things is a system of internet-connected objects that have the ability to receive and send data over a wireless network without human intervention.
The connected objects could be any IoT devices such as a thermostat, remote, or lamp that functions under the umbrella of Smart Technology. In these cases, the IoT allows users to connect their mobile devices to different objects via a wireless connection and control them from afar. This is how users achieve the ability to change the TV channel with their mobile phone or lock the garage door behind them with it when they’re already in the car.
As the market for IoT devices and applications continues to grow, the trend of including them will grow as well. And unlike a fad, this trend is likely to be a lasting one. After all, humans are always searching for more ways to make our lives more convenient and experience an everyday sense of luxury. With this in mind, IoT is a worthy trend to follow when it comes to mobile app development because it is more likely that an audience will gravitate towards apps that integrate the trend seamlessly into its user experience.
There is reason to believe that multiple trends on this list will actually become lasting pillars of mobile app development in the near future. But it’s important to remember that trends always run the risk of becoming obsolete or overdone. As a mobile app developer, you can use this guide to get ahead of the competition in areas that are just beginning to enter the mainstream, and as a guide to help you innovate for the future. Maybe you’ll even implement features that will become part of the list of mobile app development trends of the future. As long as you are putting value first and listening to your audience, you should be able to develop a mobile app that remains popular for a long time.