2016 year is coming to an end and it is pretty clear that we undergo the mobile technology era. According to Statista, the number of mobile phone users is predicted to reach 4.77 billion in 2017, while in 2016 there are 4.61 billion of them. Along with all this growth and wide-spreadness of mobile apps, they will come with new features, functionalities, and even trends, which will prevail in mobile app industry. So which mobile app development trends is the upcoming year preparing for us? Let’s take a look at top 7, which are most likely to be super popular in 2017.
Hybrid app development
There are different technologies, which can be used for building hybrid apps, such as Ionic, AngularJS, Cordova, and PhoneGap. Thanks to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) increasing wave, the demand for such apps is only growing. Apparently, HTML5 will be a standard tool for developing hybrid apps. It seems like hybrid HTML5 apps will only grow in its popularity the next year as they attract both consumers and enterprise.
Internet of Things (IOT)
Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with technology that enables these objects to communicate and interact with the environment and each other. By linking the items to the Internet, IoT empowers them not only to collect, but also to exchange the necessary data. The information exchange happens between appliances and mobile phones. This way, there must be an appropriate application on the phone which will provide connection and the process of managing smart devices.
There are no doubts that the Internet of Things will only continue to gain more attention around the globe and set new mobile app trends. Throughout your homes and business, the Internet of Things will go on looking for the ways to provide access to various things through IoT based apps in your smartphone. The IoT is invading and gaining tremendous traction in a variety of industries including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, analytics, security, and many more.
The trend of cloud computing and mobile apps combination has already set itself. And the odds are that it is not going anywhere in 2017. Cloud technology offers a great deal of advantages applicable to mobile devices. It lowers the costs of launching apps as there is no need to build separate versions of applications for each mobile device, and coming into each application store enables access to larger markets via mobile browsers, offers higher level of flexibility, enabling reaching your data from any mobile device wherever you are located, and gives an access to real-time notifications and constant updates.
In general, cloud mobile technology enables synchronization with multiple platforms and various mobile devices. Having access to the app and all the needed data on any mobile device just using internet connection makes the process of launching an app faster and less costly. Moreover, with increasing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practice, cloud is even more under demand.
We have got to observe how mobile messengers culture has evolved in 2016. While users spend a great deal of time in their mobile applications, most of this time is dedicated to messengers and social media. Texting is the super popular mobile service, and texting via messaging apps using internet connection proves to be very convenient, providing no extra costs. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and other leading messaging apps are extensively used and show growth all the time.
Messaging apps are not only about personal communication, they support other services as well. For companies, messaging is a powerful tool for communicating with their clients. That’s why messaging chatbots are becoming very popular. With the help of artificial intelligence, chatbot platforms provide effective interaction between companies and clients. Some outstanding companies, such as Facebook and Kik, have already established this feature, and it looks like more companies will set this tool in the foreseeable future, too. So in 2017 more messaging apps are to appear, which will include new features and functionalities.
As long as more and more employees use their mobile devices for the business purposes on the enterprise level, the demand for developing enterprise apps only increases. And it is bound to increase even more in the upcoming year.
Enterprise mobile applications are meant to solve the problems and issues which enterprises face. Usually, enterprise app is a software platform with a variety of features (location, transactions, audio/video messaging, sensor, etc.), which supports different mobile devices (phones, tablets, wearables and so on). This kind of apps is cross-platform and it can be deployed in different networks, devices, and operating systems. Moreover, enterprise apps have to be scalable due to constant changes and updates in the modern technology.
Enterprise mobile applications are created to help with many processes and operations within the company, such as finance, human resources, marketing, sales, manufacturing, etc. What is more, they can also provide connection between partners and customers. Putting such apps into use provides higher level of mobility in the workplace, which induces a rise in productivity and efficiency as well as business growth overall. That is why we are about to see more enterprise mobile apps next year.
Among the multiple functions modern mobile phones offer the ability to make payments via these devices is one of the most valuable. Along with such payment tools as cash and credit cards, making payments via mobile phones is getting more and more popular. While there was time when credit cards started to invade the market gaining their prominence rapidly and extensively, now it’s time for mobile payments to thrive and bring about changes.
Smartphones offer fast and convenient way to shop and check out, which attracts customers a lot. There is a growing amount of digital wallets and payment apps out there. Some leaders of the industry have created their own versions of mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and the amount of customers using these services gets bigger all the time. In addition, the demand for digital wallets encourages more companies to establish apps with accepting mobile payments (like Starbucks and Taco Bell). So, in 2017 we will see more digital wallets, m-commerce tools, mobile transactions, and increasing number of people who will make payments using their smartphones.
Security has always been an important issue but nowadays, with wider usage of technology every day, its importance has increased, especially when we are talking about mobile phones, which we use all the time carrying out our daily activities and running through business sites, e-commerce, e-banking and so on. However, cyber crimes happen all the time and there is a growing need in preventing such attacks.
For instance, Apple’s iOS devices have a reputation of coming with a pretty high level of security. Moreover, in the World Wide Developers Conference, Apple announced that it would include App Transport Security (ATS) feature in all its applications. This way, encrypted HTTPS connections may help in providing better app security. When it comes to Google, it has been considered not that secured platform. Nevertheless, latest Android version proved that the company started to concentrate much more on security issues.
Mobile security is a great developers and business owners’ concern these days. Therefore, it looks like the companies are going to focus on this issue in the future year, coming up with new tools and techniques.
Consequently, mobile app industry, which is already huge, is not going to stop increasing. It is beyond question, that it is time of mobile technologies. The number of mobile apps is growing constantly and this trend will definitely continue in 2017. People use smartphones in their everyday routine, and it is obvious that this will also lead to rise in their functioning and features.
So, we will continue to observe new trends invading mobile market. Some trends will stay, some will evolve, and some are about to appear. Among all of those, there is no doubt that cloud technology will be even more implemented, and there will be more financial transactions held via mobile phones. Internet of Things will rise in its popularity and so will mobile IoT-based apps. We are about to see more messaging, hybrid, and enterprise applications in the next year. And besides, developers will pay more attention at mobile security and look for the ways to provide higher level of it.
Author: Ivan Shikht
Co-founder and CTO at Exoft