Application development is completely driven by technology and the peaks in consumer interest. In order to successfully develop an application, it’s important to gain an understanding of what people want, what people are doing and what devices they use the most. As different sectors, devices and market trends fluctuate and welcome new aspects, the potential for new and interesting applications arises. As an app developer, it’s important to appreciate that like anything, the trends and patterns of the market change, and applications need to change and develop with them. Here are five of the biggest trends set to influence the future of app development in the coming years…
Smart Objects And The Mainstream Market
Everything is becoming technologically connected, whether that’s a home appliance, application or your television, it’s almost one of life’s most predictable inevitabilities. All of these devices are being tailored by engineers in order to be able to controlled via mobile phone applications. Have you ever gone out and worried that you have left the oven on, or whether you have kept the heating on, there is sure to be an application either in the stages of conception or being beta tested as you read this sentence.
It’s actually been predicted that by the year 2020, there will be the amount of 26 billion devices which can be interacted with via a smartphone or a tablet. These objects will vary to anything from domestic appliances, to toys, to power sockets, the possibilities for user interaction truly are endless. Mobile app developers and tech companies need to collaborate and be able to capitalise on the way that society is slowly but surely evolving into. This is one of the most important application trends to take into consideration, as it is essentially going to define the progression of modern day society.
Wearable devices are a relatively new concept, first brought to us with the introduction of the Apple watch, which then saw a huge influx in the market for various different gadgets and wearable devices. Although the market is currently predominantly monopolised by Apple and their Apple watch, there is currently the potential for new and exciting devices to be introduced and well received. Because of this new found market trend, there is an opportunity for the app developers to create various applications that will integrate into these devices. Whether these are new forms of messenger and social applications, to applications that assist with everyday activities. The next generation of app developers are going to have to take into consideration various platforms and devices that consumers may use.
M-Commerce vs. E-Commerce
Unless you have been living in a cave completely shut off from the digital world, then you will have more than likely heard of E-Commerce. But what is M-Commerce? M-Commerce is essentially the mobile equivalent of online shopping. This fairly new trend is rapidly catching up to its desktop counterpart, and is set to overtake it by 2020. Studies have revealed that an astounding 50% of shopping related searches that happen on a mobile phone result in a sale there and then. It’s believed that the purchase intent is much higher when people use their smartphones.
Why is this? You may ask. Smartphone users have a much higher purchase intent when shopping no a mobile, as they are most likely searching for a specific item – smartphones have a much quicker accessibility, they can be used when you are on the go, in comparison with desktops, which take time to turn on, load up and then browse. M-Commerce is a much quicker and salient shopping experience, which can be made even better when the store has an application. Shopping apps are much more secure and trusted in comparison to online stores, the payments are quicker and the user experience is much more tailored to speedy online purchases. As stores, whether they are just discovering the digital world (shocking, but true), or whether they are looking to branch out into a more mobile friendly version of their online store, having the knowledge and resources to incorporate a successful shopping application can maximise profits and also the credibility of the brand.
As well as the idea that society is moving towards a progressive techno-driven lifestyle, we are also becoming equally accustomed to a higher quality user experience. It’s evident that we expect quicker loading times, easy navigation, and an aesthetically pleasing sites. If you have a site or an app that has good user experience, then you are guaranteed for people to keep using them, or for more people to begin to use them. App developers need to design applications with the user in mind if they want to ensure that their work is successful.
Motion And Location Sensors
Pretty much every single smartphone in circulation has location and motion sensors built in. If you have used any application or website on your smartphone, you will often be greeted with the message “this application would like to access your location”, this gives the application providers lots of interesting information about the people who are using their app – where they are using it from, how many people are using the app in certain areas etc. Having the knowledge of where your application is being used, and who it is being used by can really help to give an indication of the type of people that interact the most with it. It can help you to cater to certain areas, and to convert this information into better design and better user experience. Knowledge is power, and as a developer you should strive to design applications with the user in mind, what do they want? How can you deliver this to them? Conducting additional market research will also always be extremely beneficial and insightful.
Guest Author: Alice Porter is an avid technology writer at Apadmi who has lots of experience writing about and working with applications and the latest innovations in mobile technology. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with like-minded individuals and professionals.