Digital disruption is the only certainty in mobile application development. In addition to regularly upgrading your skills as a developer, you have to be constantly aware of the latest developments to stay relevant. While adapting promptly to market disruptions is essential, it is critical to take note of the mobile app development trends in the offing and prepare beforehand.
Having said that, mobile is no longer an independent sector. Technological advancements in the last decade have to lead to significant overlapping of various sectors. As a result, mobile app development trends are no more just about APIs and IDEs. You have to keep an eye on literally every major and minor disruption to be adequately prepared.
Let’s see what the rest of 2018 has in store that may pose several challenges in mobile application development.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Sophia is a great example of the rapid advancement in AI, and the possibilities it entails. The first AI-based humanoid, Sophia even has an official citizenship. While the interviews with this robot may seem like Hollywood in reality, AI as a technology has been around for quite some time. Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri, though not humanoids, have been making some of our mundane tasks a tad easier. The one that is more successful in terms of business is a separate subject altogether, but there is no denying the fact that AI as a technology will continue to steadily advance in 2018.
What challenges does it pose to mobile app development? Don’t worry, it is not becoming a competitor. There aren’t going to be AI-based development environments churning out mobile apps as and when needed, guiding human away from the limelight. The challenge for mobile application developers will be to incorporate AI technology into their apps to make them stand out.
E-commerce giants are already leveraging AI to customize user-experience. Soon, entertainment and other fun apps may possibly turn to AI to enhance user engagement.
Considering the capabilities that AI exhibits, though still in its nascent stage, it is wise to be proactive and include it in all mobile application development strategies. As the technology gains traction in mainstream mobile app development, developers who would already have a firm grip on it will obviously have a significant competitive edge.
What is internal storage capacity of your mobile device? 32 GB, 64 GB, or maybe 128 GB. Whatever it is, the thought of storage space running out is always there in the crevices of your brain.
Today, there are apps available for seemingly everything that can be done through a mobile device, and most of us use several of those apps to get through the day. In addition to the installed apps, a barrage of photos, videos, and GIFs get downloaded into our devices every day. The innovation of cloud technology has effectively addressed this very issue.
From Amazon Web Services (AWS), the pioneer of the cloud storage as we know today, to Google Drive — technology heavyweights are taking major strides to free customers from the bounds of fixed in-device storage capacity. Google Drive and Microsoft Office 360 are perfect examples of applications that reside on users’ devices but store content on the cloud in real time. There are two-pronged advantages of such applications – the internal storage remains free and the content is accessible anytime, anywhere.
Even most mobile device manufacturers now offer cloud storage and seek users’ registration. Hence, it will be extremely difficult for any mobile app development company to survive if it’s not adept at harnessing cloud efficiently even in 2018.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is beyond bounds. There is no limit to the number of appliances and gadgets that can be synchronized to deliver a truly connected experience. We already have smart homes with air-conditioners, sound systems, lamps, cars, smartphones, wearable gadgets, televisions, etc. already networked. Besides, advancements in sensor technology and Edge Computing are poised to make the experience possible, where humans will be able to control everything with only gestures and verbal commands.
Retailers and digital marketers are already leveraging beacons to make personalized real-time offers and recommendations, resulting in increased customer responsiveness and engagement.
Hence, the scope of mobile app development in the near future is huge as applications are the interface between humans and machines. That being said, only those players that will keep their mobile app development practices updated with the futuristic innovations in the IoT domain will taste success.
Search engines rule the Internet, right? And they may continue to do so in the future as well. However, you are free to exploit technological advancements to lower the influence of search engines as much as strategically beneficial.
How can you do it? The increasing popularity of hybrid apps is an indication.
In 2018, businesses will continue to explore all mobile app development possibilities. The result is already visible — the blurring of the distinction between apps and websites with the rising popularity of Progressive Web Apps. They are the ultimate hybrids that combine the best of all — native, cross-platform and web applications — and are going to become more mainstream through this year. They provide some of the core native app functionalities through the web. Alternatively put, they are websites that offer app-like experience. Android Instant Apps, a perfect example of the app-web merger, has already set the tone for 2018 and beyond.
What’s the benefit of it for the users? They get the features of native apps, which are known to exploit device hardware the best, without installing the apps. The overall cost of production and ownership of these apps is relatively low, making them easily accessible.
The challenge for the app development agencies is to reform their processes and upgrade their suite of technologies to cater all types of app requirement with the same level of finesse.
In addition to the above-mentioned trends, also keep a keen eye on Augment/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Blockchain, mobile payment, wearable gadgets, face-recognition, Material Design, and anything as-a-service offering. Research & development is in full swing in these technologies as well, and which one will kick-start a transformative chain reaction is difficult to predict accurately.
Also, you can share your viewpoint regarding the 2018 mobile app development trends that developers may find challenging to tackle.