The most impressive thing about technology is that it’s always evolving – one of the most recognizable trends today is increased usage of mobile.
Increase in using mobile is a reality – the average adult in the USA spends a bit more than 3.5 hours per day on a mobile device.
The irrefutable fact is that people use their mobile devices more than ever before.
Since mobile defines the time in which we live, let’s see the top trends to watch in 2020 for mobile technology:
The next evolution of wireless connection is on the horizon: 5G.
As per Statista, an ‘adoption explosion’ is yet to come in the following years. Some smartphone makers like Samsung etc. have already released their first 5G headsets in 2019 and others like Apple have reported they will include 5G to their premium iPhones in 2020.
5G technology means faster and more reliable cell phone connections as well as a massive upgrade to IoT (Internet of Things) as it uses mobile. The cross-connection of devices has become a new norm(al).
When compared to 4G, 5G will be not only 100 times faster, but will also improve data security, Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D gaming. Although 5G faces some challenges such as regulatory change, the main focus is on 5G and its connectivity possibilities.
Considering 5G application range, developers should design the apps accordingly so to enable users to experience enhanced performance.
SIM cards were introduced back in 1991 and was about the size of a credit card.
Since then, SIM cards endured a lot of improvements making them smaller and smaller.
Today, SIM card is on the way into the future by introducing the next version of the SIM that will be impossible to hold because it’ll be entirely virtual.
The new trend will be eSIM: an electronic (or embedded) SIM. Instead of physical card, SIM technology will be built right into your phone – basically, it’s a small chip used to authenticate your identity with your telecommunication carrier.
The advantages of eSIM technology is that it makes much easier to switch carriers straight from your phone. If you’re a dual SIM user, eSIM technology will help as it supports multiple accounts. One of the first phones to support eSIM technology was Google Pixel 2 along with the app in the store to manage your eSIM card.
Despite its conveniences, the eSIM faces a potential risk of security issues – it’s still being developed and those risks will be addressed along the way but for now, maybe it’s not that practical to store your credentials and data into the OS of the devices without a better cyber defense.
Considering that more phone devices support eSIM, it will definitely be interesting to watch what the future brings.
AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY (AR and VR)
Brends today use these technologies to achieve novelties in their approach to customers.
A few years ago, we had a chance to see obsessive gaming trends like with Pokemon Go, Dino Trek and more. There are many apps (e.g. ‘Ikea’) that already use AR technology to uplift the user experience and some popular social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram have already been using such technology for some time now.
Earlier this year it was announced that Google brought Augmented Reality (AR) to their search – users can view and place certain 3D objects into the space around them. This type of technology has been already working with organizations like NASA, Volvo, Target etc.
In 2020, AR will be one of the most important steps for mobile industry – some upcoming AR/VR trends can be:
- AR in different industries like healthcare, marketing and advertising, manufacturing etc.
- Mobile AR disruption
Although AR and VR are in usage for some time now, these technologies have gained a huge boost and their future seems promising.
Beacon technology is critical for the future – it’s of great use in location technology and proximity marketing and since it’s easy to use, any regular user can quickly get familiar with it.
Beacons are wireless transmitters that use Bluetooth technology to send signals. It greatly helps in the information exchange of sales.
Beacon technology is one of the first mobile development trends that was quickly embraced by museums, hotels, healthcare etc. One of the industries that can greatly benefit from beacon technology, especially if merged with IoT, is retail industry.
Beacon technology could find its usage for 2020:
- Mobile payments beacons;
- AI-enabled chips;
- Automated Machine Learning (ML);
INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) has been familiar in mobile app sector for quite a while now – its diverse applications list it as a future trend.
With IoT, people can control the non-IT devices via remote controls or apps. As the convenience has become an essential part of the user’s life, the Internet of Things evolved with time to become an industry.
Developers should bear in mind to keep their apps IoT friendly as statistics go in favour of IoT, see below:
If developers want to work with IoT in mobile app, they need to pick a viable platform – some of the popular platforms are:
- Android Ubidots: It can easily be connected to Ubidots and it will enable the developer to push apps on devices.
- Xively: offers IoT like features for the app development project.
- Thingworx: comes with an advanced set of tools to market the mobile app.
AI AND CHATBOTS
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has delivered a significant breakthrough in mobile technology. The integration between AI and mobile app technology results not only in the smarter apps but also saves a lot of time and money for the mobile app developers.
Some of the examples where AI enhances mobile technology can be Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), Intelligent Apps, Cyber Security and IoT – each technology sector will employ AI capabilities for its processes.
The rise of chatbots has also been said to be one of the trends in 2020 and the example to support it is Google Duplex – an AI program that can make calls on behalf of humas to arrange appointments with local businesses. It clearly shows how AI is evolving fast.
In 2020, the adaptation of bots will escalate to a huge level and what is more, mobile apps with services like online shopping, food delivery and/or taxi services are already working on integrating chatbots to their apps – it will help users to resolve their most frequent queries without calling the customer support.
Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant will be smarter in 2020 to serve with new features that will simplify people’s lives by assisting them in their day to day tasks. Such apps leverage technology via chatbots and learning user behavior patterns for a personalized experience.
How companies and industries embrace AI innovations is displayed in the graph below:
As you can see, the IT industry is leading the way, followed by a marketing industry but more industries are about to accept AI into their apps like finance, accounting, customer service, healthcare and more.
Some of the future AI trends for 2020:
- AI automated DevOps through AIOps
- AI-enabled chips
- Automated Machine Learning (ML)
- Interoperability among neural networks
A huge boost in e-commerce and online banking adds to the tremendous growth in online payment options for the users.
Earlier, cash was replaced by plastic and it’s high time now for plastic money to disappear. The rise in mobile wallet trend is due to the expansion of the Internet payment systems that require fast and more secure channels for money transactions. Even Blockchain is entering into the mobile payments and powering the apps with more secured transaction options.
The tech giant like Samsung is already working on an enhanced scan’n’pay technique to make money transactions more convenient for the users. Apple is also working to enable the peer-to-peer money payment system with its Apple Pay.
There are many payment gateways to integrate into an app and your development team will help you to decide which one would be the best for you.
In addition to these options, there will be more mobile payment options in 2020:
- Over 2 billion mobile wallet users;
- More secure mobile wallets;
- Contactless payment.
ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES (AMP)
In order to increase the loading speed of mobile pages, Google introduced AMP in collaboration with Twitter that was announced back in 2015.
Later, Google officially integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results and it helped developers to decrease the loading time of web pages. They also announced a mobile search box that will enable users to detect the mobile-friendly websites.
AMP is a stripped-down version of HTML to accelerate the speed of mobile pages – it enables developers to create complex web pages with faster loading speed, lower bounce rates and high performance across all mobile devices.
With a good AMP score, you can acquire a better conversion rate, maximum user retention and it can be an excellent boost to the user experience.
With these options, AMP will evoke a significant change in the mobile app industry.
It is believed that Instant Apps are the next step in mobile app evolution.
Instant apps are basically native apps that operate like websites but you don’t need to install them on your phone. Instant apps have definitely blurred the lines between the app and users by eliminating the need for any download or installation.
Google first introduced Instant apps in 2016 to make things easier for both developers and users.
Top benefits of instant apps are:
- Smaller in size;
- Possess functionalities of a website;
- Excellent user experience;
- Device memory is not used.
Google Instant apps are available for users in the Play Store for accessing apps instantly – for now, there is a limited number of Instant apps available.
Some Android apps that are available in the Play Store with ‘Try it now’ button are –
- NYTimes Crossword
- Onefootball Live Soccer Scores
- Red Bull TV
Hollar and NYTimes advised that they were able to increase the conversion rate from 20% to 27% by introducing an instant mobile app.
Moreover, Android Studio’s latest version allows the developers to modularize the app, so users can only use a portion of the app.
CLOUD MOBILE APPS
Cloud based mobile apps, as opposed to regular mobile apps, ‘live’ on server and are accessed through a web browser. If you want your app to function seamlessly across multiple platforms, you should put an accent to cloud technologies for mobile app development.
Benefits of clouding technology for mobile app development are:
- Streamlined operations;
- Lower costs and time spent
- Reduction in hosting;
- Enhancement in storage capacity of apps;
- Increased collaboration and productivity.
When ‘living’ on a cloud, it helps mobile apps to store great deal of data efficiently, carry out complex tasks and increase reliability, speed, processing power and security of the apps.
Cloud mobile app trends that we may see in 2020:
- Quantum computing
- Hybrid cloud solutions
- Evolution of cloud services and solutions
As we live in a fast and dynamic environment, we like to keep track of our health and the state of our condition. That’s where M-health came into place.
There are currently over 300.000 health apps on the market and despite some decrease years ago, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch etc. have continued to thrive.
One of the most important parts of M-health are certainly wearables.
Wearable devices are not new on the market – we already witnessed smartwatches, fitness bands, trackers etc. and these changed the way we interact with smart devices.
As per Business Insider report, wearables are still to experience an increase in revenue in the following years:
As the potential of wearables is huge, mobile apps should support wearable technology. Each wearable devices requires a platform to run on – Apple Watch needs watchOS, while Android smartwatches need to sync with WearOS. Such numbers go in favour of wearables and developers should keep an option to integrate their apps with wearable devices, depending on the nature of the app.
Potential trends for wearables in 2020:
- Rise in the use of fitness trackers.
- Less dependence on the smartphone.
As wearable tech is here to stay, we should pay attention to the latest trends and the most common usage per industry. And with M-health market estimated to be valued at $31 billion by the end of 2020, this is a trend that will stick around for a while.
Blockchain is a shared, unalterable ledger for recording company’s information listed as blocks. It can be the history of transactions or bitcoins none of which can be altered without changing all subsequent blocks of the network.
Blockchain increases transparency, enhances the app security and reduces fraudulent transactions.
By using the blockchain, the chances are high that developers can design a decentralized mobile app. Such apps are termed as Decentralized Mobile apps or the DApp. It can’t be owned by a single entity and neither shutdown by any external force.
Blockchain can integrate multiple areas seamlessly – it manages digital transaction process and handles peer-to-peer transactions in user mobile apps.
Blockchain will definitely disrupt all industries which need security of digital transaction processes like real estate, healthcare organizations etc.
Some of the expected trends of the blockchain technology that can help in mobile app development in the future:
- Asset tokenization
- BAAS (Blockchain-as-a-Service)
- Trading on crypto-currency exchange
- Crypto space and gaming
Mobile apps are getting revolutionized every year – all these mobile app development trends will evoke the app industry to continue expanding at a rapid pace.
The competition among developers will be intensified in 2020 so it’s crucial that you understand these trends before you start working on your app.
We know that each new technology in mobile application development has its limitations as well, but with an excellent development partner at your reach, you can always identify the right mobile app trend for your next mobile app.
Now that we know the key tendencies for mobile, let’s watch these trends evolving in 2020!