25 Emerging Mobile App Development Trends to Watch Out for in 2021
Last Updated on January 12, 2021
In today’s dynamic business world, staying up to date with the latest mobile app development trends is crucial. With the continuously evolving mobile app development industry, you must get acquainted with the changing technological advancements, consumer demands, and various other factors that directly impact the mobile app development trends.
Gaining an edge and keeping up with new trends is essential to serve your clients better. The same goes for the app developers and businesses that want to make their apps more advanced and take their brands to next level.
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Are you ready for the app development trends in the coming year?
The trends that define the roadmap for your business app and help you come up with a way your business is going to evolve around.
In this article, we have listed the most advanced mobile app development trends that are going to rule the industry.
App Trends based on Technology
1. 5G Wireless Technology
5G wireless service is one of the major technology trends in 2021. The technology is completely going to change the way apps are being created and used. It is the next step in the evolution of 3G and 4G. 5G technology will come with improved speed while boosting traffic capacity and network efficiency.
According to the experts, 5G wireless technology can allow connecting over 1 million devices per square meter. It can help connect different types of devices like smartphones, washing machines, cars, security cameras, refrigerators, and other electronic devices.
This 5G wireless technology will help videos run without connectivity interruptions and allow video calls, on the other hand, to become more regular and clearer. it will boost the functionality of apps and will allow app developers to come up with new features to enhance the app’s performance.
The 5G wireless service will be 100 times faster than 4G, depending upon the network service provider. Experts say, the year 2021 will come with 3.5 times more 5G connections when compared to 2020.
2. Beacon Technology
Beacon technology is another major app development trend for various industries including hospitality, retail, etc. In 2013, we came across the first mobile app beacons and the technology has been coming up with various significant advancements over the years.
Beacon technology can be applied by using Bluetooth transmitters to send signals to multiple smart devices nearby. Beacon devices are small and are easy-to-use. Each beacon device contains a battery, a radio, and a CPU.
Beacon devices repeatedly broadcast an identifier picked up by smart devices around. Various marketers connect their beacon signals to Google search ads and track their store visits.
Let us now understand how beacons work with your mobile app. For example, you are a mobile app developer and have created an app for the retailer. The retailer can get the beacons installed in their store and connect with their clients’ smartphones via Bluetooth if they have got this app installed. When users pass any of the beacons installed in the store, they get notified about a special offer or a sale on some specific products.
The beacons can help you study the behavior of your clients. You can use them to detect the time a specific user is spending in a particular aisle. The devices can also help you send out push notifications to entice the sale on a later date based on the products. All in all, beacon technology helps you improve your customers’ experience in surprising ways.
According to the experts, the beacon technology market is running on an increased compound annual growth rate of 59.8%. By the year 2026, the estimated beacon technology market value will reach $56.6 billion which is over ten times higher when compared to the $519.6 million worth from 2016.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence both entered the app development market years ago. However, we have still been scratching the surface to figure out how well these advanced technologies can be utilized.
Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri is the first thing that comes to our minds when we talk about artificial intelligence. However, the use cases in this context go beyond this for mobile app development.
Most businesses use AI-powered advanced technologies in their development phase. They use this technology to make their apps smarter and improve the app’s performance at every level. AI features that can be added to the apps include face detection, image recognition, predictive maintenance, speech recognition, and much more.
As per the experts, by the year 2022, almost 40 percent of all the new mobile app development projects would have mobile app developers with expertise in Artificial Intelligence.
Blockchain is another major trend that benefits multiple industries from retail to marketing to banking. The technology is majorly used to reorganize the app data storage to save it from being controlled, owned, or manipulated by a central actor.
Blockchain technology in business is based on the idea of interconnected nodes of the network. This helps businesses manage the security of blocks in a better way making the system many times safer and more secure using traditional web security protocols.
As per the experts, the technology is all ready to bring its integral qualities of data reliability, simplicity, and security to the mobile app development industry in 2021.
5. AR and VR
AR and VR mobile apps got a lot of attention in the first place, but then soon became limited in scope to apps in gaming. The technology, however, has seen rapid innovation in the past few years.
According to the experts, the AR and VR market is all set to hit over $16 billion in 2021 and will increase intensely in the coming years. AR and VR technology will come with collaborative walkthroughs in mixed or virtual reality environments.
In the coming years, mobile apps will be the most popular source to enable this revolution.
Chatbots have been around for a while now. They have become the best source for businesses when it comes to serving their customers better. They have helped businesses increase their popularity on the websites and deliver an excellent customer service experience.
Using chatbots on websites is now becoming the new standard of delivering the best customer service. Chatbots help businesses modernize the whole process of how they interact with their clients and internal stakeholders. They have been created with the capability of ‘learning’, which means the ROIs are effectively great, and payback periods pleasantly short.
Among the millions of apps available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, chatbots actually use a small fraction. The fact will however be changed in the coming years.
As per the statistics, the global chatbot market is growing at 24% every year. The number is expected to increase in the coming years.
7. Mobile Gaming
Mobile games are continuing their dramatic rise in the entertainment industry. People are spending more and more time playing games on their smartphones. The growth of the mobile gaming industry is another major trend on the list.
As per the experts, in the few coming years, casual gamers taking up easy-to-play games, with the hard-core gamers are going to contribute majorly in driving the global mobile gaming market.
According to a recent study, in the year 2021, the collective market share of platforms like handheld, console, PC/Mac, and mobile devices would take up over 60 percent of the cumulative gaming market.
8. Internet of Things (IoT)
As per a recent study, by the year 2021, the number of connected devices will come up to more than 26 billion consisting of various smart devices like LED bulbs, domestic appliances, toys, controllable power sockets, medical devices, and more. These devices will further constitute the Internet of Things and will communicate through an App or a tablet or a smartphone.
The mobile devices would act like remote controls for IoTs while displaying the information, replacing the consumables, monitoring the ‘things’ that can post on the various social media, updating object firmware, paying for your subscriptions, and much more.
This shows that almost every ‘Internet of things’ solution would need a consistent mobile app to manage smart devices. In some other fields like healthcare, where IoT has achieved quite a momentum already, it can be said that there is a lot of scope in most other fields for app development to expand the growth curve of IoT.
9. Cloud Computing Integration
Cloud technology has been here for a while now, but it hasn’t penetrated the mobile app development industry to its full potential yet. The technology will exploit the wide range of possibilities for mobile app development in the coming few years.
Cloud technology can help businesses improve their business apps’ performance at the users’ end. The app users can store their app data and carry out various complex tasks easily using this cloud-based technology.
As per the recent reports, in 2021, around 83% of enterprise data will be cloud-based. Make sure you keep an eye on the cloud computing trends if you are planning to create a mobile app for your business.
10. Predictive Analysis
Predictive analysis is not something new that you would learn about. It is an activity that helps you understand your users’ behavior and place offers accordingly.
You can leverage the technology for data mining, machine learning, modeling, etc. to forecast events using predictive analytics data. Various tech giants are using predictive analytics to connect better with their users.
Let us take an example of a TV show streaming app. It shows you the movies and shows based on your previously watched.
In 2021, the predictive analysis will be used on a mainstream level to enhance the user experience with an app.
11. Wearable Devices
The smart trend of wearable devices has taken the whole app development industry upwards. Devices like trackers, smartwatches, fitness bands, etc. have yet to reach their full potential.
App developers are likely to create more mobile apps keeping these wearable devices in mind. Imagine users downloading an app directly from their wrist!
This is just the beginning of scratching the surface of development for wearable devices. The coming years are going to be more progressive in this space
Before we go ahead and learn more about upcoming mobile app development trends, let us take a look on to some major statistics.
App Trends based on App Types
12. Instant Apps
Instant Apps have been around for a while now. These apps work like a website with enhanced capabilities. The technology behind instant apps is going to get bigger in the next few years. The advanced instant apps will come with additional features to add more convenience for mobile app developers and users.
The best part about instant apps that attracts more users is that they can be used on a trial basis without having to download an actual app. These apps are smaller in size when compared to regular apps. They come with a website like functionality and offer an excellent user experience without even using the device memory.
13. Cross-Platform Apps
Cross-platform app development is nothing new. HTML5 and Flash are the perfect examples of how cross-platform technology has enabled expression and innovation in the world of web technologies.
Technology has made it easier for the developers to create mobile apps for all mobile operating systems without any repeating effort.
In the coming years, cross-platform apps are all set to go mainstream. There are several other benefits of using cross-platform apps such as reduced marketing time, increases app recognition, lesser maintenance hassles to deal with, and much more.
14. Low-Code Apps
Low-code mobile apps allow businesses to create customized apps as per their requirements. The speed that low-code development platforms offer, makes them a low-risk, viable, and agile technology for businesses. In the year 2021, low-code development will be more focused on visual development making it simpler for beginners to use.
Low-code mobile app development platforms also offer some other effective benefits like low cost of development, ease of deployment, the minimal cost of maintenance, and more agility.
15. On-Demand Service Apps
These apps help people get on-demand services instantly. On-demand mobile apps are the best go-to tools for businesses to entice customers with their on-demand services.
The on-demand delivery apps have been proven effective in the grocery and food delivery industry. Various other sectors like travel, healthcare, entertainment, fitness, etc. are slowly adopting the technology, heading towards strong growth.
As per the reports, consumers spend over $57 billion each year using on-demand services. A few examples include doctors on-demand, food delivery, laundry service, pet care, fitness on-demand, beauty salon, and much more.
In 2021, mobile app developers would better leverage the endless opportunities to widen the customer base.
16. Free vs Paid Apps
One of the major aspects of mobile app development is deciding whether you want to make your app for free or if you would offer a paid version. Whatever option you choose, both are seeing steady growth in the app development market. There is not an essential bias against paid apps, however, they occupy a minor space in the mobile app market.
17. Modular Apps
Modularization of an app allows you to break the app into smaller manageable components. This helps businesses and other managers define the code ownership of the app in the whole team in a more organized and transparent manner. This helps them not only save a lot of time but also keep track of any bug that might come up.
One of the most popular programming languages used for iOS app development, Swift encourages the modular apps trend as it offers well-defined access controls to make some specific portions accessible to certain particularly designated developers.
18. Google Apps vs Apple Apps
The number of apps for both the stores has increased in the past few years. The key features for the app development agencies – no-code and low-code app development platforms will support the trend going in a good direction for the near future. As per the experts and as usually expected, apps on Google Play Store lead the charge followed by Apple apps.
19. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
These apps are excellent for the users looking for the capabilities of a web app with the feel of a native app. The progressive web apps with their popularity are revolutionizing the predictable structure of mobile app development.
While opening their PWAs in the web browsers the app users will be able to enjoy various effective features of native apps like push notifications and faster load time. There are various other benefits like low data consumption, easy to develop, offline capabilities, and much more of the trend going bigger in the coming years.
App Trends based on App Development
20. User Interface Design
This is one of the most popular app development trends. Bringing an enhanced and engaging user interface helps businesses deliver excellent user experience. It is critical to delivering a positive user experience for every app that has been created with the intent of bringing mobility to streamline any part of work.
The mobile app developer must keep in mind the purpose of the app and the way a potential user might interact with it. An effective display of data and content is important. Mobile apps that exploit technologies with innovative features like manipulative content and circular design pattern are setting high standards of user interface design.
To meet these app requirements, the app developers today need to learn new skills and start working with new partners to be able to meet the growing expectations of the user.
21. Mobile Commerce
This is a worth mentioning mobile app development trend for 2021. Most businesses are using mobile apps to increase their revenue and connect with the clients better. Various retailers, marketers, and content creators are making plenty of money using mobile apps in this space.
Mobile commerce is one of the top functionalities features that mobile app developers are adding to mobile apps created for driving sales. Most businesses however have reached the point where they need these apps to stay competitive.
In the coming years, be ready for the more advanced innovative m-commerce business models to appear and expect mobile apps to allow most users to be a part of it.
An ideal mobile app should score high on user engagement, user experience, and transaction security. Most businesses are now using mobile apps to stay connected with their users, which means there are several opportunities for mobile app developers to become a part of the m-commerce success journey.
It has been predicted that in 2021, around 73% of total eCommerce sales will be made using mobile devices. Mobile apps play a momentous role in the current and future success of mobile commerce.
22. Mobile Wallets
Mobile payments and wallets are used almost everywhere now. Although cash used to be the king in the past years, mobile wallets have literally changed the payments and eCommerce landscape.
Mobile wallets like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, etc. have made users more comfortable with the idea of digital payments saving the market from being saturated.
As per the statistics, in 2019, there was over $6 billion worth of transactions made using mobile wallets. And this number is expected to reach around $14 billion by 2022.
23. In-App Ads
It has been predicted by experts that in 2021, another 60 percent of apps would monetize using in-app advertising. This is major because mobile devices have already gained popularity and have become a major growth market for digital advertising.
24. Digital Ethics and Privacy
Data privacy and digital ethics have become one of the major concerns for the stakeholders including various organizations, individuals, and even government agencies.
As per Gartner’s prediction, to keep your data safe in this rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, the focus on risk reduction, compliance, and a robust value system needs to grow in the future.
25. App Security
You must have heard of the term ‘Cybercrime’. From an individual to business giants, everybody susceptible to cybercrime.
There have been hundreds of malware attacks designed to harm mobile devices. Over 60% of scams originate from mobile devices. And 80% of this 60% comes from mobile apps.
No business can afford to take shortcuts from an app development standpoint when it comes to app security. Even if you are an app reseller, app security must be your top priority for clients.
Mobile app developers will soon start implementing the features like ‘Sign in with Apple’ to the mobile apps. This way users need not enter their email ID and password to fill out the forms. Users can simply create an account and log in using their Apple ID.
The best part about this security metric is these accounts will be protected with two-factor authentication and the activity will not be tracked even by Apple itself.
Things that worked out fine for you in the past few years will not keep working in the coming years. Now is the right time for you to realize that ‘Change’ is the rule of the game.
As the new year is here, you must prepare yourself for the upcoming new trends from the industry and new demands from your customers. The trends listed in this article will help you understand what the coming year has in store for you.
Make sure you keep in mind these trends while developing an app for your business or introducing an updated version of your existing one. I assure you that you would for sure see the difference it would make to your business in the brand-new year! Try out Appy Pie’s AppMakr to create your own business app in just a few clicks. The software is already ready with various advanced features that you can use to make your app more useful and engaging for the users.