With 218 billion mobile apps downloaded in 2020 and the mobile app revenue to hit the 935 billion dollar mark in 2023, the industry has a huge boom in store!
Mobile app development trends showed a sudden spike right after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as “remote and online” became the new normal. Technologies like 5G and edge computing are surely going to boost the trends as our society becomes more anchored to mobile devices.
For an overall idea, take a look at the following visual that shows different stats for mobile app development and how different industries are impacted by the same.
Here, we share some of the most compelling and top 17 mobile app development trends in 2022 that will change the entire landscape. While the central technology of serving an easy-to-use technology that you can install in mobile devices remains the same, many changes and milestones are in store.
Take a thorough read to find how the super-volatile mobile app landscape is all set for evolution in 2022.
Mobile App Dev Latest Trends: The Top 17 List
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI and ML have penetrated the core strata of multiple industries and have disrupted them with their stunning functionalities and capabilities. Apps process huge chunks of data at rocket speed with tools and smart reporting features that have revolutionized data analytics.
With due diligence done, both AI and ML will penetrate deeper into the mobile app development market as well. The most common use case of AI is chatbots and customer service bots, while the voice assistants like Cortana and Siri stem from a combination of both AI and ML.
AI and ML entered the scene as a huge disruption but have now become a must-have. Firms across the globe are using AI and ML for multiple processes.
Some examples are:
- AI App Development for cost reduction and profit maximization
- Using AI for improved ERP processes
- Optimizing mobile app development
- Reduce human errors during programming
- Some other application areas include monitoring, recommendations and automation.
Some benefits smartphone users can draw from AI and ML are mentioned below:
Internet of Things
The extremely connected world of apps and devices is all set to get connected even more intensely with the IoT. With no sizable breakthroughs and revolutionary products to tout about, the IoT is yet to see the initially predicted glory.
However, with computing and networking getting a dose of innovation and standardization attempts such as the ioXT Alliance, the technology has surely taken a giant leap!
IoT connects all the smart devices via the internet and makes a tight-knit network of smart devices that communicate via signals. Tech giants like Bosch, Honeywell, Samsung, and Xiaomi hold a big technology market share.
Some commonplace examples of IoT app development include Nest Smart Home, Google Home, Kisi Smart Lock, etc.
Some examples of IoT and mobile application developments trends are:
- Smart homes, smart areas and smart spaces or business centers
- Routers with better security and enhanced communication
- Driverless cars
- Digital wellbeing and healthcare
- Mobile Apps with IoT for monitoring and maintaining the smart areas and/or devices
The fifth generation of mobile connectivity, the 5G technology, is geared up to play a huge role in the future of mobile app development. This technology will bring the 4th Industrial Revolution. It draws its strength from its rocket speed and instantaneous reaction time.
Apart from negligible latency, the technology promises connection density and high bandwidth that will fuel the core technologies, such as AR, VR, and IoT.
Hence, the future mobile apps are going to be faster, more responsive, better at presenting highly personalized responses or recommendations. Further, if we talk about the apps that depend on real-time information, 5G will facilitate faster data presentation, impeccably rapid data parsing, and excellent reporting.
Trading, EdTech, Academic, and VR apps are also going to get smarter, faster, and more versatile as the major technologies improve in the light of 5G.
Pushing the mobile computational power to an “edge”, the technology will prove a boon to the users by preventing battery drainage.
Take a look at the following visual that shows how 5G will change the mobile app landscape:
In 2020, 70.4% of all retail e-commerce was from mobile commerce, and the figure is expected to rise to 72.9% in 2021. Of course, the ongoing pandemic has played a major role in the rise of m-commerce, but the result is going to have a huge ripple effect.
M-Commerce is expected to give a boom to mobile app development as customers will continue to buy online and businesses continue to cater to them. The global business fraternity is surely looking for ways to streamline the customer experiences, and mobile apps are topping the charts in the segment to excel in this competition.
Forbes says that m-commerce is not a trend to ignore, especially when consumers install more and more apps on their devices every day!
Below, we share a picture of how VR, AR, M-Commerce, and App Development Trends are connected:
As m-commerce gets a boom, businesses aim to create smarter and better mobile apps, which, in turn, again fuel m-commerce!
Hence, mobile commerce is one of the most bankable mobile app development trends for 2022.
Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality
Industry experts say that 2022 is going to be the year where AR and VR are going to get exposure in many other fields other than gaming. With tons of use cases being currently worked upon, such as AR demos of Apple and Google, VR and AR are going to change the face of app development for mobile devices.
Recently, when IKEA launched its AR studio, the consumers were delighted beyond measure and the brand amplified its equity. Likewise, some other brands that are using AR-based apps include Houzz, YouCam Makeup, GIPHY World, Google Lens, and ROAR, etc.
Apart from offering customers personalized and more streamlined experiences, the VR and AR-augmented mobile apps are revolutionizing the aesthetics, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and even healthcare industries!
The following image shows eye-opening stats from various sectors and industries, in relation to VR and AR:
Blockchain Dependent Applications
The global market for Blockchain Technology is going to reach $20 billion by 2024, and the technology is foraying into many industries, such as healthcare, finance, education, and real estate.
Blockchain Technology has a decentralized architecture that allows the software and mobile app developers in various phases of development, record keeping, secure data handling, etc.
Apart from mobile app development, Blockchain finds applications in many other areas, such as Cloud Storage, IoT, Smart Contract, Financial and Banking, Cybersecurity, and Digital Identity and Passports.
Emerging as one of the best ways to secure data, the technology is all set to become one of the latest trends in mobile app development in 2021.
Some crucial areas where Blockchain can find application include:
- Data sharing across supply chains
- Logistics management
- Record keeping
- Cryptocurrency and Financial trading apps
The beacon technology reported 400 million deployments in 2020, and more than 3.9 million proximity sensors are deployed globally that use the technology. Also, a majority of brands, agencies, and retailers are using the technology to send push notifications to their customers.
However, beacon technology facilitates much more than just personalized experiences. Studies reveal that customers are 19 times more likely to engage with a brand or its offerings when the beacon is used for advertising.
Hence, beacon technology can impact native app development to expedite a conversion or boost interaction with a customer or brand. You can also use beacons for mobile payments and AR.
One of the unique and latest use cases was using the technology to curb the spread of COVID-19. Google and Apple announced a contact tracing framework based on Bluetooth, called Exposure Notification API. This allowed the mobile devices to ping and receive beacons randomly that one can download to a server and compare with a list of COVID-19 positive people.
Some other areas where beacon technology can change the app development landscape are:
- Healthcare apps
- Retail and m-commerce
- Loyalty and reward programs
Predictive Models (Analytics)
Predictive Analytics is finding immense and versatile applications in numerous sectors and is opening entirely new avenues for brands to sell and market their products. A very compelling and unique example is Walmart stocking its shelves with Pop-Tarts right before a hurricane. Using predictive analytics, they found that their Pop-Tart sales increased 7 times right before hurricanes hit the area.
Predictive analytics predict future events with the help of techniques such as data mining, ML, and statistics. The app developers can leverage the knowledge in multiple ways, such as adding and removing app features to make apps better, more refined, and more capable for the end-users.
Such features will allow the app developers to tailor apps for individuals and target the market segments and customer clusters in a granular manner. Some examples include personalized UI and UX, product recommendations, catalogs, discounts, and third-party app offers.
Some other ways predictive analytics will change the face of app development are:
- Monitoring purchases made by a customer
- App communications in an IoT environment
- Better GPS targeting
- Identifying device usage trends
Stats reveal that by 2024, more than 230 million units of wrist wearables will be shipped globally, and in 2020, global wearable sales by category have shifted from wrist to earwear (62% of global sales).
Wearables are becoming the future accessories where the consumers are replacing their aesthetic and designer accessories with them. A number of fashion brands have also collaborated with tech giants to produce sleek and chic wearables to target a larger audience.
While wearables are going to grow steadily in terms of sales and revenue, integration with third-party apps is also expected to be a major upcoming trend. To make the wearables more suitable for people of all ages, gender, and profession, app developers are now targeting critical infrastructures, such as healthcare, communication, and secure data sharing.
So, the patients can be tracked, monitored, and located or children can be located and tracked with the help of smart wearables that you can connect to multiple digital devices.
Market forecasts predict that:
- Wearables will affect the sales of fashion accessories such as watches and digital accessories
- Fitness and sports sector is going to be the number one sales contributor in the segment
App Development for Multiple Platforms
A cross-platform app development framework becomes a necessity when the developer has to write app code for devices running on different OS. Apart from the different OS, there are device models that use entirely different mobile app ecosystems.
Cross-platform app development facilitates a mobile app to run on more than one major mobile OS and saves time, effort, and resources in building an app. Such development offers many other benefits, such as code reusability, consistency of UI, reduced time and cost of marketing, and lesser hurdles in app development.
The year 2020 reported a huge rise in the popularity of such frameworks, and React Native became the most popular one. Some other commendable names include Xamarin, PhoneGap, and Unity.
Cross-platform app development is one of the latest application trends that are here to stay with the rise in the number of app users and mobile manufacturers. As more and more people buy mobiles and digital technology penetrates more and more areas globally, developers are going to need such frameworks to deliver along with the high demands.
Mobile banking and mobile money are going to change the way people shop, spend and invest. Both the sectors rely solely on mobile devices and apps to function and are finding an immense audience across the globe.
In fact, studies reveal that cross-border financing and mobile money have powered Africa’s economy to take a thrust towards growth. Mobile banking apps are going to be extremely popular, as shown by the recent release of Whatsapp Payments. While the trend has been there for quite a time in China and other South Asian countries, it is getting a boost across the entire globe now!
Customers love to shop seamlessly, without having to carry their wallets or cards, irrespective of shopping mode. With the pandemic forcing people to shop online, the trends became even more supportive of mobile banking and mobile money.
Contactless payments help people to shop from the comfort of their homes as well. Hence, the app developers are now looking towards a time where third-party app integrations and more diverse payment or investment portfolios will become the norm.
Take a look at the following visual to understand how mobile banking took precedence over the other features while choosing a bank:
On-demand apps are like a “third party” where app users can use or hire a service or product per their needs. For example, Uber, where the service provided is ride.
However, the on-demand apps can fulfill many other demands and can cater to multiple sectors, such as food, groceries, accommodations, logistics, etc.
2020 saw an immense rise in the number of on-demand apps, but the trends suggest more increase as 2021 is coming to a close.
As more and more people are looking for smart ways to make their lives easier, on-demand apps will advance to the luxury goods category and critical infrastructure.
Take a look at some of the trends in the on-demand apps segment.
Virtual Events Streaming
Virtual events were just a facility prior to COVID-19 and have now become a must. The ongoing pandemic has certainly affected the way people, businesses, governments, and even educational institutions hold events and meet-ups.
Virtual events have allowed many business sectors to boom as well, such as webinars, collaborations, tutorials, and the EdTech sector. They allow the organizers and attendees to enjoy the events at their ease and without leaving their houses.
Apart from driving better engagement and gaining more prospects for businesses and brands all across the globe, these events facilitate better training and easier onboarding. You can use them as an event planning app and panel discussions.
Mobile app developers are going to face a surge in the number of such apps and platforms that will cater to a more diverse set of businesses and markets.
While many app development firms still consider the cloud as an operational and security overhead, things are bound to change. As the apps and devices keep on evolving into an intensely connected ecosystem, cloud computing and integration become inevitable.
Cloud offers a slew of capabilities and functionalities that surpass the overheads and have become a must for the dynamically evolving mobile app landscape. So, cloud adoption and integration are going to be some of the most promising mobile app development trends.
Potential areas where they can find application include:
- Web hosting and faster loading
- Streamlining business operations
- Faster, more secure and more reliable app development
- Better data and resource sharing
Some of the most promising trends in the segment include:
- Hybrid cloud solutions and products
- Quantum Computing
- Cloud-based services to enhance customer experience
Conversational AI, Voice Assistants, Personal Smart Hubs, and Voice Bots – there are numerous use cases of voice technology in the modern business landscape. And, catering to all these and many more other use cases are the smart and versatile mobile apps that are getting smarter with every passing day.
AI and ML have revolutionized the sector, and NLP integration in core business and service industry aspects has fueled the growth of voice technology. Voice technology has two key segments – phonetic recognition of words and interpretation of regional or local language.
Stats report that the voice technology market hit the 11 bn dollar mark in 2019, and by 2025 it will increase by 17%.
Some of the core problem areas that can be use cases for the mobile app developers in 2022 in the segment include:
- Lucid conversations
- Accent or dialect-related recognition
- Physical sales assistant
- Voice tech for daily routine
Progressive Web App
Progressive Web Apps or PWAs are a perfect cross between apps and web pages. They consume very little time and effort for building and can be thought of as websites with app functionalities. These apps offer excellent utility other than being simple web pages, and you can save them on your home screens as well.
One of the core areas targeted by the PWAs is the dropout by users after an initial interaction.
PWAs offer many other advantages over the native apps, such as:
- Lower dependency on the internet
- Less loading time
- Less space requirement on the device
- Easily accessible
- More adaptability
- Automatic update
PWAs saw a significant increase in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when online shopping increased suddenly. Multiple B2C and B2B companies saw a surge in engagement, sales, revenue and conversions after launching their progressive web apps and instant apps.
Geo Location-Based Apps
Location-based marketing and location-based service are now trending in the mobile app universe for quite a time. They are also used to offer more streamlined customer service and better customer experiences.
While dynamic pricing might earn flak from the consumers, businesses have been leveraging it to increase their sales and revenue. Mobile apps are increasingly integrating real-time GPS tracking software into the code to serve numerous purposes.
Some common examples include:
- Real-time tracking of delivery or orders
- Tracking and monitoring employees
- Long haul transportation
Apart from offering real-time insight into the delivery person’s location, these functionalities allow for better monitoring in the critical infrastructure domains. Some other sectors where these apps are becoming popular are sports, travel, safety, security, tracking, hospitality, and manufacturing.
2022: The Time Mobile App Development Trends Will Take the Next Giant Leap
With some of the most innovative, smart, and disruptive technologies spurring the trends in mobile app development, 2022 is surely going to be an adventurous year. The mobile app universe is slated for tremendous growth and innovation in the light of AI, ML, NLP, IoT, and AR/VR technologies.
While the coding efforts are going to increase, the time and money consumed in the entire process will get minimized.
People will rely even more heavily on digital devices and technology for daily life and customer, or service-based sectors are in for huge development.
And, rightly so, Forbes predicted way back in 2014 – The Future is Mobile!
With roll up sleeves, dive in and get the job done approach, it was in the year 2010 when Sahil started Parangat Technologies. Emphasizing a healthy work culture and technology-driven company, he has successfully created a workplace where people love to work and live. He is a software engineer and a passionate blockchain enthusiast.