The global mobile apps market looks very promising for the coming years. This is mainly due to the fact that this market is expected to grow at CAGR rate of almost 18% during the period 2019-2023 (Technavio, 2019). So, it isn’t so surprising to see why many companies are turning their heads to follow and pay attention to the sector.
It is also interesting to notice that insofar as years pass by, mobile apps are becoming more innovative and sophisticated. These characteristics are reflected in the following trends for 2019.
1. Boost in On-demand apps
The demand for convenience, speed and easy payment methods, offered by the on-demand apps, will continue to grow. So far, users have had a positive experience to on-demand transportation apps such as Grab and Uber. However, they are now expecting to see an expansion of these kind of apps to different industries such as cleaning, delivery, laundry, shopping, etc.
2. Growth of Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) apps
The popularity of AR apps has increased in recent years, predicting that the market will reach $209 Bill by 2022 (Statista, 2018). These type of apps create a more interactive experience for users and, as a result, we witnessed the worldwide madness of Pokemon Go and the raise of several other interesting AR apps such as sketchar and BBC civilisations.
The technologies behind AR apps are ARKit on iOS and ARCore on Android, which allow programmers to use devices’ sensors to map the surroundings and place virtual objects within. Consequently, it is expected that companies and marketers will make use of these features to display and promote products in the future.
3. Increase in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It is forecasted that the market for AI will reach $40 bill. by 2020 (IDC, 2019), suggesting that the interest for implementing AI to complement human intelligence in several industries is tangible.
AI is changing the way people interact with mobile apps. For instance, virtual assistants like Siri or Google Assistant can now help users with gathering information, organizing schedules, booking appointments, etc. This is all possible due to the developments in Natural Language Processing and machine learning. So, the aim of AI is to simulate a human friend rather than just a virtual assistant.
4. Advancement in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Given that speed is one of the most important matters for mobile users, Google decided to launch Accelerated Mobile Pages, which are an open source project aiming to enhance the overall mobile browsing experience. Besides, AMPs are cheaper to develop and maintain compared to traditional mobile apps, and they are better-ranked within Google due to an SEO factor.
On the other hand, we have Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), which attempt to provide the advantages and features of a traditional app, but aren’t tightened to the constraints of mobile websites such as slow speed and the need of constant Internet.
PWAs don’t require neither downloading nor installation and they offer features such as offline and full screen modes, a home screen launcher, an access to the camera and push notifications. Besides, they are faster and consume less data than mobile websites.
5. Expansion of Android Instant Apps
Aiming to save space and be more convenient, Google created instant apps. These include the most important parts of an app and the rest of the content is available instantly through the URL, saving great space in mobile devices.
An example of this is Vimeo, a video-streaming platform, which started using an instant app to reduce their Android app weight from 15MB installation package to a 4MB feature module. As a result, the app could offer a better experience on Android devices, and the company saw a 130% increase in video sessions.
Other examples of these apps include BuzzFeed, OneFootball and New York Times Crossword.
6. Sustained growth of Mobile cloud computing
Almost half of IT spendings in 2018 were cloud-based (IDC, 2018), which indicates that tools and services based on the cloud will continue to grow in 2019. This growth will include Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service.
The aim of mobile cloud computing solutions is to provide rich mobile apps and smooth user experience on a variety of devices. This will benefit companies that want to serve users on mobile, but require more computing power, preventing a sabotage of the experience on mobile devices.
7. Increase in the use of Chatbots
The need for real-time interactions between service providers and customers has driven the growth of Chatbots. In some cases, Chatbots are used to support the aim of offering a better customer engagement. In other cases, Chatbots have become the centrepoint of many apps such as Facebook Messenger or Telegram.
Anyhow, it seems we’ll see more of these chatbots either driving conversations between consumers and brands or competing to be the most innovative in 2019.
8. Diffusion of Blockchain Technology
The blockchain technology market is predicted to reach $20 billion by 2024 (Transparency market, 2019), meaning that this segment will continue making headlines in 2019.
Blockchain is particularly having a key moment among financial institutions and investors as it has fostered huge benefits, at least for assets. Now, the challenge remaining for blockchain is to become more accessible in 2019.
9. Integration of Wearable Apps
The medical field is the one who has taken advantage the most from wearable apps in 2018. This is due to the fact that they could obtain and monitor vital signs such as the heart rate and blood sugar level in patients on a daily basis. However, aside from the medical field, there are many other advantages behind this technology, which companies will want to benefit from in 2019. Wearable apps are interesting because they are able to provide the particular style and personality of people. Moreover, the growth in the smartwatch industry will also support the growing trend of wearable apps.
10. Advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) technology
The IoT technology seems to have made a big impact in the field of operations and logistics in 2018, and this trend is expected to continue in 2019. The popularity of IoT is fostered by its ability to interlink various aspects of a system in a faster and convenient way. For example, we have DHL services courier services, which uses IoT for tracking and monitoring their packages. Another example is Canary Smart Security company, which enables users to review security footage from their app, even at night since the Canary security system includes a night-vision camera.
As more companies look forward to integrate their physical elements with the internet within their system, we’ll keep seeing innovative uses of IT in 2019.
11. Innovation and massification of Mobile Payment Services
The increase of e-commerce and digital services is sustaining the steady growth of banking platforms. These are predicted to continue innovating for offering users more convenient and widely spread payment methods in 2019. The interesting feature of these type of apps is that end users will be saved the trouble of visiting the bank to access their money. So, we should keep an eye to this segment that it will definitely bring more surprises.
12. Attention to Security measures
Mobile app security still remains as one of the priorities for developers in 2019. This is due to the industry’s growth, billions of active users, vast number of data being stored and 3rd party Software Development Kits (SDKs). The results of this trend is the birth of encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram and mobile browsers with privacy protection.
Security will surely experience more improvement in 2019, specially in mobile payments, data encryption and privacy protection.