Top 7 Mobile App Development Trends in 2020

According to the data provided by BroadbandSearch, mobile internet usage has been gaining momentum ever since it kicked off. In 2017 67% of worldwide internet traffic came from mobile users. As of January 2018, it was estimated that 3.7 billion people used their phones to access the Internet. Most notably, 90% of the time people are on their phones is spent in apps.

To hit a home run in the world of apps, one would have to achieve two seemingly easy milestones:

1. Get people to download your app
2. Get people to use your app

Considering that over 75% of apps are never used again after the initial download, the second point looks especially elusive. We all know the competition in Google Play and Apple Store is tough. In the dog-eat-dog mobile apps market, only the most relevant and cutting-edge technologies survive. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the future of mobile app development and see what’s hot in 2020. Follow these mobile app industry trends to be at the top of the heap.

App Development Trend #1: Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been media’s favorite buzz word for years. We all know it’s a promising technology. However, because AI has been speculated on so much, many journalists portray it as an equivalent to Skynet-a superintelligence system of doom.

What is Artificial Intelligence really?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a software that collects and analyzes data and algorithms to perform actions towards achieving a goal. Programs using Artificial Intelligence can predict obstacles on the way to the goal and figure out how to get around them. The most distinctive features of Artificial Intelligence are its adaptiveness and autonomy.

Google Duplex

One of the most striking examples of that is Google Duplex, a system driven by Artificial Intelligence that allows users to make appointments to businesses over the phone. With RNN (Recurrent Neural Network) using TensorFlow Extended, Google Duplex is able to make a table reservation like a human would do. The use of text to speech AI engines allowed the developers of the app to make the conversations as natural as possible. Pauses and fillers like ‘um’ make the AI’s words indistinguishable from human speech.

How Artificial Intelligence Can be Used in Mobile App Development?

  • analyzing customer behavior

  • boosting search engines

  • empowering real-time translation

  • enhancing mobile authentication and data security

  • driving mobile app personalization

  • improving customer support with chatbots

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbot is a software which can conduct a human-like conversation via textual or auditory means. Artificial Intelligence allows Intelligent Chatbots to not only simulate a meaningful dialogue, but also identify user intent and accomplish specific tasks. Technologies like machine learning, deep learning, Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and Natural Language Generation (NLG) tend to bring customer experience to another level.

IBM’s Watson Assistant, an excellent case in point, provides a range of features that distinguish an intelligent AI-driven chatbot from a regular one:

1. it looks for answers in its knowledge base
2. you can train it for a specific industry and build it into your app
3. it knows when to ask for clarifications and when to direct the user to a human professional

How a Chatbot Can Benefit Your Business in 2020?

Aim How to Get There
Bring innovation Talking to a chatbot excites customers and makes their experience with your app memorable
Reduce costs According to Chatbots Magazine, with chatbots customer service costs can be reduced up to 30%
Boost sales & customer services Since chatbots are available 24/7, not a single customer will feel neglected. Chatbots can be designed to collect relevant data to create customer profiles and personalize marketing strategies
Improve product evaluation & optimization Using a chatbot in your mobile app will help you with: quality assessment, broadcasting special offers, introducing new products, generating invites & welcome messages, providing relevant information about the brand and the product in a lucid way, changing prices

App Development Trend #2: Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR & VR)

AR & VR

What's the Difference Between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)?

Augmented Reality (AR) adds computer-generated elements to the real-world surroundings. While Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a certain environment. In VR the world around is completely shut out and the user is fully immersed and engaged in the simulation.

A Perfect Example of Augmented Reality in a Mobile App

Augmented/Virtual Reality goes far beyond the ‘wow’ factor. AR/VR enhances customer experience and builds a strong intimate connection between the user and the brand. In 2009 Yelp shook the world with its first Augmented Reality app for iPhone. Once activated by three shakes, Yelp’s Monacle launched the smartphone’s camera and provided star reviews for the places caught by the camera. Back in 2009 Yelp’s AR app was pioneering and sensational.

Augmented/Virtual Reality

Source: medium.com

Today, AR/VR is successfully incorporated in a plethora of apps in various industries. Constant AR/VR transformation of mobile apps will continue among other mobile app trends of 2020. It’s not surprising, since according to Mobile AR: Usage and Consumer Attitudes research, 78% of users are either happy or extremely happy with their AR experience in mobile apps. The researchers have estimated that the number of active AR users will hit 125.9 million by 2022.

6 Ways to Transform Your App in 2020 With AR/VR

  1. AR/VR can be used for product demos

  2. customers can try the product before buying it

  3. they can be used for training or user guides

  4. AR/VR can increase user interaction with the brand

  5. they can be used to explain complex concepts

  6. products can be showcased in virtual showrooms

Using AR/VR can benefit your business significantly since it makes your product stand out. Without customers there's no business. AR/VR is not new in the world of mobile apps, but it offers unlimited resources for marketing and sales advancement.

AR technologies attract a broad audience who can experience all the features on their devices without any additional means. While immersing in VR reality requires only a headset. With AR/VR user experience becomes more memorable and better personalized, which boosts customer retention.

With AR/VR You Can Gain Ground in Any Industry

Here are just a few examples you can follow:

Industry Benefit
Retail Converse The Sampler app allows customers to try on shoes and decide which pair looks best on them. Virtual fitting rooms can help with picking the best matching items.
Interior design IKEA Place AR app lets customers see how a certain piece would look in their place. With this app you can take pictures and videos of the end result to compare them.
Healthcare AR tech can also assist healthcare professionals during examinations and medical procedures. AccuVein displays the map of the patient's veins in real-time to help nurses find them.
Online dating AR enhanced dating app Flirtar lets you find other app users in close proximity in real-time. Needless to say, such an innovation reshaped online dating dramatically and pulled crowd immediately.

App Development Trend #3: Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

What is Cross-Platform Mobile App Development?

Cross-platform mobile app development is a way of building a mobile app using a single codebase that can run on multiple software platforms and operating systems. This type of mobile app development proved to be highly efficient and is now established as a standard.

When building an app, don't forget mobile apps market is a global arena. According to BusinessofApps, 64% of all app downloads come from the Asian-Pacific countries, while 19% from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and 17% from North, Central, and South America.

Globalization promises to be at full throttle in 2020, and so should your app. Reaching to new customers in every corner means you have to build a product compatible with their hardware and software. Cross-platform mobile development seems to be the most efficient move to reach that goal in the upcoming year.

Why Go Cross-Platform?

  1. Faster development
    Instead of building the same thing for each platform, multiple operating systems can be covered in one fell swoop.

  2. Smaller team
    There's no need to hire numerous niche professionals. One team is enough to get development covered on all fronts.

  3. Bigger user coverage
    With cross-platform development your mobile app will be accessible to more users.

  4. Reduced costs
    With smaller teams and less development tools comes lower price.

Top Tools for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development That Will Trend in 2020

Adobe PhotoGap
Flutter
PhoneGap is a web tool which lets you use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to develop cross-platform mobile apps without integrating a myriad of native languages. Mobile apps brought to life with PhoneGap run within wrappers aimed at each platform. Standard-compliant API bindings allow such apps to access each device’s data, network status, and sensors.
Flutter is an open-source cross-platform tool available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, Google Fuchsia, and the web. It’s also famous for its high performance and no compatibility issues. Programmers find the platform to be especially useful for detecting changes almost instantly with its hot reload feature.
React Native
Xamarin
React Native lets you build a single mobile app suitable for multiple platforms. React Native allows you to accelerate the development process with its ready-to-use components. This tool also requires a smaller team since there’s no need to have native Android and iOS developers. All you need is a JavaScript developer who would write the code that could fit both platforms.
Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile development tool supporting .NET and C#. Xamarin helps to create mobile apps for most used mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets running on Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Check out our detailed comparison between Flutter and Xamarin here.

App Development Trend #4: 5G

5G

Latest trends in mobile development are also affected by the quality of the Internet connection. As stated by Worldwide 4G to 5G Market Report 2019-2025 by 2023 70% of the operators will switch to 5G. The research also claims that the need of 5G is driven by the ever-growing and ubiquitous tech like AR, 4K/8K videos, and VR gaming. 1.5 billion 5G subscribers mark is expected to be crossed in 2025. By 2025 telecom operators’s 5 G revenue will reach $502 billion.

5G operators

How is 5G Better Than 4G?

  • reduces website waiting time to 1ms or less

  • works 100 faster than 4G

  • reduces the app load time to 1-2 seconds

  • improves communication quality in remote areas

  • makes IoT (Internet of Things) devices battery life last 10 times longer

How 5G Revolution Will Change Mobile App Development?

  • The next generation of Internet Connectivity, 5G, will make the transfer of data and media much faster and efficient. Such advancement will enable users to stream 4K/8K videos with no lagging.

  • 5G’s high speed and low latency will make it easier for developers to add more features and make them run smoothly. AR/VR add-ons, 3D object models, and unlimited capacities of IoT will bring unforgettable exposure to the latest tech.

  • Steady and speedy 5G connection will also transform the adaptation of chatbots. With higher connection quality, chatbots will be able to deliver high-precision feedback in real-time.

  • Because of the high connection speed, developers of mobile apps will have to work more on security and privacy. Potentially 5G could open security loopholes which will have to be addressed and prevented.

  • Reliable wireless 5G connection opens new opportunities for implementation of software fueled by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 5G also promises to unleash the real power of IoT, ambient computing, and Cloud technology.

App Development Trend #5: Instant Apps

instant app

What are Instant Apps?

Instant Apps were introduced by Google as the fastest way to use Android apps wherever you are. With instant apps, users can try them out without downloading them first. All features of the native app are available to the user in an instant. Instant apps can be used right away without taking up any memory on the user's device.

Why Make Your Mobile App Instant in 2020?

  1. Give your potential customers a taste of what your app is about. Quite often people download an app thinking it's one thing, then delete it a moment later because it didn’t meet their expectations. Instead of losing confused customers, you can gain the ones who are really interested.

  2. Achieve intense user engagement-something most mobile apps lack. The moment a user presses the 'Try Now' button, he/she's engaged with your product. Giving a whirl to the app becomes a personalized user story, a full-on exchange between the app and the user. Subsequently, higher engagement drives more installs.

  3. Boost your conversion rate. Thanks to Google's instant app feature, Wego and Holler managed to increase their conversion by 27% and 20% respectively. After InnoGames adopted the instant apps technology, their conversion rate grew threefold.

  4. Increase customer acquisition and retention. InnoGames were also able to grow user interaction rate by 16% which advanced the acquisition of new customers. Because of the trust and involvement instant apps create, users are there to stay and share their impression with potential users.

Source: developer.android.com

App Development Trend #6: AMP aka Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP aka accelerated mobile pages

What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source framework introduced by Google granting significantly faster loading. AMP publishing technology can be used for both desktop and mobile browsers. IndiaToday claims AMP has multiplied the overall traffic by 6. WashingtonPost managed to rocket returning users from mobile search by 23%. While Gizmodo has experienced a 3x growth in page load thanks to AMP.

challenges in mobile app development
AMP made it possible to reduce load time to less than 0.5 seconds

How AMP Can Benefit Your Business?

Based on The Total Economic Impact ™ of AMP across publishers and e-commerce study, using AMP benefits your mobile website traffic and usage in this way:

  1. site discovery and traffic are improved by 10%

  2. users spend 2x more time on AMP websites

  3. user engagement can grow by up to 60%

  4. page load time is decreased by 80%

  5. CTR (click-through rate) in ad-placement grows by 20%

What is the Future of AMP Mobile Apps?

It’s hard to imagine the future of mobile app development without further advancement of Accelerated Mobile Pages. If today AMP technology is mostly used in publishing and e-commerce, in the near future Accelerated Mobile Pages will be everywhere.

AMP will also become widely used in Progressive Web Apps (PWA), mobile web applications which can be used without downloading. The ultimate goal to make mobile apps load as fast as possible will continue driving AMP even further. Therefore, AMP promises to stay among the top mobile trends in 2020.

App Development Trend #7: Internet of Things

IoT

What is IoT or Internet of Things?

IoT/Internet of Things is a network of interrelated computing devices that enables communication within. A broad range of tools from a computer to a heart monitor can be connected to the Internet. IoT devices and their synergy open more opportunities to management and monitoring of various aspects of human life. Nearly all of Internet of Things software mostly used today can be controlled via a smartphone.

IoT Integration Trends in Mobile Application Development 2020

  1. Smart Home Devices
    According to Statista, the global Smart Home market revenue will reach $20.8 billions in 2020. This is good news for businesses focused on mobile app development, since smartphones are the main interface for Smart Home devices.

  2. Adoption of IoT in Healthcare
    Virtual assistant apps made to help seniors with self-care, smart hospital rooms with environment control and virtual communication ability, smart clinical devices could soon become reality. Granted that the worth of healthcare mobile applications is expected to reach over $84 million in 2020, IoT is a trend to follow.

  3. Revolutionizing Retail with Internet of Things
    The global Internet of Things market in the retail industry will continue to grow in 2020, at least by 20%. Mobile applications will help retailers to assess their customers satisfaction immediately after shopping. With IoT integrated into apps, businesses achieve better customer experience and personalization.

  4. Resource and Energy Management
    With people becoming more aware of the environmental issues and the importance of smart resource management, IoT integration in mobile apps designed for that purpose is a soon-to-be reality. Notifications sent by IoT driven applications could prevent outages and disasters. Energy and resources monitoring could be the first step to building smart buildings and sustainable cities.

How IoT Can Make Customer Experience Better

Source: The Impact of Emerging Technology on CX Excellence by Oracle

To Conclude...

2020 brings a lot to achieve in the mobile application market. New tech and latest application development trends can blow you away. They can be a drawing card and win thousands of hearts if used wisely.

Whatever technology you’ve decided to phase in in your application, remember: there’s a time and a place for everything. Now is the time for innovation. All you have to do is to find the right place to use it. A great idea in the right hands can turn the world upside down.

Want to rock 2020 together? Contact us to make your dream app come to life.