Top 11 Mobile App Trends to Watch Out For in 2021
Last Updated on 10-May-2021
Mobile apps are a large and growing industry, with Statista projecting an almost 935.2 billion U.S. dollar revenue by 2023.
Image Source: Ideasoft
Today, consumers search from their mobile devices more than their desktops when buying products online, making the case for developing a mobile app for your business.
Not to mention the 5G network is coming soon with better speed than the 4G network, creating more possibilities for app developers than ever before.
With all of these new developments, it can be hard to stand out from the many apps that are sure to enter the market. But if you know what consumers are looking for in a mobile app, it should help you position your business in the best spot.
If you are a small business owner looking to develop your first app or improve your existing one, here are the mobile app trends consumers and developers alike will be looking for in 2021
11. Managed Marketplaces
What is it? Made famous by apps such as Uber and Airbnb, a managed marketplace is a platform connecting customers and service providers, while also providing added value to the customer experience. This added value could be better pricing, more convenience, or more security surrounding the transaction. Managed marketplace apps offer users a better experience than what was previously available in the market.
What’s coming in 2021? From food to finding personal trainers, on-demand services are becoming the norm for many consumers and will continue to evolve to fit different use cases. Managed marketplace apps offer customization and convenience to users, and 2021 will likely see the integration of mobile payments and an emphasis on UI design.
With more managed marketplaces popping up on the market, on-demand service apps must do more than provide a space for connection but also include added features maintained by the app owner themselves. Trust is a crucial component to managed marketplaces, and progress will likely be made toward offering security for users.
What is it? A beacon is a small object emitting low-energy Bluetooth signals, enabling a mobile app to know a user’s proximity to a business’s location. Beacon technology also allows for special events to take place on the app depending on a user’s location within the venue.
What’s coming in 2021? Beacon technology gives businesses real-time metrics on how users are interacting within a space and can allow for highly specific messages to be sent straight to the user. So far the use case for this mobile app trend has mainly been in retail, such as helping users navigate through a mall or having advertisements sent to a user’s phone as they walk into a store. We predict more developers will expand beacon technology for use in other venues, and integrate more features such as mobile payments.
What is it? IoT stands for the internet of things, which is a system of computers, machines, objects such as home appliances, and more with the ability to communicate with one another without human interaction. Each thing has a unique identifier allowing the object to identify itself on the internet and send and receive data from other things.
What’s coming in 2021? Smart devices connected to the IoT system will need to be controlled from one app to make the user experience easier. More devices are being connected to the network each year which means that consumers will be interacting with this type of app in their daily lives. IoT will continue to grow in 2021 with new user-friendly ways to manage connected devices.
8. Blockchain-Dependent Apps
What is it? A blockchain is a digital ledger that records all transactions made on its system publicly. This digital recording is done without a centralized system, meaning no one service provider can potentially act as a gatekeeper to information. Blockchain-dependent apps have been seen in a wide variety of industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, marketing, and banking.
What’s coming in 2021? A hot-button issue in 2019 was the idea of privacy after several high-profile security breaches lead to the theft of personal data. One of the mobile app trends in 2021 will most likely be to implement more security features on apps, so consumers are reassured of a company’s commitment to their privacy.
An example of this trend is the potential use case of hybrid blockchain technology by governments. Hybrid blockchain technology offers the benefits of both public blockchain and private blockchain. The information stored in the private blockchain can be verified by the public blockchain, which is best suited for governments that want to ensure transparency while controlling access to private information.
7. AR, VR, and Wearables
What is it? Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) create computer-generated experiences for the user, with augmented reality taking place in the physical world and virtual reality taking place in a simulated world. Both augmented reality and virtual reality allow businesses to connect with users in a more personalized way, creating stories and experiences that showcase a business in its best light. Wearable technology is a smart device that can be worn on the body, and usually tracks user data to be interpreted by an app. Wearable technology is a good example of IoT, as the device communicates with the app without the need for human intervention.
What’s coming in 2021? Augmented reality and virtual reality are here to stay in 2021. Developers are being tasked to create more immersive and innovative experiences for users, and AR and VR are the vehicles to do so. The use cases for these mobile app trends exist in several industries such as gaming and even real estate, and more apps can stand to benefit from incorporating these technologies.
The wearable market is expected to double the number of shipments from 2017, reaching 222.3 million in 2021. The fitness industry has undoubtedly benefited from apps connected to wearables that track a user’s data, but the technology has already begun expanding into the health sector as well. This expansion brings with it opportunities for patients and professionals to interact on an app, allowing for more personalized access to patients at home.
What is it? 5G is the next-generation technology for mobile connections. It has yet to become completely available worldwide but developers anticipate it will replace 4G technology altogether, becoming the most common way for consumers to access the internet using their mobile devices.
There will be three types of fifth-generation technology mobile users will be able to choose from, each running on different bands determined by the operator. Current progress promises up to 1000 times the speed of today’s existing 4G networks.
What’s coming in 2021? The faster connection speeds offered by 5G provide enormous possibilities for the kinds of products that can be offered on mobile devices. Technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality are data-heavy, requiring high internet speeds to work properly will have the opportunity to become more widely accessible.
In addition, YouTube reports 70% of all YouTube traffic comes from mobile devices. With the help of 5G networks, YouTube and other streaming platforms could see an increase in their mobile user traffic as new-generation connectivity improves loading times. Currently, almost 60% of all mobile traffic is dedicated to videos, however, people usually watch them at a lower quality of 360p or 420p. A new, faster network will make it possible for mobile users to watch videos at a much higher resolution.
Higher quality means better products. The higher bandwidth of fifth-generation connections means game developers will be able to create more complex and demanding games that users can access from anywhere. Combine this with the full potential of the Internet of Things, 5G may have the power to unite developers and consumers through the use of a single large system that connects each device.
5. Cross-Platform App Development
What is it? Cross-platform app development is a framework that comes with a diverse set of tools, allowing developers to build native or native-like apps for multiple platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows and Web with a single codebase. Using this design method enables developers to expand the reach of the applications they design across multiple platforms. Cross-platform app development costs approximately 40% to develop and requires roughly 25% less to support over the long run than native app development.
What’s coming in 2021? Cross-platform applications come with a wide range of benefits that will make development and distribution simpler in the future. By being available on both Android and iOS, these apps have an expanded market reach providing startups with more opportunities to increase their revenue and audience base. The single codebase used in the development of these applications minimizes the time needed to write code for each platform, making it easier to reduce costs. Modern-day cross-platform tools are packaged with functions that enable developers to create OS-specific applications from a single platform.
No more platform inconsistencies. Low-cost development process. Easy audience distribution. Higher revenues.
4. Enterprise Mobile Applications
What is it? Enterprise mobile development is the practice of creating and deploying portable, scalable, and trusted mobile applications to help large organizations engage with customers, partners and employees. The objective is to establish a high degree of connectivity while maintaining the security and reliability requirements for various businesses.
What’s coming in 2021? Enterprises are seeking to make their applications available on mobile devices without incurring any unnecessary costs or over-extended development timelines. While there are many ways to accomplish this, a services-based development strategy with integrated mobile capabilities is becoming the standard method for many enterprises.
Integrating mobile app development into a larger strategy designed around cloud-native microservices has several advantages, including increased productivity, lower costs, improved security, as well as greater visibility and control.
3. Folding Display
What is it? Yes, you heard that correctly. Foldable technology is making a comeback. With Samsung announcing the launch of its foldable OLED display, operating systems are preparing to make the shift towards this newly revamped technology to improve smartphone experiences.
In 2018, Google officially announced foldable support on Android phones by using its ‘screen continuity’ API. As well, according to Samsung, hundreds of popular Android apps have been optimized for the Galaxy Fold, including Amazon Prime Video, Twitter, Spotify, Facebook, VSCO and Microsoft Office.
What’s coming in 2021? Considering ‘foldable phone’ was a major buzzword in 2021, developers and business owners alike should be planning their mobile app development strategy to run seamlessly on foldable devices in the coming years.
Having the ability to unfold the device will have a direct impact on user experience, as it provides a larger screen to run applications on. Larger screens mean more space for detail, immersive experiences while multi-windows will allow users to perform multiple tasks at once. In addition, video streaming and game apps can reap maximum benefits from foldable devices by taking advantage of the increased screen size, allowing for more controls and information to be included throughout.
What is it? Wearables are a group of mobile devices that are designed to be worn throughout the day, including fitness bands and smartwatches. While this technology has been increasingly common over the last several years, ongoing advancements in software and development are constantly striving to improve them. Currently, users can control their mobile devices, computers, smartwatches, fitness bands, heart rate trackers, blood pressure monitors, blood oxygen levels, and many other daily activities through their wearable devices.
Mobile app development trends point to the fact that the development of these devices is a huge investment across multiple industries. It is no longer enough to plan for how your website and apps will work on mobile devices or desktops. Business owners and developers need to consider how applications will work on wearable devices to ensure a seamless connection for users.
The wearables segment has also begun to move beyond fitness trackers and smartwatches, offering more extensive real-world support. Wearable technology will make it easier to upgrade prosthetics, allowing amputees to have a near-normal function with their artificial attachments. As well, GPS enabling technology will make it increasingly easier to track movement and provide accurate feedback for professional athletes, and amateur users alike.
According to Statista, there will be 1.1 billion connected wearables in 2022.
1. Virtual Events Streaming
What is it? The use of event apps is one of the most upcoming trends in the B2B sector, making the function and organization of large-scale events faster, and overall easier to develop. The trend towards using customized event apps is already being implemented to boost engagement and communication during the planning process of corporate events. Such apps, especially those related to QR codes, not only improve the audience’s experience but also make it easier to collect data on brand activations and track the engagement level of an event.
What’s coming in 2021? The increasing shift towards remote working has left no industry untouched, and event management is no exception. With this change has come a new framework for the live event sphere, including the implementation of technology as part of a hybrid event experience. It is expected that the incorporation of technology will make these events more innovative, interactive, and provide an expanded audience reach as corporations continue to integrate virtual streaming into their plans.
Live streaming events allow a larger audience member to access the content resources, helping them align with the context better. The real-time experience improves connectivity with event attendees and creates an authentic virtual environment. Companies have also begun experimenting with ways to incorporate facial recognition, projection mapping, as well as augmented and virtual reality activations into their digital events to elevate the audience experience even further.
To Sum Up Mobile App Trends
The common theme with the above app developments is personalization for the customer journey. More work is being done to provide easier access to services, products, and businesses. Mobile app developers are working toward delivering the ultimate user experience and integrating tech into user’s daily lives note that privacy and security are a major concern following 2019’s data breaches, and users are now more aware, and more protective, of their data. Keeping these trends in mind and looking into integrating them into your own app will be beneficial for your business overall.
Which mobile app trends are you most excited about in 2021? Leave us a comment below!