As years come and go, the narrative when it comes to smartphone usage remains consistent, which is the undeniable fact that usage is going up every single year. According to recent research from Statista there are going to be about 2.5 billion smartphone users in 2019.
The research also confirms, naturally, that mobile applications are big business, expected to generate a whopping $189 billion in global revenue by 2020.
It then isn’t hard to understand why every business these days believes that having a mobile app is mandatory but also why innovation in the mobile app space is absolutely imperative year in and year out.
And it’s not just the number of users and the potential money to be made that is spurring along the mobile app industry and forcing developers to constantly innovate, it’s the technology as well. With 5G networks coming very shortly and the technology within the smartphones themselves giving developers more room to play and get creative, faster and more pronounced innovation is all but certain.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at what we can expect to see a lot more of in 2019 when it comes to trends in mobile app development.
A Greater Focus on Continuous Integration and Delivery
As already noted, everything related to the world of mobile app development is moving very, very quickly. Because of this fact, it’s easy to understand why your company doesn’t stand a chance of getting ahead if your developers are spending an entire year developing and delivering vital new features to your app.
If your mobile development team does not subscribe to the concept of continuous integration and delivery at this point, then you’re probably already way behind the curve. In 2019, we’re going to continue to see the mobile development delivery cycle shrink from weeks to days thanks to CI/ CD.
No matter what SDK or platform you are using to develop your native mobile apps, there’s is a CI/CD tool available to help you build and iterate faster than ever before. There’s even a dedicated CI/CD tool for Flutter, a relative newcomer, available now.
The greater competition gets, the more it will force mobile app development teams to speed up their processes and launch their new apps and features faster than ever before. That’s why you can expect to see further advancements in CI/CD technology in order to not only facilitate quicker turnarounds in mobile development but also speed up testing and make the feedback loop between developers and customers even shorter.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Picking Up Steam
If you need a prime example of how machine learning and artificial intelligence have become a part of the mainstream, especially on smartphones, look no further than Siri and how many people ask their iPhones to help them out on a daily basis.
Expect to see more and more of these types of features within your favorite apps in 2019, especially in the form of virtual assistants who can be asked for help at times when real people may not be available.
And while machine learning might not be as mainstream and regularly-seen as AI is in the mobile world right now, expect that to change in the very near future as breakthroughs continue to be made in this field.
Combining AI and machine learning will lead to new horizons being uncovered when it comes to getting individuals and businesses the analytics and data they crave presented to them in real time.
Chatbots Will be Integral for Better Communication
This Statista analysis claims that the global chatbot market is expected to grow to $1.25 billion by 2025. Siri is certainly a prime example of how virtual assistants have changed the mobile experience, but with the all of the great advancements in AI that have been made, it’s safe to say that chatbots will no longer be limited to giants such as Apple.
Integrating very powerful chatbots into apps without having to implement laborious coding will enable smaller players to take part in the revolution as well.
Studies have shown that a majority of young people prefer instruction from chatbots than actually having to talk to real people, simply because it’s more time-effective. A study conducted by Forrester Research shows that most Millenials and other digital natives prefer small bursts of information to phone calls, which they believe to be tedious and long-winded.
AR and VR Becoming More of a Reality
If Siri is a good indication of how popular AI has become, then the popularity of the “‘Pokémon Go” game is certainly an even better indication of how AR and VR technologies can go viral and bring huge amounts of user engagement to a mobile app.
Another good example of the popularity of AR is the social media filters that can take a user’s face and turn it into a digital character to the bemusement of followers. And while these examples might seem fairly trite, it’s hard to argue that AR and VR are technologies are incredibly attractive and present a direct path towards immersive, reality-altering technologies that people crave as our reality slowly turns into the stuff of science fiction.
A recently released spending guide from the International Data Corporation (IDC), claims that
revenues for the AR/VR market will grow to more than $162 billion in 2020.
Increased Popularity of Wearable Apps
Speaking of science fiction, smartphones and mobile apps seem to mark the first step towards the futuristic ideas of having the Internet and all worldly information installed into contact lenses or directly into the human brain in the near future.
The next logical step towards that goal is certainly being able to access this sort of information in a way that’s more convenient than having to take out your smartphone, which is currently through wearable devices.
According to a recent analysis by CCS Insight, smart wearable device sales will double by 2022, turning into a $27 billion market. Once again, Apple’s smart watches have set the stage for enabling mobile app developers to work on creating apps that will be accessible on watches instead of phones.
Today, and probably for the majority of 2019 as well, the biggest market for wearable mobile apps will still be related to movement – products such as fitness bands – but expect mobile app developers to continue finding avenues by which to promote and implement many different use cases on wearable devices, namely, user-experiences that go beyond the fitness and movement realms of interaction.
This article is written by Marie Jaksman.
Marie is on a mission to build kick-ass CI/CD for mobile pros at Nevercode. Cloud-based continuous integration and delivery service for iOS, Android, Ionic, Cordova, React Native and Flutter projects. Check what CI/CD can boost your mobile app development: