Key Trends that will Define the Future of Mobile Development

Sean LockwoodProgrammer
Will the future of mobile app development include the same trends as those most relevant today? Find out by checking out the 7 trends of the future.

7 Key Trends that Will Define the Future of Mobile App Development

Mobile app development has certainly come a long way over the years and virtually all statistics indicate that mobile apps show no signs of slowing down in terms of being the main force behind the population’s digital experience. After all, according to statistics from Staista, currently the Google Play Store have over 2.8 million apps while the Apple App Store has nearly 2.2 million.

Still, in spite of their being millions of apps available, what does the future hold for mobile applications? Check out these 7 trends that are likely to help shape the future of mobile app development:

1. Hybrid Apps

Some people question if the future of mobile apps will be native or mobile apps. Others believe that hybrid mobile apps will have a much more predominant presence in the future, due to their ability to enable developers to target more than one platform. Hybrid apps are just like any other on your phone. You install them on your device and they already exist in apps stores. With these apps, you can play games, take photos, connect with friends via social media, and more. Just like websites on the Internet, hybrid apps are built with more than one web technology, and can combine HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

The main difference between these apps and Internet websites is that hybrid mobile apps are hosted inside a native application that uses the WebView of a mobile platform. This gives them the power to access device capabilities like camera, contacts, and so on; capabilities typically restricted to access from inside mobile browsers.

2. Crowdfunding


This is one of the mobile app industries current trends for monetization that has a lot of room to grow. Crowdfunding involves funding a project or venture (usually online) by raising multiple small amounts of money from a huge number of people. Prime examples of online crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter and Indiegogo. A developer with an interesting app looking to start or grow their business might find success via crowdfunding as long as what they have to offer is interesting.

3. App Thinning

First created by Apple, and now an official feature of iOS (since iOS 9 and onward) app thinning is designed to save space on your mobile phone. Far beyond determining app compatibility, app thinning consists of asset slicing, on-demand resources and, eventually, bitcode. Essentially, in terms of asset slicing, while the App Store may contain the full universal app with full asset catalogs, when you download this application, the App Store will slice assets so that you get only what your specific iOS device needs. This is a much smaller package that results in less download time.

The on-demand resources of app thinning results in downloading only content you might need when you first start using the application (e.g. first five-game levels etc.). As new content goes in, old content goes out, continuing to save space on your device. Bitcode, on the other hand, is the future of app thinning. Eventually, the App Store intends to deliver apps in bitcode. This will enable Apple to optimize and re-optimize app binary for the exact device architecture that’s downloading the app without needing the developer to manually update and resubmit their app.


4. Chatbots


Chatbots are becoming increasingly important to businesses and this importance is only likely to grow. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other messaging services are enabling businesses to better connect with their consumers and clients, giving them a greater understanding of their behavior and preferences. It’s a fantastic (and free) customer service tool.


5. Free-to-Play games


Free-to-play games is one of the most popular monetization models for mobile game developers and this is likely to continue in the future. That being said, there’s a lot more to free-to-play games than just making an app free to download and adding in-app purchases. As pointed out on Appnext’s blog, two of the most important tips for game monetization in regard to free-to-play is having good content and good game economy.


While having good content is pretty self-explanatory, game economy is the heart of your game. It’s what defines it (e.g. game progression, character and environment details, placement of levels, and so on). In short, the progression of your game could make or break your success.


6. Cloud Computing Apps

Cloud computing apps are expected to play an important role as one of the future trends that will shape the mobile app development sector. These apps enable a developer to create an application that can be run on all smartphones, utilizing the browser, no matter the screen and platforms. Cloud computing apps run like a native app, but instead of running on a device, it runs on a server. More and more organizations are showing preference to cloud computing apps because of their reliability and ease of use.


7. Greater personalization


The evolution of existing features and design elements that involve user location, preferences and timing will help to further personalize notifications. Wider access to user-generated information and insights will help developers in the future apply advanced capabilities of the current generation sensors of mobile devices.

What these 7 key app development trends reveal is that what will appeal to future consumers is based on what they want more of today. Consumers are taking a more active role in the apps they want to see developed, as is seen in the case of the growing interest in crowdfunding. The similar theme of all these trends is a “less-is-more” approach. In short, the future app user won’t be looking for quantity but quality.  They will want and expect apps to be practical, easy to use, convenient, fast, reliable, enjoyable and helpful. They will demand a personalized as well as customizable experience tailored to meet their needs in an ever-evolving technological world.


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