20 years ago, the mobile phone was something which only a few privileged people flaunted. It is amazing to think how quickly the mobile phone has gone from luxury to necessity. Today, we spend almost every waking hour with our mobile phones in hand or at least in close proximity. It is no wonder that the mobile phone has gone beyond being just a device for talking to another person. You can calculate numbers, you can set an alarm, or take pictures with your mobile phone. But the main reason for the widespread popularity is that there are hundreds of apps now available which help you carry out almost every activity you need to do. These mobile phone apps have not only transformed your life but also turned around the utility of mobile phones. And they have made many devices obsolete in the process. Since mobile phone apps are so important today, research goes on at a frenetic pace to find bigger and better mobile phone apps. As we begin 2019, let us take a quick look at the five hottest mobile app development trends you will witness in 2019.
Instant Apps – These apps were originally created for testing parts of a bigger mobile app, but they became popular as standalone apps in the last two years. The reason they have become so popular is that they do not require anything to be downloaded. There is no program that needs to be installed on your phone. And finally, the biggest reason people love it is that it does not use up any memory on the phone. Instant apps are also part of the native vs. hybrid debate that has kept tech enthusiasts busy for the last few years. Most industry pundits have predicted that the future belongs to native, and instant apps being native in nature will fit in nicely into this view of the future. This also means that upgrades and maintenance for these instant apps will be much easier, leading to their continued popularity among mobile app developers. Some popular instant apps which have shown the way so far are the New York Times crossword, Buzzfeed app, Red Bull TV, Skyscanner etc.
Wearable Apps – Have you walked up to the water dispenser at your office and overheard two colleagues exchanging their ‘calories burnt’ scores for the weekend that just went by? Well, gadgets like Fitbit are the reason they are able to keep count of such statistics about their physical activity. With people becoming more and more conscious about their health, such wearables will become more popular in 2019. Application developers will need to come up with newer offerings that help people use wearables better to keep abreast of their fitness goals. Apart from growing awareness of the need for fitness, another recent development will accelerate the need and popularity of apps which run such wearables. That factor is the ubiquitous and ever-popular nature of social media which makes people always want to keep up with others and highlight their achievements. Wearable will help feed this need. Watch out for bigger and better apps on this front in 2019!
Virtual Will Be King – In the last few years, we have seen how big an impact has been made by Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology. Many geeks actually joke that now AR and VR have become only R – they now stand for the only Reality! What initially started off as a wholesome mode of entertainment has quickly metamorphosed into technology which is being used for far more serious purposes. There are companies which are using this technology to help people try out wearable products (like eye glasses) without actually wearing them. This trend is set to continue in 2019. More and more companies will see the benefits of this technology and incorporate it into their promotional activities and also make it a part of their selling storyboard. One trend that we expect to see in 2019 is that the boundaries between AR and VR will gradually get blurred.
Beacon Technology – This was another innovation by Google a few years back. A beacon is a small transmitter which sends low-intensity signals (usually through bluetooth) to other devices in its vicinity. This connect helps the device to collect information that is useful in ascertaining the location of specific things. We know how the searches on Google have become so much more local-centric today. The increased use of beacon technology in 2019 and beyond will see the efficacy of localized searches improve greatly. App developers are so excited about this because beacon technology helps marketers to get very valuable insights into the offline activities of people when they are not using a search engine. That is why beacon technology is set to bridge the gap between online tracking and offline tracking, making the job of marketers much simpler and their insights more accurate. Beacon technology is also expected to bring on the same page the online searchers and the people who actually buy into stores to buy stuff.
Coming of Age of 5G – App developers will get busy coming up with mobile apps which are aligned to the 5G mobile communications technology. We have seen the progressive rollouts of GSM systems under 2G, UMTS in 3G and then the LTE of 4G in recent years, and 2019 is set to be the year of coming of age of 5G. We expect Release – 15 to be available in the first few months of 2019, which will bring with it the new specifications for transmission and access. Data transmission will now be achieved at hitherto unimaginable levels of 20 gigabits per second and beyond, and mobile apps will need to keep up in 2019. This would translate to user experiences at the rate of a gigabit per second, which will require apps to be developed on a different scale altogether. This makes 2019 a very exciting year for the development of newer apps to harness these capabilities. We expect to see enhanced mobile broadband become more the norm than the exception going forward.