Despite the presence of over 5 million mobile apps, there’s an ever-increasing demand for new ones. This is mainly because of rapid advances in technology and the consumers’ never-ending desire for innovative products and services.
You need to be on your toes all the time if you want to keep up with the cutthroat pace of development in the mobile app industry. That’s the only way to survive and thrive in what has become a digital Darwinian era.
The smartphone has become vital to success in the digital media world. It has transformed marketplaces, business models, communication methods, and so much more. In 2022, the mobile app revenue market is projected to cross $690 billion.
However, despite the staggering numbers, the harsh reality is that the majority of mobile apps tend to fail not long after their inception. One of the biggest reasons for this debacle is an apparent inability to keep track of the latest mobile app technology trends. Because of this shortcoming, such applications also risk losing valuable market share to a more technologically adept competitor.
Hence, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings from the world of mobile app development. By doing so, you can put together a more innovative and user-friendly mobile app that has better chances of being successful. More importantly, you can provide the right solutions based on users’ pain points, resultantly satisfying their needs in an efficient manner.
Mobile App Development: Top Trends for 2022
New trends seem to be emerging all the time in this sector. Limitations of space probably won’t allow us to discuss all of them here. Nevertheless, below are the top mobile app development trends to keep an eye on in 2022.
Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)
Pokemon Go was just the beginning when it comes to using augmented and virtual reality in mobile app development. That game gave the world a glimpse of the endless possibilities of VR and AR, especially their ability to offer highly immersive user experiences.
Nowadays, there’s no shortage of brands that utilize VR and AR to craft compelling brand messages and deliver unforgettable user experiences. For instance, Swedish furniture behemoth IKEA has adopted AR to enable users to see how a particular piece of furniture looks at their home before making a purchase. Similarly, L’Oreal recently launched a virtual makeup app that enables potential customers to see how the makeup looks on their faces.
Moreover, there’s Lenskart. It lets you virtually try different pairs of glasses before buying one (or more!). Technology giants like Google, Apple, and Meta have also introduced a bunch of innovations in VR & AR. There’s now a “Live View” functionality within Google Maps. It helps users see their destination in real time using real world images.
LiDAR is yet another AR-powered technological advancement. Short for “Light Detection and Ranging,” it’s a remote sensing mechanism that makes use of light to calculate variable distances to and from planet Earth. The light used in this scenario is in the form of a pulsed laser. LiDAR has made it possible to take superior quality pictures even in significantly lower lights.
On the other hand, Apple utilized AR for the first time in the iPad Pro. Since then, the technology has been a regular feature in other Apple products like the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. In fact, the Apple iPhones have taken AR to another level, and you can expect more of the same in future product offerings by the tech giant.
All in all, there’s seemingly no industry where these technologies haven’t made their mark yet. Apple has recently collaborated with IKEA to create a brand new “Studio Mode” feature. It is powered by LiDAR technology. Before buying any new furniture from IKEA, you can use this functionality to see if the item would go well at a particular location in your home.
To find out, all you have to do is point your device to the chosen place and the LiDAR technology would scan the entire room. It will then virtually place that piece of furniture (a true-to-scale model) at that location and you can decide whether buying it would be the right decision or not.
In 2022 and beyond, you can expect VR and AR to influence the mobile app development industry in unimaginable ways. For one thing, the mobile app trend is set to become more mainstream. Figures from Statista indicate that the global market for VR and AR technologies would grow to about $209 billion this year. Just three years ago, the market was worth around $27 billion.
The Emergence of 5G
Even though it’s been a few years since 5G arrived on the scene, the technology hasn’t yet become mainstream. That will change in 2022. It is already turning into a buzzword while tech companies have begun incorporating 5G at full scale. Therefore, you can expect to see plenty of 5G-powered devices in the market very soon. They’re already available in some places and more will follow during the rest of the year.
By 2023, an estimated 660 million smartphones will be equipped with 5G connection capabilities. This accounts for nearly 48% of all mobile devices. How will this rise of 5G affect mobile app development? To begin with, the entire process of building and using apps might change. There will also be a significant improvement in efficiency and speed. Beyond that, you can expect the following.
- Reduction of latency to 1 millisecond from the usual 50 milliseconds (in 4G).
- 5G will be 100 times faster than 4G.
- Transferring data between smartphones and other devices would become much smoother and faster.
- 5G will provide more opportunities for the integration of technologies like AR and VR. With such support, integrating these technologies into a mobile app would be a piece of cake.
- Thanks to 5G, developers would be able to create new features without having to compromise on app performance in any way.
- Given the significantly lower latency, higher resolution, and faster performance, you can expect vastly improved video streaming apps.
- Identification procedures through biometric data verification would be much quicker and safer. As a result, mobile payments would go through even faster!
In a nutshell, you can expect 5G to make the apps smoother, faster, and more efficient. There would also be umpteen more possibilities for innovation.
Wearable App Integration
Wearable devices are already quite common across the globe. As per the records of Statista, the number of connected wearable devices in the world will cross 925 million in 2022. So far this year, we’ve seen some important occurrences within the industry. Apple rolled out its WatchOS 8 update. This came with several fresh watch faces, multiple new features, greater wallet access, and a fully redesigned interface.
Google has also been busy in this market of late. It recently announced the creation of a unified wearables platform that will combine its wear operating system with the Tizen software platform by Samsung. The result will be a major boost in app startup times, by as much as 30%!
Simply put, businesses and app developers should start focusing on apps that can deliver a top-notch digital experience to users of smartwatches and other wearables. Doing so will give them a direct edge over competitors who choose to ignore this particular market in the coming years.
Specialist Apps for Foldable Devices
At the moment, foldable devices only have a small share of the overall smartphone market. But, you can expect this to change significantly in the coming years. The records of Statista indicate that around 50 million units would be shipped in 2022. So, the next time you sit down to plan your mobile app development strategy, don’t forget about those foldable devices.
Getting their apps to run flawlessly on foldable devices would be a major challenge for mobile developers. However, there are also some positives because these foldable devices tend to have larger screens. This means that users can expect a more detailed and immersive experience thanks to the availability of more space. Furthermore, the “multi-windows” option enables users to multi-task with ease!
Gaming applications and video streaming can also benefit from foldable smartphones. Mobile game developers can easily provide extra controls and additional info on the bigger screen.
As with everything, our wallets are also going digital. Modern customers are finding digital wallets a highly convenient and secure payment option. You probably already know about PayPal, Payoneer, GooglePay, ApplePay, and MobilePay.
However, now the banks and other financial institutions are also looking to get in on the act. Many of them are working on providing digital wallet services of their own. Account-holders can avail these services to perform all kinds of transactions (bill payments, online shopping, online transfers, etc.) conveniently. The digital wallet can even serve as a replacement for your debit and credit cards.
In this piece, we talked about popular mobile app development trends in 2022. Quite a few were missed due to space limitations. Nevertheless, the ones that are included here will make plenty of headlines throughout the year. Stay on top of such trends by learning everything about them. Doing so can really make a difference in your life and career!