Mobile app development has been disruptive to the software industry since its inception. As user preferences and behavioral patterns are constantly shifting, the dynamic needs have pushed mobile app developers to adapt to faster and more efficient development processes.
Today, mobile apps are transforming businesses, whether it’s B2C, B2B, or niche-oriented SaaS companies. Every organization is changing its business model and marketplace to accommodate a mobile app based on its target audience.
Currently, the tech industry is leveraging microservices as compared to the monolithic development approach, given it has more scalability. Besides, microservices allow developers to deploy and update each component individually, meaning they have more flexibility and control over each component in the mobile application.
Here’s an article on Everything About Microservices: What, Why & How!
Expect this industry to grow, diversify further, and become more specific with use cases depending on consumer needs.
That said, let’s take a look at the top 9 mobile app development trends that are paving the way for businesses.
Top 9 Mobile App Development Trends
1. Telehealth & Telemedicine
The Covid-19 pandemic called out on the lack of technology in the health and medicine segment, which shifted the focus of doctors and patients, highlighting the fact that telehealth plays a critical role in a crisis.
Challenges like long queues in front of receptions, inability to physically visit hospitals, or waiting for doctors to diagnose have been easily addressed by telehealth and telemedicine mobile apps.
Such mobile applications come with rich configurations that enable patients to confirm their history, explain symptoms, rank the severity of their condition, and express concerns before meeting with their doctor.
One of the key mobile app development trends in the telehealth mobile app industry has been the increased use of chatbots & in-app chat.
Telehealth apps like Babylon are facilitating easier and quicker communication between doctors and patients via text, audio calls, and video calls. Their chatbot works on a sophisticated algorithm that gives precise answers based on a user’s symptoms.
With 80% of respondents reporting measurable improvements in service delivery, customer satisfaction, and contact center performance, it’s essential for businesses to integrate a chatbot into their mobile app.
Check out this article on Telehealth Trends: 55 Statistics That Show Increasing Adoption
2. Virtual Conferences & Events
The adoption of live streaming technologies has become a must-have for all virtual events, on both web and mobile.
“For hosting small virtual events, 41% of event organizers use Zoom, whereas 29% of marketers use Microsoft Teams.”
Hosting virtual conferences comes with an array of benefits. With everything being done online, from inviting people to participants having the flexibility to attend virtual events from the comfort of their own homes, mobile apps that support virtual conferences have become a key part of many businesses.
There are tremendous opportunities for mobile app developers to focus on the innovative use of video conferencing technology. With more people relying on mobile apps to host and participate in virtual conferences/events, it’s evidence that in-app chat is a promising field any app developers shouldn’t ignore.
Check out this article on Virtual Event Trends for 2021
3. Online Dating
The online dating industry has grown multifold over the past months. Tinder, a popular dating app, was the highest-grossing non-game app in the world in March 2020, with over $76.8 million in user spending.
“94% of users on OkCupid said they plan to continue dating virtually, while 70% of Hinge users said they are available for phone or video dates.”
To cater to changing consumer needs and the current environment a.k.a the pandemic, many dating apps are taking the “less traveled” road, offering unique features to users that go beyond just swiping pictures and sending text messages.
Match.com, an online dating expert is leveraging AI to help users find a romantic match based on interpretation of up to 50 aspects such as hobbies, flaws, zodiac signs, and so on. Lara, the AI chatbot, uses NLP to direct users through their profile settings and adjust match suggestions based on the follow-up communications.
Developing AI-enabled dating apps that help users identify compatible matches through a calculated and selective process is a futuristic approach that many businesses are undertaking - thus, included in our list of top mobile app development trends in 2021.
4. The Rise of Chatbots
The next user generation seeks smarter and quicker solutions for their needs. Users have a growing inclination towards engaging with chatbots in various ways - booking an appointment online, finding the nearest store, or simply ordering something very specific.
While the central theme is about offering great customer experiences, integrating chatbots to web and mobile apps also helps in reducing operations costs. They can easily perform basic frontline customer support tasks, thus reducing manual resources.
One of the examples is Domino’s. They released a chatbot named “Dom” for pizza ordering to enable users to order pizza directly via Facebook messenger.
With more than 50% of buyers wanting to use do-it-yourself (DIY) customer service solutions to make an online purchase, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to integrate a chatbot into their mobile app and reap the benefits that come with it.
5. On-demand Services
Mobile app development trends 2021 show the on-demand economy has been a huge success over the past few years, owing to its ease of use, accessibility, and user experience.
Uber was a pioneer of on-demand services, as it was one of the few companies that had started to offer a demand-based pricing model to its users - allowing people to choose whether they’d like to use a taxi service or join the Uber team part-time.
From ride-sharing to video, learning, logistics, food, doctor, home services, and many others - on-demand services are now present across a wide variety of verticals, offering great commercial potential for businesses.
“The Video-on-Demand segment is expected to reach $126 billion with an annual growth rate of 10.17% (CAGR 2021-2025).”
While the on-demand mobile app industry is booming there’s also a major shift in the way businesses approach the development of these mobile apps. There are multi-users, multi-layer functionalities, native app integrations, business models, and others that pose a challenge to software development companies.
Replacing the traditional monolithic software development approach, companies are willingly adopting microservices to get the job done in a hassle-free manner (while having more control of each component independently).
Checkout how these 7 companies are adopting in-app chat to build a richer user experience.
6. Online Marketplaces
According to a Google survey, 58% of customers use their smartphones for online shopping. And of those, 66% buy goods online at least once a week.
The fact that whether at home or on the go, consumers turn to their phones to shop online is a nudge to businesses to build more engaging mobile apps for selling products or services easily.
“App development for online marketplaces is increasing exponentially. In fact, in 2021, it is estimated that there will be 2.14 billion global digital buyers.”
One of the major mobile app development trends is voice shopping, which has quickly gained popularity since Amazon’s Echo was launched in 2014. At the end of 2017, 13% of digital assistant owners in the USA said they were using voice search to purchase products.
According to analysts at OC&C Strategy Consultants, this number will rise to 55% by 2022.
In other words, app developers and businesses should get ready to integrate a smart voice-based search in their mobile app to ensure convenience to their consumers, and stay ahead of their competition.
7. E-learning Platforms
E-learning platforms are breaking classroom barriers to help students learn from anywhere anytime. In fact, a report shows that the E-learning market is predicted to reach $325 billion in 2025 at a rate of 8% CAGR.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the momentum of mobile app development is only progressing as more people - almost 2 billion - are constantly tapping away on their smartphones to learn online.
“By 2025, mobile learning is expected to cross $78.5 billion worldwide.”
One of the mobile app development trends in E-learning platforms has been the use of gamification. Duolingo offers mini-games to its students, which makes it easy for them to pick up a small activity and learn a new language bit by bit without committing too much of their time and effort. The initial levels include picture labeling games, and as you progress to the next level, you play more challenging, but exciting games, to hone your grammar and vocabulary.
Businesses and app developers can successfully use such gamification techniques in various kinds of mobile apps to make the learning process more handy and engaging for students.
Check out this article to learn How to Create an e-Learning Website/App
8. Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When it comes to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), there are quite a few names that come to mind such as virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, etc) and chatbots.
The more recent example would be the AI-powered filtering app, FaceApp, which quickly became popular because of its amazing artificial intelligence (AI). The app adds filters to a user’s photo and shows them what they would look like if they were older or younger.
In 2021, it is expected that both ML and AI will dig their heels further deep into the consumer space and play an active role in their daily lives. Tools such as AI-based cameras, user predictions, voice translations, etc. will become a significant part of mobile apps.
“The global ML industry stood at $8.43 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $117.19 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 39.2% during the forecast period.”
In fact, Apple released Core ML 3, an iOS machine learning framework designed to help developers embed AI tech into their apps. So businesses and mobile app developers can combine Core ML and user data to make data predictions, detect usage patterns, fine-tune models, and offer a more personalized experience to end-users.
9. Wearable App Integration
Wearable apps are on a constant rise and for good reasons. Such apps fuel gadgets like smartwatches, display devices (google glass), body sensors, smart jewelry, and so on.
“With an annual growth rate CAGR 2021-2024 of 0.04%, the wearables revenue is expected to reach a market volume of $17,854m by 2024.”
A mobile app development trend that has seen a recent spurt is the beacon technology. Beacons are wireless transmitters that use low-power Bluetooth technology to interact with nearby devices. This technology is increasingly being integrated into wearables such as smartwatches to facilitate location-based sharing.
More advances in wearable apps are going to transform how users will interact with wearable devices and how data is collected. Thus, app developers should get ready to offer smarter interfaces that enable users to interact with not just their home appliances but also allow businesses to connect with customers in a more holistic manner.
Most of these trends are here to stay and will change the entire mobile app development game. And it's important for developers to stay updated and inculcate new technology across all components of their mobile apps. But with technology always evolving and changing, it’s almost impossible to keep every component in your app at par with the latest technology, always.
Using microservices apps such as CometChat takes away the burden from you and puts it in the hands of dedicated experts. This way you get to focus on your core expertise that is most important for your business.
Want to learn more about how ready made microservices can help reduce your development cost and effort? Talk to our experts and explore endless possibilities.
About the Author
Aarushi is a software engineer turned full-time copywriter and content strategist. She's worked for tech giant Accenture and loves writing and talking about technology. Aarushi is a featured contributor on HackerNoon and technology based blogs.