Did you know that more Internet users are using their mobile phones (48.8%) than their desktops (47.04%) (StatCounter)? This shift towards mobile is a game-changer for businesses who felt that having a website was enough. In fact, if you’re considering building a mobile app, now’s the time: Mobile users spend more time using apps (87%) than browsers (ComScore).
Before building an app, however, there are several up and coming trends to consider when planning your app’s design and features. Let’s dive into the 7 need-to-know mobile app development trends for 2019, so you’ll be prepared to build a fantastic mobile app of your own.
1. The rise of on-demand apps
You may not know what an on-demand app is (also called an instant app), but you probably have a few on your phone yourself: An on-demand mobile app is a service app that allows you to acquire various services on demand, as in the name. Some common examples include Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix.
As of last year, 86.5 million Americans used on-demand services and spent an estimated $57.6 billion on them (AppInventiv). So, if your business offers on-demand services, there’s an audience waiting for your services to become accessible via an app.
2. Simplified purchases with mobile wallets
With the popularity of on-demand apps on the rise, convenience is clearly a priority for today’s generations. That being said, the easier you can make things for a user, the more likely you’ll be to convert them. One such feature that can help you to do that is mobile wallet compatibility with Google Pay, Apple Pay, or both.
Just last year, the use of mobile wallets increased by 30%, and by next year, the number of mobile wallet users is expected to increase from 1.6 billion to over 2.1 billion (Total Merchant Services). With a growing audience for this payment method and quick approach to transactions, it may be worth including mobile wallet compatibility for your app.
3. Greater use of machine learning and AI
While it may seem like “machine learning” and “AI” are merely buzzwords, that’s not entirely true for mobile app development. For example, machine learning allows apps to provide you with product recommendations, while AI (artificial intelligence) allows you to receive customer support via a chatbot (more on those later).
Machine learning and AI are particularly advantageous for ecommerce businesses, as these features can be used to better serve customers. Predictive analytics engines, for example, can use machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in a user’s behavior and recommend products based on their interests.
4. More chatbots for better customer service
We mentioned them once before: chatbots. Chatbots aren’t only infiltrating the ecommerce market: Chatbots are rising in popularity in the hospitality and travel industries, entertainment industries, the healthcare industry, and more.
Chatbots primarily serve organizations by saving them time and money through automated customer support, which offers more immediate support to users. This in mind, the worldwide Chatbot market share is expected to grow to 1,250 million U.S. dollars by 2025 (Statistica). So, if you’re not already using a chatbot in your app, it’s time to!
5. An increased use of progressive web apps
While on-demand apps may top the list for mobile app trends, we can’t forget to mention the impact progressive web apps (PWAs) are making. Major brands, like Starbucks, Twitter, and Forbes, have already switched to PWAs. Why, you ask? They look and feel like native apps but they’re more cost effective.
While they may allow you to add an icon to your screen, PWAs are not apps at all. Rather, they’re simply a website that works outside of the browser. Since they’re essentially websites, they’re also SEO-friendly. For most organizations, a PWA is enough to serve their mobile needs, while saving them thousands in development costs.
6. Recognition for the value of cloud integration
Just as when you build a website, building a mobile app means that you’ll need to need to host your mobile app on a server somewhere, which can be costly. But these days, you have the option of cloud integration, which like PWAs, can save you money, provide you with greater speed and flexibility, and so much more.
It should be noted, however, that this means choosing between a cloud app as opposed to a native app. Unless you are extremely attached to the look and feel offered by native apps, you might want to consider the more cost-effective cloud computing mobile app and reach more users, provide more features, and increase that revenue.
7. The arrival of 5G wireless
Last but not least, 2019 is the year for 5G! Both Samsung and Verizon plan to release 5G compatible phones this year, with Apple releasing a 5G compatible iPhone next year. 5G can run up to 20 times faster than 4G (think 5GB/second vs 1GB/second), which means we can start building bigger and better apps (The Droid Guy).
Think about it this way: If your idea for a mobile app was limited because of size, start reducing your concerns. A mobile app that once took 5 minutes to download should now only take 1. In this way, 5G provides greater opportunities for what you can build.
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