Though we’re all glued to our phones nearly the entire day, we have no idea how large the smartphone industry actually is. In reality, we’re actually living in the world of mobile apps. Though we download new apps onto our phones without question, over 200,000 million app downloads occurred in 2017. And this is only just the beginning. Back in 2012, 102 million Facebook users accessed their profiles through the Facebook app. Now, these numbers are even more inflated as more and more people have access to smartphones and mobile apps. Naturally, the mobile app industry is dominated by Google apps, social media app, and gaming apps, however, now more companies such as Walmart and Amazon, are making a footprint in mobile app development in order to improve customer satisfaction, brand recognition, and the increase of sales. Both large and small businesses are jumping on board with mobile apps, see the direct value and immediate benefits from having one for their business as 57% of time spent on digital media is through mobile apps.
Though, as more companies are adding mobile apps to their businesses, they also need to know what direction the industry is going. That way, they develop apps which are entering the market in a cohesive manner. The last thing a company wants is to publicize an outdated mobile app simply because they didn’t do their research. Companies need to stop wasting their time investing in technology which will become shortly outdated. So where is the future of mobile apps going to go? It’s time to find out.
M-Commerce is a trend that will be slowly immersing into the mobile app world. As more and more people continue to purchase apps, more people will adjust themselves to m-commerce. What is m-commerce exactly? M-Commerce is the transactions that are completed electronically through a smartphone such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Instead of using credit cards or debit cards, users can simply pay using their mobile phones instead. By reducing the need for credit or debit cards, the users are provided with an easier method of payment and create customer loyalty. But this is just one of the elements are encompass the direction of mobile apps.
Mobile apps and wearable devices are continuing to gain popularity as 101.9 million wearable devices were shipped in 2016, according to IDC. This is a 29% increase from 2015 which is quite a gain within a years time. Wearable smart devices such as Apple Watch is an example of how technology is minimizing in size, yet, maintaining its functions in alternative forms. Smartphones will soon be available not only in watches but also as smart jewellery, healthcare sensors, etc. The products in which mobile applications will be used are endless, meaning companies need to not only be aware of this change but also make sure that their mobile app is compatible with these upcoming devices.
Future mobile apps will also be focusing on increasing mobile user experience design. In other words, it’s important how people view the content on their phone as it has the ability to affect user experience. Apps such as Instagram and Pinterest function by displaying innovative designs and interfaces for users to interact with. If companies want their mobile apps to succeed, they need to focus on creating apps which have a compelling user interface. There’s a reason why people can spend hours scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram.
Lastly, chatbots are making a huge appearance in mobile apps and will increase their presence over the coming years. Chatbots, for those that don’t know, is a program which simulates conversations with users. This will reduce the need for human customer service representatives as chatbots are able to engage in conversation with actual humans. In 2018, more than 50% of companies will invest in using chatbots for business. This would be able to save an average of 4+ minutes in comparison to traditional call centres. For example, Duolingo, the language learning app is based on chatbots and has approximately 200 million users. Poncho is an app which sends funny weather forecasts which have been successful in raising $2.4 million in funding. With most users not even noticing the difference between real and computerized customer service representatives.
These are just some of the advances which are being made in the mobile app industry. As technology continues to advance and more people gain access to smartphones, the market will continue to grow and expand. Though we don’t know for certain in which mobile app feature will prosper, it’s clear that the industry is working hard to change the way we use our smartphones. Making them not only a device that we turn to for information or communication but a device that’ll be able to complete all our needs.
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