It doesn’t matter if you’re a mobile app development company, a small business owner, or a casual smartphone user: apps are an important part of all of our lives. For some, they bring enjoyment. For others, they bring financial stability. But for most of us, they represent a piece of the day-to-day modern lifestyle.
That is why it is vital we all stay aware of how apps are changing. Because the evolution of the app world affects every last one of us. And don’t be fooled, things are changing — and changing fast.
The app market is set to do one thing in the next few years: explode.
By 2020, the mobile app development industry will almost be worth a staggering $200 billion, up by 270%. The unstoppable growth of the technology is thanks in no small part to its ability to adapt and evolve with changes in customer demand and the hardware they are built into. The world surrounding apps is always changing and they aren’t struggling to keep up.
So how exactly is the app industry changing? What mobile app trends should you be aware of?
- The Android App Store is Becoming an Industry Powerhouse
Apps in some shape or form have been around since the birth of the mobile phone. But it was Apple that conceived the app as we know it today.
As a result, the company held dominance over all other app stores of the world. Even though Android become the biggest mobile phone market, controlling 85% of total mobile purchases, the Apple App Store continued to crush its rival in terms of profitability, making app developers 500% more profits than other platforms.
The end result was more of the high-quality apps — the apps you wanted to own — available exclusively on the Apple App Store, as mobile app developers saw it as the golden goose they were seeking.
This was true right up until 2017. Now, though, things are changing.
This year, Android will overtake Apple as the market leader in app profits, dethroning the tech giant. The end result is that Android apps will see more investment and the store will expand its reputation as the go-to spot for app launches and development.
Android is no longer the secondary app store. It is becoming the dominant one.
- Small Business App Development is On the Rise
SMEs aren’t exactly known for their ability to keep up with modern times. As recently as 2016, 50% of small businesses didn’t have a website.
But things are different in 2017 and it’s all thanks to one of the latest mobile app trends.
At the beginning of 2017, 42% of SMEs had apps. By the time 2018 is upon us, 71% are predicted to have joined the movement. Finally, the SME community is getting involved in the digital age.
For businesses, this means the ability to offer customers a better service and make more money. For customers, it means that your favourite small business will likely have its own app to browse very soon.
- App Development Costs Are Falling
Why is it that, after many years of obscurity, small businesses are finally seeing the power of mobile apps?
The truth is most business owners have been aware of the benefits of mobile apps for SMEs for quite some time. This movement isn’t down to wisdom. It’s down to cost.
Previously, app development was available almost exclusively for major brands — those with the financial backing capable of investing the thousands of pounds required to develop a business app.
But, things are different now.
App development costs are falling. The technology is getting older, which means it is more accessible and cheaper to get hold of. This means that small businesses can now join the app development world, allowing both themselves and their customers to reap the rewards.
- Progress Web Apps Are Taking Over
One of biggest and most exciting mobile app trends shows us that the future of apps is now upon us, and it’s called a PWA.
PWAs, or progress web apps, are the new benchmark of app technology. They are changing the way we use apps and the way apps are developed.
A PWA works like your traditional app. It has all the features you’d expect, such as a booking form or camera filters. It is also self-contained, like your standard app. But you don’t download a PWA — you stream it.
Using mobile data, you open a progress web app like you would a website URL. You are then loaded into the app and can use it just as you would a regular app.
The idea behind the PWA is that it is more accessible than a traditional app. You can find a PWA in Google or be linked by a friend, rather than having to find it and download it in the app store. They are also faster and more user-friendly. It’s the next step in the evolution of the app as we know it.
PWAs are a rarity at the moment, but they won’t be for long. As the technology builds momentum, you’ll see more and more PWA experiences on your mobile phone.