With multiple developments in the industry, it’s hard to know which trends to follow. What investments to make to assure your company is future-proof? What technologies are making the headlines? What should you be paying attention to, to stay ahead of the competition? With this map of app development trends, you will know what’s around the corner.
Some trends develop and progress even further while some perish and are not that relevant today. Beacons, for example. Used in museums and the storage industry, they never actually took off as a strong solution for retail, where they are heavily expected. Mobile software development is changing rapidly and there is a handful of applications that are not going to make the cut.
The cut made by customers. They only accept solutions worthy of their time and money, not artificial ones, solving imaginary problems. Current mobile app trends prove that all too well; read on to find out more.
Table of contents
Top mobile app development trends for 2022
1. Super-apps will spread outside China and South-East Asia. You surely know WeChat. An application that serves as a chat (d’oh!), banking app, a tool for ordering a taxi, and nearly every other necessity known to a human being. Sure, there’s a lot of exaggeration in the previous sentence, but is it so far-fetched? Chinese people adopted WeChat as a multi-purpose tool for handling various activities. Now, the same philosophy is leaking out of China, Thailand, Vietnam, and other similar countries with a mobile-first culture.
We’re talking about the rise of multi-purpose and multi-tasking applications for smartphones that will enable many things at once. This is a very similar trend to what Facebook is currently doing. With a name change to Meta, Facebook is trying to suck users even deeper into its own ecosystem of one. Apple, for example, has multiple devices and services that complement each other and are stronger and even better, when used simultaneously. Meta will only need one portal that will convince people to spend even more time with the company’s products.
The same goes for super-apps. Current mobile app trends strongly suggest that the Chinese model of a do-it-all application can and will be adopted in Western countries. Products like Rappi, Truecaller, or Revolut are making shifts in their respective business models and preparing for a big jump towards being super-apps themselves.
We believe this trend will highly accelerate in the upcoming months and years to come.
2. Even stronger emphasis on anonymity and security. A week ago, mobile apps helped us hail a taxi, get from point A to B, and make a phone call. Yesterday, they held staggering information about us, causing serious damage to privacy and security departments. Tomorrow, each application that will need any kind of personal data will have to be triple-checked before being accepted on the market.
Subtle moves in this direction are already in place. Some time ago Apple introduced a mechanism that warns customers of AppStore when and what kind of data is gathered and processed by each application. We expect this trend to be more radical, not only in FinTech but overall software development.
3. Design for wearables will be a whole new category of software product development. Like we already said in the piece about UX/UI trends, people will buy and use more products that have the potential for connecting to the internet. Even more so, this will be their primarily highlighted feature. Design for this kind of product requires… well, the product itself.
We predict that software development for wearables will turn from a market niche to a full-blown industry itself.
4. Mobile commerce will become even more useful. In many cases, previously mentioned beacons seem to be dead but their legacy is not. Not for entrepreneurs that want to turn smartphones into well-oiled vehicles for mobile commerce. As this brilliant article for Shopify points out, there is actually a difference between a mobile-friendly design and mobile commerce.
A mobile-friendly design implies that your website is responsive. Ergo, it looks and works well on mobile devices. At the same time, you want the attention of mobile users, and they mostly view their world through the lenses of apps, not classically understood websites. That means old ways of doing business will not work.
Mobile commerce is the world of notifications, community-building, and sale prompts. This is a new approach to selling goods. You may not be hailed by a beacon when passing a window of your favorite store, but you can have all your favorite stores in your pocket. Solutions for mobile commerce need serious firepower – mobile development services. Choose wisely; not everyone understands the difference from the previous paragraph.
5. Wide adoption and implementation of blockchain. The problem with blockchain is that people don’t understand its usefulness unless they experience it for themselves. Someone has to explain it to them. This “someone” needs to have working software that takes a vague concept and turns it into a practical solution for everyday people.
The adoption of blockchain doesn’t have to be connected to FinTech or the widely understood banking industry. As our conversation with Toni Caradonna proves, blockchain can be used to serve and save nature. The only limitation is imagination, budget, and real market needs.
The latest trends in development for mobile blockchain solutions are the creation of digital wallet apps, the proliferation of smart contract platforms, the creation of digital-identity protocols and security measures, and blockchain-based stock trading apps. Each of these trends is powerful enough to reshape your business. Combined, they can force you to change your perspective and go forward with this new technology.
If you want to know more, read our article on the blockchain market. It will shine a light on this exciting top mobile app development trend.
6. Predictive analytics will shape the market even further. Knowledge is power, no question about that. If you know what to look for and have the answers, you can steer your product and even a portion of the market in a new direction. Or even redefine it.
With a smartphone in nearly every pocket, the market is saturated beyond limits. It’s an incredible amount of data you can sit on, or you can use it. With predictive analytics, you can drive sales and profits, promote user engagement and interactions, create a community around the product, minimize business risks, prevent fraud, and more.
The software will never eliminate humans but algorithms can act as a co-Chief Growth Officer. Predictive analytics can be used in retail or FinTech (most common examples) but nearly all industries can benefit.
App development trends clearly show that there’s a huge demand for data. With software like UXCam, AppAnnie, or Heap, you can scale your business even further. All you have to do is to find the right person to use it and software developers to build or enhance your product.
7. Foldable devices need love too. Yeah, you can call this love “apps” if you really have to. All jokes aside – it seems that foldable smartphones are here to stay. People really like the idea of making their portable devices small enough to fit in the pocket yet big enough to comfortably watch a movie. On-demand, anywhere, anytime. That’s why engineers need to embrace this trend and scale apps to new screen sizes and usage models.
We don’t think that 2022 will be the year of foldable phones but it can definitely be the year of adding a new complication to the already complicated software development model. For example – the topic of software infrastructure architecture seems already complicated enough. You have to figure out a lot of nuances. Now add to the mix the fact that a user can make a phone call with the device closed but watch a movie with the device open. That will cause additional headaches for many project managers.
8. Chatbots will only grow and become smarter. The COVID-19 situation showed us how important the internet is and how much we can lose without it. Especially retail, since people were locked up in their own homes. The growth of e-commerce was quickly followed by the rise of a new generation of chatbots. They can answer questions, steer people towards the right product, even handle a simple conversation. Tomorrow they could do even more.
The global chatbot market is growing at 24% each year. That means chatbots will penetrate new markets to stay on the curve. This “new market” is mobile app development, where companies struggle to keep prospects’ attention. Sometimes users don’t turn into customers because they lack the necessary product information and the line is always busy. Consultants can only do so much. Artificial intelligence and chatbots can handle at least part of the traffic, servicing the underdeveloped market.
That’s where API development comes in, building bridges between your product and a third-party solution.
9. The growth of module scrolling, endless scrolling, and scrollytelling. We throw these three into one bag; they complement each other pretty well. Yesterday’s internet was full of websites. For years now it’s been about web applications. The difference? Today we have a complicated product that is displayed within the browser. It needs special care. It weighs a lot and can display the tone of the content. And nobody has the time for endless loadings.
That’s why people invented the wheel… Sorry, endless scrolling. It’s so simple it’s amazing. The browser only displays another portion of content when you reach the previous part of it. You can easily spot this solution on Facebook, where the content never ends.
Another top mobile app development trend is scrollytelling. It’s about animated (usually) content loading up when you scroll, providing additional context for the content after the scroll. It was created for the sole purpose of keeping you engaged.
All these latest mobile app development trends are leaking from browsers to mobile apps. Content creators, UX/UI specialists, and engineers have to cooperate even closer to provide value for the user. We expect this trend to be a new industry standard in the years to come.
10. Integration of mixed and augmented reality into “normal” apps. There’s a joke that every single year iPhone gets new updates but the number of megapixels is still the same. Oh wait, it’s not a joke, it’s reality. However, the cameras are getting better, and not only in iPhones. The quality is improving, the potential of apps shipped with the phones is already amazing. Not to mention third-party solutions. That’s why companies use these capabilities to introduce mixed and augmented reality features.
Retail giants like Home Depot or IKEA use augmented reality features to help us design our homes. They are not the only ones. Sephora helps women try makeup in the “try before you buy” model.
These are “shiny” examples, but now every company can implement similar solutions to their benefit. It’s about customer convenience and agility. This will only progress.
Innovation is the backbone of mobile
The latest mobile app development trends, as introduced in this article, point towards more responsive design. Not only for apps but for business models as well. Today digital products have to quickly respond to users’ needs while staying ahead of the competition to be relevant and innovative. That’s why guides like this, full of mobile app development trends for 2022, exist.
Now you have to decide about your own existence. Do you have a leg to stand on or do you want additional help? Team augmentation can be the answer to your needs. No matter what you choose, choose wisely. You have a wide array of possibilities and only one year to adjust before 2023 will come with something even more challenging.