COVID-19 changed not only the way we live, but also the way we work. There is a significant impact on the economic landscape, social behaviors, and consumer preferences. There is a dramatic increase in demand for technology solutions. Mobile app development solutions that helped users maintain social distance, work remotely, as well as facilitated online collaboration saw an upward trajectory of growth. It is important to partner with an iPhone app development company or Android development agency to leverage changes for competitive advantage.
Companies heavily invested in development of apps to increase capacity and bring new features. The year 2021 signifies rebuilding of lives. With vaccination gaining momentum across the globe, there is a strong feeling of resilience. But still with pandemic waves and different variants grappling different countries across the globe, technology continues to help people work and live safely.
Here are mobile app development trends that will continue to grow:
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
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We thought AR and VR was limited to travel & tourism. But, then came Pokemon Go, a gaming application that made Augmented Reality go mainstream. Forward 2021, AR and VR are not only popular in the gaming industry, but also created a profound impact on diverse industries such as healthcare, tourism, education, retail, marketing, architecture, and real estate.
- $160 billion: Combined market share of AR and VR will be by 2023.
- The AR and VR market size reached $12 billion in 2020.
AR Trends that are shaping mobile app development
- AR Avatars
- AR Indoor Navigation
- VR training in the retail & education sector
Apple’s LiDAR scanner is changing AR. It is important to partner with iPhone app development company to leverage the growing technology.
ARKit 4 allows building the next generation of augmented reality apps. RealityKit is “Apple’s rendering, animation, physics, and audio engine built from the ground up for augmented reality. Augmented reality experience for your app or game, including harnessing the LiDAR Scanner on iPhone and iPad, tracking faces for AR, and more.”
The aim is to help iPhone developers “prototype and produce high-quality AR experiences.” Both ARKit and RealityKit can add new dimensions to retail experiences or combine with Machine Learning and Computer Vision to build much smarter & intellectual apps or games.
Cross Platform Development: Rise of Flutter, React Native & PWA
Cross-platform apps will continue to gain prominence and relevance with its ability to reach users across different platforms. React Native and Flutter are rising in the world of cross platform app development. While still in a relatively nascent stage, Flutter is surging ahead with its popularity with several success stories.
PWAs are also a feasible option, offering the advantages of apps. They take less time to develop compared to normal apps. To put it in layman’s terms, because they are websites with app functionalities. They offer expanded utility as you can save them on your home screen. Further, PWA apps are lightweight, run faster and offer less dependency on Internet. They can be accessed and updated automatically.
- React Native comes across as mobile framework used by software developers in both 2019 and 2020. (Statista, 2020)
- Cross-platform frameworks allow developer to code only once, but let the app run in both OSes.
Wearables are growing. Going ahead not only would websites and apps work on mobile devices, desktops, but also seamlessly on wearables. This would throw new challenges. Wearables play an instrumental role during COVID-19 cases in detection of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic users. Equipped with features to continuously monitor physiological data in real-time, wearables help in detection of any deviations from an individual’s normal health vitals.
Low-Code App Development
Like cross-platform app development frameworks, organizations can use low-code app development frameworks for quicker time to market. Low/no-code app development uses drag-and-drop actions and intuitive UI to create an app. These apps will be a quick fix solution for companies looking to hit the ground running without the hassles of coding.
According to Forrester, “Accelerated adoption of low-code platforms will change how teams organize. During the pandemic, many organizations embraced low-code platforms to build and deploy new apps fast. These experiences will drive most development shops to adopt low-code tools and more. Expect to see new hybrid teams emerge, with business users and professional developers building apps together with low-code tools built on cloud-native platforms.”
- 75% Development shops will transition to low-code platforms in 2021.
- 65% App development will be done using low-code platforms by 2024.
- Low-code platforms is expected to create more cross-functional teams in 2021.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMPs are an open-source project by Google and Twitter to make pages load faster. As you can surmise from the name, accelerated mobile pages improve web page load time by minimizing unnecessary code. This means pages load much faster and use fewer data. While AMPs will never replace native mobile apps, it will make low-quality apps redundant. Get ready for more mobile-friendly applications in addition to PWAs.
As tools and technologies continue to mature, new trends will continue to dominate the mobile app development industry. Emerging technologies will continue to make the development process exponentially faster. It is important to understand your business objectives and goals before implementing the process.