2021 Mobile Application Development Trends

18 May 2021 Writer: Lera Grechanik 201 views

Pandemic and self-isolation are not the only things that happened and, technically, are happening in 2021. A lot of cool apps had appeared, as well as new trends emerged out of nowhere. Let’s have a look at things, featuring this year.

The first question is why we should pay attention to trends in the mobile development industry. And the answer is pretty simple - the demand for high-quality apps rises as the market does. 

Of course, there are trends, there are things that become out of date and there is something eternal, even in the development field. It means that if you want to succeed, you should do things quickly. One of the ways to use MVP just to dig around and see where your attempts may lead. 

But will 2021 bring something new? And what things a startup has to take into account to deliver a cool product of high value? 

Internet of Things (IoT)

A couple of years ago smart devices were the matter of some fiction and look where we are now! Smart homes become more and more common in the USA and in Europe. The technologies are so smart today that they can not just track your pace but easily find a lost pet if needed. The implementation is simple - the smart device is paired to the app, so it can be easily controlled from the owner’s device. The number of people, using smart devices or planning to start using them in the future is growing, so this trend is and will be relevant in the future. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? The more areas of life are covered by IoT, the better for the startup owner. It’s easy to track the users' needs and their reactions, optimizing the operations of systems in real-time, covering plenty of industries. Wherever automation can be needed,  IoT will appear as well. Have you ever thought that you can track the parcels with IoT? But it is how things are working now. 

Cross-Platform App Development

Competition is the word of the century. In simple terms, it means that if you want to succeed, you should validate your ideas as fast as you can. The disadvantage of native mobile app development is that it costs a lot and is time-consuming, but in the end, the final product can not take off. That is why cross-platform development becomes a worthy alternative. Common codebase allows to development and release of the product for both platforms at the same time. It saves tons of money and time. However,   the apps are updated internally, and it means that it's not necessary to download a new version into the stores, losing time and potential profit. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? As it was mentioned, the most important of all pros is that cross-platform development is faster. The second point is that it’s possible to implement parts of the React Native code into the apps which are already made. The most famous example is Instagram. The app was initially developed as a native one, but later added push notifications and even promotions.

Wearable Devices

If there’s a device that can be worn, there will be an app adapted for it. Now it’s not something new - almost anyone has this or that model of smartwatch, fitness tracker, or smart ring. For iOS, it’s the WatchOS platform, and for Android — WearOS.  People got used to them and associate apps on Apple Watch/Xiaomi Mi Band are associated with apps on devices, using them together.  Some prognosis says that in the future such devices will operate without being linked to the smartphone. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? Separated apps for devices like Apple Watch are not the common thing at the moment. It means that the field is almost empty and the competition is close to zero. Even if there’s a phone in hand, standalone devices can still help to save work or do some essential deeds. Frequent notifications, on the other hand, will help to keep the user’s activity  and update it accordingly.

App Clips

Not surprisingly,  iOS 14 had rolled another new, trending feature - so-called App clips. In simple terms they allow the user to get quick access and use this or that feature of the app. The speed secret is that the user does not download an app in full, he downloads just one particular service of the app. So the one just gets access to the app’s services without downloading the app itself. For example, let’s take a booking app. Scan a QR code, place an order, wait for confirmation and that’s it. The app will be automatically deleted afterward. The only moment to be kept in mind - such app clips work only with Apple devices at the moment. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? The more apps users use, the bigger the issue with space becomes. People don't want to download a complete all and lose precious space on their devices if they use just one feature. To make life easier is simple - one just needs to simplify the process. Now to start using an app one has to go to the app store, find the needed app, download it, waiting for the load to be completed. If you replace all these steps with one click, it will be appreciated for sure. 

Biometric Authentication

Every day people use TouchID and FaceID to pay for purchases, fees, and so on. Let’s have a look at another option - face recognition. Let’s say, a security guard requires documents and you are not sure if you have picked them.  Face recognition allows to speed up the process and avoid the difficulties, related to identity verification. We are sure you have heard about Amazon recognition. It is a service, using deep analysis to search and match people's faces. It can be used to identify literally anything - from faces to actions and even text. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? Data, whatever it is, can be used as a powerful marketing tool. For example, a feature remembers which cocktail is the most popular in the menu, which one is the least desirable and  provides this data to the owners, so they can optimize their service and make it better.

Super Apps

They are called super-apps because they are all-in-one! They are not an app anymore, but a huge divided ecosystem, having all the users might need and use.

Source: dribbble.com

The most famous and recognized example is the Spanish startup Glovo. The users can do lots of things using a single app, from ordering the food delivery your own order to some other place. Earlier you would probably have to download two separate apps. But now you have these related features in one place. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? Mobile app functionality increases, and it is the global trend, appearing in this or that way. Super apps can become a powerful player when it comes to the competition not just in a single niche, but in the related ones. And the winners will be the ones, who allow users to shift between services as smoothly and seamlessly, as possible. 

ARM revolution 2.0

As new technologies appear, they start to have an impact on the mobile app development trends. Let’s take Apple. They have presented models of computers with their own processors on the ARM architecture — M1. To make this new concept easy, one can move apps from one device to another without changing them. These apps are already adapted to this new architecture and the development will soon become identical inside the new ecosystem. In simple terms, the apps, developed for iPhone will also work on a Macbook. It means that a lot of emulators will become useless - the user will be able to go to the AppStore, download a game for iPhone, and play it on the computer. 

What’s cool for a startup owner? Previously the development was divided, so the apps were developed independently for each device. Now the apps, which were available only on iOS, will work on all devices. Apple provides a whole new ecosystem, including the tools, which will allow the apps to work on M1, even if they were initially developed for Intel. 

Summary

Cross-platform app development is flourishing and continues to do it because customers want their ideas to be implemented fast, the market dictates the rules of this game and we should adjust. The line between development approaches is eliminated by switching to new processors. The processes become more and more automated because IoT spreads into different fields of life.

There are a lot of different digital products and they have diverse functionality, so simplifying everything becomes a new trend to balance an immense amount of features. It’s easy to track a notice even if you are not related to the app development. All apps are about making UX fasted and its use simpler. So if you want to create a product having high value for the customers, it’s essential to be flexible and follow the trends.

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