If the tech industry could share one overarching motto, it would be something like “ever forward.” And in no specific sector is that more true than in field of mobile app development. Indeed, designers are constantly seeking new ways to entertain, inform, network and generally make our lives more seamless through technological innovation.
So what does 2016 hold in store in the realm of app development trends? More fun and games to occupy our time? Of course. More tools to ease our way from point A to point B? Count on it. More platforms to keep us constantly connected to the larger world? Absolutely. But there are also more encompassing trends to be on the watch for, watershed movements that will continue to change the way we interact with all our mobile machines and, ultimately, with each other.
Here are a handful of such trends to be on the lookout for as app engineers plunge ever forward.
- Health care, online payment systems, smart homes … everything will start to be connected with apps that utilize the Internet of Things (IoT). Put simply, the IoT is about making it possible to connect any and every device to the Internet thanks to the fact the broadband services are becoming exponentially more widely available, driving down the cost of connecting to a virtual world and fostering the creation of more and more gadgets with Wi-Fi capabilities and built-in sensors. Therefore, developers and technology engineers are finding ways, through changing the way they think about app creations, to make all devices communicate with each other in a truly harmonious fashion.
- Although the demand for tablets is diminishing thanks to smarter and smarter smartphones, they still remain popular in certain industries. But to keep them relevant and useful app developers will have to focus on cross-platform structures that help people transition from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone. Essentially, this thinking is an extension of the tried-and-true “responsive design” mantra that website builders have been practicing for some time: making sure that a site or, in this case, an app, renders correctly no matter the device on which it’s being used.
- So many of the apps we use today rely on mobile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, a reality that will increase in the future. Sales automation—and the merging of that automation with wearable tech such as smart watches—is a hot topic right now in app development circles, so be ready to do virtually everything, such as shopping, banking etc. literally with the flip of a wrist.
- A big push in the development field is to make sure every app that hits the market in the immediate future has an unprecedented level of personalization and can ultimately anticipate behaviors and respond accordingly. Basically, developers will look for cues from progress being made in the field of artificial intelligence, and will morph AI with the previously mentioned IoT to harness predictive technology that helps streamline mundane, time-consuming tasks.
- If there’s one thing all app developers and engineers agree on it’s that mobile apps will rely more and more heavily on cloud technology. The thinking is that utilizing the cloud—that virtual world of interconnectivity and data storage—allows for easier synching of multiple devices as well as an increased functionality across various platforms. In addition, it will be easier to rollout new apps when developers can access tools via the cloud. In essence, more and more laymen and novice techies will be able to conceptualize, design and build programs thanks to existing knowledge that is readily available to everyone.