App development is at the core of everyday technologies that help us manage the daily workload and play a big role in interactions both at our workplace or at home. Now an intrinsic part of our lifestyle, mobile app technologies are evolving rapidly. The use of chat-bots and virtual assistants is no longer a subject of conjecture – but are ROI-intensive tools beneficial for large organisations, medium-scale businesses and smaller enterprises. Mobile app development continues to transform, mature and expand at a fast pace, with the best performers being phased out as better options continue to surface. In this discussion, we look back at the mobile app development trends in 2018.

Apps Helping Businesses Embrace Unexplored Sectors

Statistics claim that the gross annual revenue generated through mobile apps by different industries is expected to surge further, particularly in domains where conventional tech failed to penetrate. Mobile apps have worked in areas that have no history of serious customer churn, sales or profiles. Some examples include millennial readers returning to physical books rather than being Kindle-only readers. Once regarded as the future of how people will read, exclusive e-readers are not as widespread as believed earlier – the numbers are constantly dwindling in many regions.

An element that has enabled business heads to create better customer engagement rates is creating multiple touch-points within a single mobile application. Companies that have been traditionally associated with advanced technologies have already reaped the benefits of maximising customer loyalty, outreach and creating brand recall with the value add of recommendation. With such possibilities, application developers are becoming more unafraid of exploring new frontiers, targeting more ready-to-embrace techniques that haven’t been employed before. Users are being constantly coaxed to share their app experiences – direct feedback that helps quickly analyse app performance with real time analytics.

Incubating for Future-readiness

Business leaders understand that primarily app-fuelled buying behaviour need to be studied in-depth in order to extract something substantial, like develop business acumen in the form of more precise predictability. However, this doesn’t come easy to every business. Why? Legacy businesses have been operating in a close-ended ecosystem. App-based interactions are completely different, including those between disparate business teams within the same parent company.

As a result, many businesses invested in apps, releasing and upgrading them, without expecting an immediate ROI. How does this benefit them? Getting highly reliable data for creating future readiness. The investments here are not without expectations. This is a small incubation period where businesses breaking away from typical moulds are equip themselves with analysed, actionable data that will fuel better marketing campaigns, felicitate cross-channel selling, and future-proof their business setup.

App gathered data, rolled with intelligent automation and integrated analytics help catapult enterprises effectively with a small gestation period. 2018 witnessed many social and community-related businesses undertake this approach that might not seem packed with immediate gains but should provide revenue realisation in future!

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are Here to Stay

App solutions based on rapid development platforms are slated to revolutionise how businesses conduct their core operations. Most of these trends are obvious but AMPs made their presence felt far more this year. They helped deliver excellent user-experience with faster loading speeds on smart phones – creating enhanced conversion rates and decreased bounce rates.

Any business with a progressive digitisation strategy will understand that using AMPs is rather elementary to improve customer engagement capability. Several ad publishers like Outbrain have partnered with Google and deliver ads on AMP-enabled pages. The SEO-boost that webpages have created with the AMP framework are more likely to appear on top of search results pages.

The AMP network is expanding rapidly, taking the shape of a norm across the eCommerce sector. It is steadily covering more ad formats. Google announced that there are now over 2 billion AMP pages covering some 900,000 domains. Websites with AMP capability are better leveraged to see a massive boost in engagement and click-through rates along with a boost for social networking. Tumblr, which is owned by Yahoo, is now pushing 340 million blogs and 500,000 domains in AMP formats. Twitter has also expanded AMP links for all of its mobile apps!

Augmented Reality Getting More Mainstream

It’s estimated that Pokémon Go delivered in excess of $600 million of mobile AR revenue in its first three months which was more than the value of the entire VR software market in 2016

Augmented reality (AR) is a computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input that blurs the line between reality and graphics by enhancing what we see, hear and feel. There has been a 300% growth in cognitive computing in comparison to 2015-16. Still in the experimental stage in many ways, AR is here to stay in the app development world. Augmented Reality continues to outperform Virtual Reality – people became more aware about AR with the help of content made popular by Pokémon Go and Snapchat. More mobile experiences are expected to follow. The Nintendo game from Niantic made both consumers and businesses realize that augmented reality can activate users in by creating more immersive mobile experiences. With AR revenue projected to reach $80 billion by 2021, there is a lot to get excited about.

Curious and Excited About 2019?

The global IoT market is set to expand to over $600 billion by 2021 – we will witness more changes in the way trusted identities are used, from smart cards and mobile devices to wearables & embedded chips

In the world of business, Big Data apps are considered a basic tool, desperately needed to stay relevant and make better data-driven decisions. With their ability to contribute in tracking and analyzing user data with greater precision across various digital devices and platforms, smart apps offer an almost instant ROI in many cases. Today, the Internet of Things is establishing more intelligent connections between people and processes as sensor data becomes more meaningful and secure. Powered by high-speed networks, sensors are becoming cheaper, gaining more penetration.

Put together, the numbers and trends from 2018 suggest that App Development will continue to evolve even more as enterprises discover new forms of app usage for fueling business agility and better cost-management! Look out for our predictions in the Mobile App arena for 2019.