Businesses have always prioritized customer demands and greater sales – both of which would be impossible in modern times without a mobile application. No wonder more and more companies are accepting mobile applications as a necessity instead of an optional expense. According to Statista, app downloads are growing exponentially, with 197 billion apps downloaded last year. In fact, the projected number of app downloads by 2021 is 352.9 billion. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that mobile app development is one of the fastest growing trends of 2018.

You will various kinds of apps, from gaming apps to dating apps, but lifestyle and social media apps definitely rule the industry. In nearly every sector, especially banking, hospitality, and retail, large companies are relying on apps to improve their marketing, branding, and customer engagement. On the other hand, SMEs are focusing on developing their own business applications. These two distinct approaches have resulted in several trends that will not only be prevalent in 2018 but also shape the future of the mobile app development industry:

1.AMP

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) was a project launched by Google to decrease the load time of mobile web pages. Apart from this amazing feature, Google included an isolated search index for mobile Internet. From an SEO perspective, this has completely changed the approach to mobile app development. Other advantages of AMP include better content visibility, easy visitor analysis and content placement, greater page ranking and CTR, reduced migration efforts, mobile search carousel, and mobile search index.

2. Blockchain

Blockchain has gained a tremendous amount of popularity within a short time for being the infrastructure supporting Bitcoin. Developers now intend to use Blockchain as an incorruptible digital ledger when creating financial applications. The shared incorruptible digital ledger will be leveraged in 2018 for various economic transactions and recording transaction history. During enterprise mobile app development, blockchain will be used to boost data and app security by eradicating the chances of data tampering. Moreover, blockchain customizations will lead to the recording of new kinds of sensitive and valuable transactions.

3. Android Instant Apps

These are nothing more than native apps that function as websites. Because of their convenience, they attract lots of users. Not only do Android Instant Apps eliminate the need for app installation but they even remove the barrier between web and apps. You can share it easily and run the program flexibly on multiple Android versions. The best part is, the applications can be accessed anywhere, anytime without being installed on the gadget. This even helps you save space on your phone as you no longer have to download unwanted files.

4. Enterprise Apps and BYOD

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is gaining plenty of attention as companies slowly switch to hybrid enterprise apps. Right now, 72 percent of companies invest in BYOD for employees either directly or indirectly. No wonder the industry will be worth an astounding $73.30 billion by 2021. Hybrid apps will continue to run in app form but they are mainly mobile sites. As a result, the mobile app development process will proceed faster and cost less.

5. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

VR and AR have garnered a lot of attention from entertainment and gaming apps. AR is used by developers to provide a live view of our environment while VR helps redevelop the environment or real-life situations. As the investments of tech companies in AR and VR projects increase, the demand for such technologies is likely to see a huge boost in 2018. A lot of developers find new ways to develop new types of apps by leveraging VR and AR technology. Even though AR is used extensively during enterprise app development, VR is primarily geared towards game development.

6.Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to revolutionize both consumer-facing and enterprise app development this year. As apps gather data on the user’s interests and preferences and become more intelligent, machine learning algorithms will continue to add value. Now, developers will be able to create innovative apps that serve as versatile tools for accessing real-time insights through cognitive interfaces, machine learning processes, and advanced analytics. Considering all the progress made in this arena, it should not come as a surprise that the AI market is anticipated to increase to $47 billion by the year 2020.

7.Business Bots

You will be surprised to know that chatbots are one of the fastest growing technological trends in the market right now. According to estimates, the industry should reach a surprising $6 billion by the time 2023 comes to a close. When business bots are combined with mobile applications, it provides a way to create real customer interaction simulations for business. In 2018, 65 percent of consumers in the US will likely speak to chatbots. And most of the popular chatbots came into being just last year, including virtual medical chatbot (Melody), weather forecaster chatbot (Poncho), and financial assistant chatbots (ENO).

8. Cloud-based Applications

Cloud-based applications are one of the major areas of focus among app developers, and they are investing heavily towards this trend thanks to the growing use and lowering costs of cloud technology. Due to the popularity of Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud-based applications, it is only a matter of time before numerous apps become cloud-based. The value of the worldwide cloud app market was $56.9 billion dollars in 2016, but it is expected to increase to $69.4 billion in 2018.

9. Mobile Payment Technology

You might have noticed that the number of Internet shoppers is growing by leaps and bounds lately. And the people who shop online from mobile apps use their debit/credit cards or Internet banking system to pay for their purchases. But thanks to the introduction of Apple Pay and Google Wallet, more and more people are becoming interested in m-commerce. Even though the trend of mobile payment was quite strong in 2017, 2018 is going to be bigger. Organizations can use the mobile payment to easily harvest data and gain in-depth insights into clients. The best part is, customers are slowly coming around to this kind of payment choice.

10. Location-based Beacons and Services

Apple’s iBeacon and Google Beacon raised the bar for integrated location-based services. Nowadays, almost 100 percent of smartphones feature GPS technology and Beacon so that they can tap into the full potential of LBS (location-based services). The thing is, WiFi is no longer restricted to hotels, retail outlets, healthcare centers, and restaurants. More apps supported by WiFi will be used beyond such traditional functions and help people with the pertinent location-based details. Businesses can even use the technology for personalized app marketing.

It seems like a lot of new mobile app development trends are on the cards in 2018. Developers must adopt these trends to make their apps adhere to customer demands and generate more profit. Keep in mind that disruptive systems can lead to new trends and consequently, alter the process of the developer. So, to get successful, developers must keep an eye on the new trends in mobile app development.