Top 9 mobile app development trends in 2023
Finally, we’ve been halfway through 2022. In the post-pandemic, businesses on the global level are trying to bounce back from the losses experienced in 2020. Therefore, many seek opportunities to make their business shine in this fierce competition.
At the same time, the market observed a rapid growth in the number of phone-heavy users. As a result, mobile-first solutions promise to unlock opportunities for any business that well-adopt them.
How can you help your business win the game?
In this article, you can gain helpful insight into mobile app development by outlooking the latest trends shaping the mobile landscape and trending programming languages.
In 2022, about 6.6 billion people own smartphones which accounts for 83.32% of smartphone subscription coverage.
As forecasted by eMarketer, the number of mobile phone users continues to grow in 2032 and beyond. Significantly, jumping by 0.3% more from 2022 to 2023 with 5206,9 million users worldwide in 2023.
The growth in mobile app users can contribute to a huge on the number of app downloads.
Mobile phone users, worldwide from 2022 to 2026 (in billions)
It’s not hard to see people surrounding you glued to their smartphones 24/7. A study pointed out that, on average, people spend about 4-5 hours in apps in Q2 2022.
Notably, the pandemic situation is the main reason driving app usage to spike across all categories from banking, shopping, and working to entertainment.
However, the data suggest that the pandemic may have led to longer-lasting impacts on app users. The evidence is that mobile consumers keep spending more time on their phones despite returning to the new normal.
Average daily time spent in apps 2020-2022.
Compared to 2022, the number of mobile app downloads in 2023 is projected to increase by 24 billion downloads.
Number of mobile app downloads worldwide from 2018 to 2023 (in billions)
Meanwhile, the mobile app market share is expected to grow to more than $650 billion between 2020 and 2025, with a market growth momentum indicating a nearly 21% compound annual growth rate.
In other words, this trend indicates that mobile app development can expect to become more flourish in 2023 and beyond.
Although being a fragmented market with certain big players, the mobile app industry constantly evolving. This opens up opportunities for SMEs and individuals to join the game and be ready to become game changers at any time.
But how do you know which direction to take or what decisions can have an impact on your business?
Learning about the latest and emerging trends can help you stay ahead of the curve and get some insight into the possible direction that the app development industry is heading toward.
With the undeniable success of games like Pokemon Go or AR filters in messaging apps like Snapchat and Instagram, we’ve already seen how popular augmented reality applications may be.
And the trend is about to grow, as more businesses will try to implement AR to showcase their products. One of the examples of how to bring AR and retail together is the joint effort of Apple and IKEA to create an application that will help to showcase IKEA’s furniture in buyers house. It will use Apple’s ARKit, and the new products will first be available through the app.
If the app proves to be successful, other manufacturers from various industries will follow.
The advancements in AI change the way we interact with mobile apps. Virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant can now help us with gathering information, organize our schedules or optimize our productivity.
The developments in Natural Language Processing and machine learning make virtual assistants more contextually aware, making their responses better and more accurate.
Machine learning is, according to Venture Scanning, the most funded category amongst AI-based ventures, reaching $2B.
At the same time, big companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon invest in solutions based on machine learning to create better conversational interfaces.
Last year we’ve seen mobile apps like Prisma, that used neural networks and AI to create what other thought a simple filter could do. The effect was stunning and we can expect other app developers to experiment with similar solutions.
Mobile devices are an increasing focus of cybercriminals.
The general growth of the industry, billions of users, 3rd party SDKs and the vast number of user data being stored by the companies made security a top concern for mobile app developers.
We’ve already seen a growing trend of encrypted messaging apps like Telegram, mobile browsers protecting users’ privacy and an industry shift towards protecting user data, including Apple’s App Transport Security (ATS) and Google’s efforts to improve app permissions.
At the same time, both companies included automatic security updates for their OSes.
We’ll definitely see more improvements in mobile security in 2023, especially in mobile payments, data encryption and privacy protection.
Location-based apps are going to expand, as location-based services (LBS) change how users interact with businesses.
Innovations in location intelligence and the ability to track places user visited, help marketers and publishers better target their customers, offering relevant ads.
We’ll see the growth of LBS-based apps in tourism and travel, navigation, security features, location-specific payment portals, and indoor mapping.
And with easily available APIs and Google map technology, it’s now easier than ever for mobile app developers to create location-based solutions for the users.
Kotlin has become an alternative to Java for Android developers, similar to Swift and Objective-C on iOS. Its growing popularity and successful use in commercial projects make 2023 the year when Kotlin will finally take off on a bigger scale.
The reason for that is the ease of use.
Learning Kotlin for Java developers is pretty easy, as well as for C# developers, as both languages share some similarities.
Developers can also use Kotlin and Java in one project, as they work together smoothly. They can also use it with Android Studio, a tool from IntelliJ.
It also helps to avoid some Java pitfalls, like null references, which increases products’ quality.
That’s why Kotlin is being named “Java on steroids” and we will see more Android apps using it.
Swift’s growing popularity will not stop in 2023, as it is considered a powerful and easy-to-learn mobile programming language.
With its concise syntax and clear documentation, Swift in considered smoother in comparison to Objective-C.
And just like Kotlin and Java, Swift and Objective-C can be used in the same projects, with full access to Objective-C API.
Swift will maybe not take over Objective-C this year, but we’ll find more and more iOS applications based on it.
Loading speed is still a crucial factor for mobile users.
AMP and PWA comparison.
In order to improve it, Google has introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an open-source project aiming to improve mobile browsing experience. You can easily recognize AMP-based websites by searching Google on mobile, as they are marked as such.
Web developers, businesses and publishers will need to consider this solution, as it not only improves the user experience on mobile but is also an SEO factor (AMP websites rank higher in Google).
At the same time, it is cheaper to develop and maintain the AMP than building a native or hybrid mobile application.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have been dubbed the next generation of mobile web apps. They are free from constraints of mobile websites like slow speed and the need for constant Internet connection.
PWAs bring a native-like feel with features including offline and full screen modes, a home screen launcher, access to the camera, and push notifications. Plus, they are faster and consume less data than mobile websites.
Progressive Web Apps don’t require downloading and installation, which is the answer to mobile fragmentation and multiple operating systems.
Some companies, like the Financial Times, have already dropped native apps in favor of PWAs, and other ones like Twitter introduced a lighter, progressive alternative for their own native apps (e.g., Twitter Lite).
With the growing list of Progressive Web Apps of popular applications like Flipboard, AliExpress, or Telegram, we can expect a shift towards PWAs.
Considering the high number of mobile applications in the app stores, Google realized how daunting it is for users to download and update new apps every now and then, for different purposes.
That’s why the company introduced its Android Instant Apps, previewed during the Google I/O developer conference this year.
With Android Instant Apps users can download only the most needed parts of the application, accessing the rest of the content instantly through the URL, saving space on the device. Android Instant Apps are being developed simultaneously with Google’s Progressive Web Apps.
According to Google, there have been 50 instant apps developed already, and developers can easily transform their native apps into instant ones, without the need to build a separate application.
The right app can help make your brand or business more visible and accessible to your target audience. By staying on top of trends, you can incorporate novel ideas into your business, and have the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
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