This year brought us the fast development of Artificial intelligence, the speeding fall of VR Metaverse, and the continuing global economic recession. In this article, we analyzed how these changes and other trends affect the IT industry, namely mobile app development. Check out ten popular approaches that would form mobile app development in the near future.
- DevSecOps: Security and data protection
- Cross-platform development
- AI and ML in mobile app development
- Continuous delivery and release orchestration
- Cloud-native app development
- Touchless UI
- Foldable devices
- Predictive analytics
- Location and beacon technologies
All of the following trends are focused on one or more of the core objectives any mobile app developer has: (1) to reduce costs, (2) to optimize reliability, (3) to increase speed, and (4) to improve user experience. See what market innovations can help you achieve these goals.
DevSecOps: Security and data protection
DevSecOps, which used to be an evolutionary approach to software development, is now widely used for mobile app development. DevSecOps is a methodology that deeply embeds security practices into the software development life cycle. When applied to mobile development, DevSecOps ensures that mobile applications are developed with security as a primary focus from inception to deployment.
DevSecOps applies a proactive security approach. Instead of being an afterthought, security is addressed from the onset, simplifying the identification and rectification of vulnerabilities early in the development process.
Detecting vulnerabilities early can lead to significant cost savings. It’s less expensive to fix security issues during the development phase than post-release.
Overall, as developers, security teams, and operations collaborate closely in a DevSecOps model, this approach can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of security challenges and solutions.
Cross-platform applications, on the other hand, are developed using languages and tools that allow them to run on multiple OS platforms but are compiled into native code. Examples include frameworks like React Native and Flutter.
More and more mobile app projects start using hybrid or cross-platform development due to the cost-efficiency of these approaches, as developing one app for multiple platforms can be much cheaper than building separate apps for each OS. Moreover, as there’s only one codebase to manage, maintaining and updating an app becomes easier and cheaper.
Choosing between hybrid/cross-platform and native app development often comes down to the specific needs and priorities of a project. If speed and cost are paramount, cross-platform might be the way to go. However, if the focus is on performance, leveraging platform-specific features, or achieving a highly tailored UX, native development is preferable.
AI and ML in mobile app development
Incorporating AI into mobile app development can significantly reduce the time-to-market. Here are just some of the development and QA/QC processes that are already actively delegated to AI-based technologies.
- You can use code suggestions. Tools like GitHub Copilot can suggest entire lines or blocks of code as developers type, making the coding process faster and more efficient.
- Low-code and no-code platforms (AI-based) can also help generate code from graphical representations or simple instructions, allowing non-developers to create applications.
- AI can help analyze code statically (without executing it) to detect vulnerabilities, coding errors, or deviations from coding standards.
- By analyzing historical data, AI can predict which parts of the codebase will most likely have defects.
- AI can generate test cases based on code analysis, ensuring comprehensive coverage.
- Integrated Development Environments with AI capabilities can offer real-time code assistance, refactoring suggestions, and performance optimization tips.
- Instead of simple text-based searches, use AI to semantically search for code, allowing developers to find relevant code snippets more efficiently.
Continuous delivery and release orchestration
Continuous Delivery is an extension of Continuous Integration. It’s a software engineering approach where code changes are automatically prepared for a release to production after passing through various stages of the development lifecycle, including integration, testing, and staging validations. Continuous Delivery and Release Orchestration, when effectively implemented in mobile app development, can significantly enhance the pace of feature delivery while ensuring stability and quality.
CI/CD, where code changes are frequently integrated, tested, and deployed to production, is often embraced by cloud-native development.
Cloud-native app development
Cloud-native mobile app development refers to the practice of designing and building mobile applications to run in a cloud environment from the outset, leveraging the cloud’s scalability, resilience, and flexibility. Instead of creating applications that run primarily on the device with occasional cloud interactions, cloud-native apps maximize the cloud’s potential to deliver dynamic, scalable, and always up-to-date experiences.
Being a resource-efficient solution, cloud-native mobile app development represents a paradigm shift in how apps are designed, developed, deployed, and scaled, taking full advantage of cloud computing’s benefits.
Touchless UI offers a promising direction for more intuitive and diverse user interactions. In mobile app development, touchless UI can be integrated in various ways.
- Gesture recognition. Use the device’s camera or specialized sensors to recognize specific hand or finger movements. For instance, waving left or right could navigate through a photo gallery. Meanwhile, 3D-sensing technologies like Apple’s Face ID use depth sensing to create a 3D map, which can be used for more intricate gesture recognition.
- Voice commands. Integration with platforms like Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa allows users to navigate and command the app through voice. You can also implement voice recognition tools and APIs that convert voice commands to actions within the app.
- Proximity sensors. Proximity sensors can detect when a hand or object is close to the device. This can be used for context-aware actions, like dimming the screen when the phone is near the ear or auto-playing a video when someone is close.
- Eye tracking. Using the front-facing camera, some apps can track where a user is looking on the screen, pausing content if the user looks away or auto-scrolling based on gaze direction. Developers can also highlight or select UI elements based on where the user is looking.
- Wearable integration. Smartwatches and bands can detect gestures or movements, sending commands to the mobile app. For instance, a flick of the wrist might answer a call or skip a music track.
Even though Samsung claims that their foldable devices have gained popularity over the last year, at the moment, a lot of weaknesses should be taken into consideration when we evaluate the trending potential of foldables for mobile development. Foldables’ high price, weak inner screen, and small battery life raise doubts about the potential popularity of this type of device.
On the one hand, mobile app developers should take new mobiles’ 1:1 format into consideration to make their products more plausible and usable by foldable phone owners. On the other hand, the technology of foldables is not mature yet, and we can’t predict when problems with a crease on the folding screen, a small battery, or dust that can easily enter the phone body, will be resolved.
Implementing predictive analytics into a mobile app involves harnessing statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify potential future outcomes based on historical data. Predictive analytics can enhance various aspects of mobile apps, from user engagement and personalization to operational efficiencies. In 2023, predictive analytics is a MUST. Netflix, YouTube, and e-commerce shops all have that “You may also like…” feature in their code. And your mobile app should also have that.
Location and beacon technologies
Location and beacon technologies offer myriad opportunities for businesses and developers to create more engaging, personalized, and contextually relevant app experiences. These are several examples of how you can use location and beacon technologies for your new mobile app.
- Location-based content. Apps can provide content based on a user’s location, such as local news, weather updates, or nearby restaurant recommendations.
- Beacon-triggered interactions. When a user is near a beacon, the app can push specific content. For instance, a museum app might provide details about the artwork the user is standing next to.
- Special deals and promotions. Retailers can push special offers to customers’ mobile devices when they are near or inside a store.
- Indoor navigation. In large malls or stores, beacons can help guide customers to specific products or sections.
- User movement patterns. By understanding where users go and what they interact with, businesses can gain insights into behavior patterns, which can be valuable for marketing and product development.
- Heatmaps. In physical spaces, beacons can help create heatmaps of user movement, indicating popular areas.
- Automatic check-ins. Apps can automatically check users in when they arrive at a specific location, useful for events or workplaces.
- Authentication. Beacons can aid in ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to specific areas, working alongside other security measures.
- Location-based games. Games like Pokémon Go utilize location tech to provide a real-world gaming experience.
- AR enhancements. Beacons can trigger AR experiences in specific locations, enhancing user interaction with the physical environment.
- Location-based searches. If a business app utilizes location tech, it can appear in location-based search queries, driving local traffic.
The 5G network is only on its way to global dominance, but the opportunities it will provide already affect mobile app developers. With 5G, data can be transferred at speeds of up to 20 Gbps, which means apps can load content or execute tasks much faster. 5G offers significantly reduced latency, which can lead to real-time responses. This is critical for gaming, AR/VR, and apps requiring immediate data synchronization.
5G’s higher speeds allow for real-time data processing, enabling apps to handle complex tasks within shorter time frames. 5G can support a greater number of connected devices. This will boost IoT applications, where multiple devices communicate simultaneously. For IoT ecosystems, real-time data exchange is crucial. 5G can ensure that IoT devices communicate with minimal delay.
Overall, 5G technology is set to revolutionize the mobile app development landscape, opening doors to new possibilities and enhancing current capabilities. That is THE trend that will drastically affect mobile app development. Maybe not this Fall, but surely in the near future.
MWDN is here to help you find and hire top experts in mobile app development. We work around the globe and, apart from recruiting IT specialists, can assist you with their management, operational, and administrative issues. Book a call with an MWDN representative to learn how you can benefit from our expertise.