Mobile app trends to watch in 2024

November 04, 2022

By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
PhoenixBizz a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of
Data Titan, Sofvue LLC, and the author

As a solutions architect, I’m always on the hunt for better resources and tools for mobile app development, as well as researching ways we can help our clients scale using state-of-the-art technology. Technology has made remarkable advancements, enabling you to effortlessly track your health using a mobile app. Craving fresh orange juice? A simple food delivery app and an internet connection are all it takes to satisfy your desire. From advanced logistical systems, foldable phones, to the latest 3PL services that can serve across phones, there are plenty of exciting things on the horizon, so let’s dive in.

Rise of AI-Powered Interactions

As we move into a mobile-first world, user experience is everything. Apps must be immersive and interactive, and wherever possible, adapt to the needs of the user while interacting with the codebase.

This is where artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to emerge.  Many companies already use AI in various ways, from helping them design better products and services to improving customer service interactions.

Here are some examples of how AI will be used in mobile apps in the near term:

 ➤ Natural language processing (NLP): Detecting and understanding the meaning of words and sentences in human language so that you can easily interact with your device.

 ➤ Computer vision: Using cameras and algorithms to identify objects or activities in a scene, such as recognizing faces, barcodes, text, and more.

 ➤ Reactive intelligence: Automatically responding to changes in your environment by gathering data from sensors, databases, and other sources. For example, a smart home device might use reactive intelligence to react to your presence by turning on lights or adjusting the thermostat, while a large warehouse could alert personnel of depleted inventories when in Wi-Fi range of sensor that tracks inventory.

Beacon Technology Will Rule Retail 

The beacon technology industry is growing rapidly. The 2022 global market size of the Beacon Technology market was estimated to be USD 1698.57 million and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 24.29% to reach USD 6263.06 million by the year 2028. 

Beacons are small, battery-powered devices that send signals over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to provide exact data to smartphones or other nearby mobile devices.  When a smartphone receives a beacon signal, it can then interact with the beacon by displaying an app or sending relevant information back to the device.

Beacon technology is useful in various industries, like retail, healthcare, health and fitness and hospitality, to name a few. For example, in retail, beacons can track customers as they walk through a store, allowing marketers to send offers and coupons for products that shoppers may be interested in directly to their mobile device.

Beacons can also be used to send notifications to employees when they are needed on the floor or in a specific building area. 

When leveraging beacon mobile app development, you can: 

✅ Create interactive marketing campaigns.
✅ Engage with customers in your store.
✅ ncrease conversion chances by sending personalized offers as they walk through the store.
✅ Provide relevant information on demand.

More Emphasis on App and Data Security

Security plays a key role in designing mobile apps, especially as consumers become more aware of the risks to their personal information and identity.  That said, and while app developers emphasize app and data security, blockchain will continue to serve as a viable means to conduct transactions securely. Blockchain’s potential in the app security space lies in its ability to provide transparency and immutability — two pillars of solid security.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that can be used to facilitate transactions of all kinds, from financial payments to digital identity.  

Blockchain makes apps more secure by providing a decentralized system where data cannot be tampered with or duplicated without authorization from all parties involved in the transaction.  This means that once data is recorded in a transaction, it cannot be deleted or changed without leaving an audit trail behind that shows who made changes and when those changes were made.  This makes the platform secure, and thus its name “block” “chain” -- every transaction is “linked” or “chained” together.

Apart from blockchain, other data security measures taken by mobile app developers include:

Safe Authentication: Developers use device-level security, like device fingerprinting and secured enclave storage, to make sure no one can get in without permission. They also keep an eye on user logins and use anomaly detection to spot and respond to suspicious logins in real-time. All of this adds up to full data protection in mobile apps.

API Security: Make sure only authorized users and systems can access your APIs by implementing strong API access controls, including OAuth2 authentication. Audit and track API usage patterns for anomalies and abnormal behavior on a regular basis, so it is easy to identify and respond to security risks in real-time.

Encryption Algorithms: Encryption algorithms such as AES-256 should be considered for reliable data protection. Encryption protocols should be regularly updated to remain up to date with security threats and encryption keys should be managed and rotated in a secure manner to improve overall data security.

Geofencing Will Dominate App Marketing

Like beacon technology, geofencing also helps you send targeted messages to customers based on location. The difference is that beacon technology uses BLE to transmit information, whereas geofencing relies on GPS or RFID.

Geofencing can help you:

◾Deliver personalized information or offers based on customers’ current location (e.g., offer to show the nearest restaurant)
◾Trigger automated actions based on the user's location (e.g., turn on the air conditioning when they enter their home)
◾Enable push notifications (e.g., receive notifications about discounts and coupons in their area)

Wearable Tech Will Become More Prominent

Wearables are already being used in various industries, including healthcare, sports, fitness, retail, and hospitality. Wearable technology can also be used for personal use by consumers who want to track their progress or improve their medical conditions.

According to Statista, the digital health market segment of smartwatches is projected to experience a steady increase in user numbers over the forecast period of 2023 to 2027, with a projected global user base of approximately 229,51 million users, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 9.18 percent.

Mobile app development for wearable tech is a growing field.  Here’s why:

✅ Wearable devices allow us to “wear” our health and fitness on our wrist, tracking vitals at any time of day. After the pandemic, awareness increased significantly. 
✅ The hands-free nature of wearables means you can minimize your screen time (on your phone) and be more productive. 
✅ Many wearables come with calling and SMS features, enabling you to communicate faster, make calls, etc.  For those old enough to remember, Dick Tracy is no longer science fiction.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

AR and VR app development is the next big thing in the world of technology. AR, or Augmented Reality, is a technology that superimposes digital information over the user's view of the real world. In contrast, VR or Virtual Reality is an artificial environment created by computer technology.  Think Meta.  The combination of both technologies has led to new ways to provide immersive customer experience and increase sales. 

For instance, using an AR-powered app, customers can place an item in their home and view it before buying it, which helps them visualize how it will look in their space. Or consider how VR allows users to tour a property they want to buy without leaving their home! Virtual real estate agents are coming!

In both cases, this provides a more satisfying customer experience while lowering costs.

Here are the top AR/VR features currently making waves in the market, enhancing the appeal and visit-worthiness of mobile apps:

AR Product Visualization: This feature allows users to utilize their smartphone cameras to observe and interact with virtual representations of products in their physical surroundings. Users or buyers can preview the appearance of furniture, apparel, or other items in their homes prior to making a purchase, thereby improving the online shopping experience with AR induced features in their mobile apps.

VR Tours: The feature is creating buzz in the real estate industry where agents can easily give a property tour to clients without having them visit the place. It can transport users to immersive 3D environments, allowing them to explore places they may not be physically present at. People are also utilizing this feature to virtually visit travel destinations, museums, or college campuses through mobile apps.

VR Therapy and Meditation: The world is a chaotic place and people are looking for inner peace. Virtual reality has a solution to this as well. VR spaces are being utilized for therapeutic purposes, providing users with ways to reduce stress, manage anxiety, and alleviate pain through soothing and immersive experiences.

Personal Smart Hubs

Mobile phones have already become an integral part of our lives, and we carry them everywhere. With the continued rise of smart devices and the convenience they provide, mobile phones will become the central hub of IoT-enabled gadgets using apps and APIs, enabling users to manage all of their devices from one location.  For example, Alexa allows you to turn your lights on or off with voice commands. You can even order groceries directly from your hub, and soon, you’ll be able to manage your Alexa, Google Home, your elective vehicle (EV), and all your smart devices through your phone!

Edge Computing Will Be the Norm

Edge computing is an emerging technology that allows users to access data and services at the edge of the network instead of sending data through centralized servers. 

In simpler terms, edge computing moves the cloud near your device by processing some of your computational requirements locally or at the nearest station, also known as the edge of the cloud. 

Doing so allows for faster processing, improved efficiency, and scalability than traditional cloud-based approaches. It also eliminates congestion on the network by reducing traffic that would otherwise have to travel back and forth between the device and the server.

With the adoption of the 5G network, we can soon expect every app development company to leverage edge computing to improve user experience by making apps faster and more responsive.

Apps for Foldable Phones Will go Mainstream

Foldable phones are the next big thing in mobile technology. They combine the best features of smartphones and wrap them up together into a single device. This creates a need to develop mobile apps suited for these devices that adjust responsively to the screen size seamlessly. It also opens up new possibilities that were before limited by the physical constraints of mobile screens.  Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when considering the development of an apps using foldable phone technology

◾Design your app to fit multiple aspect ratios
◾Make sure your content is readable at different resolutions and sizes
◾Avoid hard cuts between landscape and portrait modes on one page — or transition smoothly between them
◾Don't rely solely on Auto Layout constraints
◾Make use of safe area insets and status bar overlays
◾Design for both single- and dual-sided displays

Conclusion

No one can predict the future, but when it comes to technology, we can get close. There will be a growing emphasis on customer experience (CX), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and wearable solutions in mobile apps for the remainder of this decade, and all of us will watch together, in awe, as we watch the opportunities unfold before our very eyes.

PhoenixBizz has been designing and developing mobile and web-based application systems since 2004. To date, we have designed and developed over $22MM in solutions for companies coast-to-coast, and across numerous business segments. Give us a call to learn more about our recently completed projects, read recent letters of recommendation, and to discuss how we can serve both your project and your company goals.
 

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