Year after year, the mobile industry grows stronger and stronger with new apps consistently developed.
As smartphone manufacturers compete to be the only device a customer needs, app developers and publishing houses, too, continue to push the envelope when it comes to technology integration and innovation. Mobile apps act as powerful, almost influential interfaces between a user and provider; today’s smartphone users would be lost without the many applications available at their fingertips.
For the industry not to stagnate, it needs to keep bringing useful and usable innovation to the marketplace. With statistics showing almost four million apps currently available to download across both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, how much further can things develop? In truth, mobile still has a long way to go before it becomes redundant. Here are a few of the current, most dominant trends that will go on to shape the future of the mobile industry.
The Internet of Things
With the proliferation of smart devices, homes, appliances and cities in our lives, the Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a distant dream of the future — it’s our present reality. Unsurprisingly, due to the widespread use of mobile devices, most of these connected tools and solutions have a “mobile-first” approach — relying on a mobile app for control and management. Therefore, as the IoT grows and develops, so, too, will mobile apps within the sector. By the year 2020, GrowthEnabler has estimated that the IoT will grow to be worth a massive $457 billion, so the demand for feature-rich mobile applications to go along with connected devices will only increase from here on out.
Mobile Gaming is Still on the Rise
They year 2018 saw a wider variety of games making their way onto mobile, from online battle royale epics to real money slots games. Mobile gaming is now as valid a market as console gaming, but incredibly, it still hasn’t reached its peak in both game technology and revenue. During 2018, estimates showed that mobile gaming pulled in almost 50 percent of the total revenue for the global gaming industry, with that figure set to increase year on year. Throughout 2019 and beyond, two mobile gaming trends stand out from the crowd that are on opposite ends of the spectrum: hyper-casual and esports.
Lightweight and with instant gameplay, hyper-casual gaming apps require little in the way of development time and resources, but as proven by the likes of Terranium and Skiddy Car, they are universally popular. While the hyper-casual genre was once the domain of indie developers and publishers, more and more high-profile gaming companies have entered the arena. User acquisition is now more competitive than ever before, which could sadly mean that the bigger names could push out the indie pioneers who first started the trend.
Then we have the mobile esports genre. In much the same way that esports took only a few years to go from being a niche activity to a global, multimillion-dollar industry, it looks as though mobile esports will follow suit. Currently, mobile tournaments aren’t quite as prolific as their PC and console counterparts, but the numbers are there to show that this will change over the next 12–18 months: The Clash Royale League now partners with 44 esports organizations, with the game itself generating over 50 million daily users. The King Pro League, who are the top players of the mobile game Honor of Kings, recently negotiated a record $1.2 million player transfer deal and have already snagged a lucrative partnership with Volkswagen.
Mobile Apps will Head for the Cloud
Cloud-based apps, such as Google Notes, Dropbox and Evernote, have been in constant use ever since they first released. Despite there being a few initial teething issues involving security and privacy when the apps launched, they still became an instant hit with professionals and anyone looking to use their smartphone to improve their productivity. With these issues now under better control, the latest trend involves cloud integration for mobile applications. Even on mobile, we’re seeing a lot more Quantum computing and hybrid cloud solutions emerging as developers aim for seamless and universal user experience, irrespective of their location.