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Top trends in mobile app strategy for 2021 and beyond

2020 is a year that brought mobile applications to the forefront of business strategies and increased the need for enterprise mobile application development across the world. This shift has resulted in new app trends that will have a lasting impact for years to come. Here are the top mobile development trends to consider when formatting your mobile app strategy for 2021.

2020 lessons and results

This year has accelerated the process of digital transformation in the business sector. Due to the pandemic, many businesses had to shift operations to online platforms that enabled collaboration with team members through enterprise mobility.

Prioritizing safety, efficiency, and productivity meant finding and relying on digital solutions that would allow employees to take care of their responsibilities on any device wherever they were. Most importantly, these solutions had to be deployed quickly and widely through a streamlined onboarding process. Mobile app development teams worked tirelessly to design these solutions, but the demand for them has not wavered.

The bottom line?

Mobile applications were vital to business operations in 2020, and their necessity is expected to continue throughout the next year. Research conducted by the marketing giant Gartner, projected mobile apps to have the most impact on the success of businesses by the year 2020. Additionally, mobile advertising spending worldwide amounted to $189 billion in 2019 and is expected to rise upwards of $240 billion by 2022.

From this, we can predict continued innovation in mobile application development and increased enterprise mobile application development for businesses. We'll also likely see enhanced automation and the increased use of robust AI-powered solutions to meet the demand for improved application functionality and service.

Mobile app development strategies 2021

Whether you're in the process of formatting your development strategies and outcomes for the next year or are simply interested in 2021 trends, here are the top mobile application development strategies to consider in 2021.

Mobile app development strategies 2021

Multiplatform support

We have come to a point where one WiFi enabled device is not enough for most individuals. Pew Research data suggests that almost 75% of American adults own a desktop or laptop computer, and 81% own smartphones. Additionally, nearly 50% are owners of an e-reader or tablet. In short, there are multiple platforms in which your users might access your application.

It's essential to make your application convenient by enabling its use on mobile, web, and desktop platforms. Not only will this promote ease-of-use, but it will also help you avoid losing business to a more convenient competitor.

In positive news for developers working on multiplatform support, Apple's shift to a new M1 chip will make it easier for developers to design their mobile application for use on both iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, and make it possible for use on the macOS system. Though this is not a new trend for other sizeable mobile tech companies like Samsung, it's a huge shift for developers to eliminate the coding of two different applications for the same company.

Geolocation functionalities

With an increased reliance on delivery services in light of health precautions due to the pandemic, geolocation functionality has become a must for mobile applications. Whether it's ordering grocery pickup at the nearest grocery store or offering location-based promotions, knowing the location of your users can be valuable. Likely the most important of which is in the process of contact tracing for the novel COVID-19 virus.

Though many users have been wary of enabling geolocation tracking services, new privacy and data security protocols make it possible for this information to be shared on a need-to-know basis. This includes end-users with the ability to limit data sharing and geolocation services. Location sharing is fast becoming the norm for end-users.

Though you may be able to develop geolocation services in-house, if you are looking to keep up with the competition, it might be worth leveraging an API. As there are various established high-quality geolocation APIs available on the market, this could be the most cost-effective and efficient solution overall.

Interactive mobile design

Interactive mobile design is a critical component of a successful mobile application. Not only does interactive mobile design leverage the power of the mobile device to enhance UX and UI, but it also allows developers to push the limits of functionality. Moreover, the increasing size and capabilities of smartphones have allotted even more opportunities for developers to really impress end-users.

The Reddit app rolled out an impressive feature for those who get frustrated when reading about the news. Simply shake your mobile device and the app will pull up a video from r/aww to fill your screen with cuteness. This feature demonstrates an advanced use of interactive mobile design and intuitive knowledge of its end users. This is an older innovation, but it's an excellent example that explains the scope of possibilities.

5G technology

Currently, 5G technology shows a lot of promise, but not as much wide-scale application. Apple and Samsung have recently released smartphones with 5G capabilities, and Huawei has announced it's new 5G enabled device. Mobile network carriers across the world have touted their new and expansive 5G networks, but it's not enough to sway the vast majority of mobile phone users into adopting the service.

This presents a great opportunity for mobile application developers. Not only is there more time to leverage 5G technology within your application, but there's also time to study early adopters and learn from their experiences as the first to roll out changes. It's a win-win situation, in which you're in a great position to develop a solid mobile application while avoiding the pitfalls of being an "early-adopter."

Cloud-hosted artificial intelligence

AI is the future of tech innovation. With a foundation in machine learning and deep-learning processes, AI has opened the door to a plethora of possibilities that are currently being explored. When it comes to a mobile application, the options are limitless, especially when it comes to personalization. For example, NLP enhances the effectiveness of support services via AI-powered chatbots. These bots can effectively understand and accurately answer customer queries.

However, one of the most impressive uses of AI in mobile application development is its use for personalization. AI can recognize a user's habits, and cater recommendations based on its findings. Apps like Youper, which offers AI-powered therapy by leveraging chatbots to help facilitate conversations with users and engage them in therapeutic exercises, are an advanced demonstration of the power of AI.

Google Cloud offers a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to leverage the power of cloud technology. Its AI offerings are among the best in the industry.

Conclusion: What should we look out for in 2021

The next year promises to take innovation to a new level. Never before has the business sector relied so heavily on mobile applications to support and expand business operations. The result is a collective effort to leverage the power of new and emerging technology such as 5G, geolocation services, and cloud-hosted AI. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as mobile trends continue to evolve, so too will mobile app trends. Check back here for updated mobile app development trends and updates!

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