10 Key Mobile App Development Trends To Watch In 2019

Article by
Michał Rejman
7 min read

Having an app is only the first step into building the modern service. It is crucial to keep it up to date and follow the latest trends – consumers are always one step ahead and their demand for innovative and smart solutions creates new challenges in custom app development.

This text covers:

  • The state of mobile app development in 2018
  • Most significant mobile app development trends to watch in 2019
  • Explanations, market data, examples

Giving users and customers access to the mobile app is one of the ways to address their need to connect with the brand in the way they find the most convenient. In fact, it is more about their preferences and less about the brand’s approach to innovations – especially considering the fact that having an app is not a sign of it anymore – it is rather a must.

State of mobile app development in 2018

Mobile apps have come a long way from a technological novelty to one of the most significant tools of making modern business. According to the recent “We are social” report, done in cooperation with Hootsuite, more than 60% of 7.6 billion people living on this planet use a mobile phone. More than a half of devices are smartphones.

In fact, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush.

Currently, 52% of mobile traffic is generated by mobile devices. Moreover, recent data show, that users spend up to 7 times more time using apps than web browsers, so the mobile internet share is probably even higher. About75% of emails are being opened on mobile devices.

The convenience of mobile devices is seen in changes of user’s behavior. According to Google, 80% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile apps or sites that help them easily answer their questions.

According to Statista, there are 2.6 million downloadable apps in the Google Play store and 2 million in the App Store.

Apps, just like any other tech, are swiftly changing and heavily leverage the latest tech trends. So what are the most significant factors, that will shape the custom mobile app development world in 2019?

1. IoT and connectivity

Internet of Things is a new buzzword and old technology. The idea of connected machines that are exchanging information to cooperate effectively was seen in production and heavy machinery but recently the technology came into the consumer market with smartwatches, smartphones, smart home devices, and even smart fridges. The IoT market is set to be worth up to $457B by 2020.

By combining Internet of Things with smartphones it is possible to provide users with sophisticated tools to control their machinery. An interesting example comes from agriculture, where smartphone apps are used to control the systems of machines like tractors and combine harvesters. Keeping control over pressure in tires is a great example, as various types of soil require different pressure to keep the grip off the machine.

Smartphone and app are currently the intelligent hubs of smart devices, and so it will be in 2019. Moreover, introducing a myriad of new devices into the mobile world is will force cross-platform mobile development paradigm on many software development agencies. Building an app running on a smartwatch and a mobile phone in the same way is not a piece of cake.

2. Augmented reality

If you ever had a problem to imagine how the new piece of furniture will fit the interior, Ikea’s augmented reality (AR) app was the perfect tool for you. The app enabled the user to use the smartphone camera and screen to place the virtual armchair or bookshelf in a room.

Contrary to virtual reality, augmented reality aims to enhance the experience of our own world rather than enabling the user to enter the new one. AR has a great potential to be used in various industries, from beauty and fashion to furniture to utilities.

3. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Automated face recognition to simplify the portrait-making is no more a feature – it becomes a standard. Automatic filters and funny stickers were one of Snapchat’s success drivers. As machines are able to recognize images and process the natural language (with greater or lesser success) putting the AI-powered features in apps will be more and more growing trend.

AI applications vary depending on the context. It may be a speech recognition feature, smart filters applied in the camera or even an automated assistant that is setting up the camera before taking a shot. Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant are among the most-known examples of AI-powered mobile apps, but the possibilities for AI application in custom mobile app development are countless. It is possible to use the smartphone to analyze the sound of a working industrial machine to spot the signs of upcoming failure – sometimes the machine’s sound changes only slightly, in the way human cannot spot, but the machine is. It’s not a surprise, that the AI remains one of the hottest tech trends.

4. 5G

5G is the next standard in mobile technology that is to succeed the currently latest technology of 4G/LTE. Due to the transfer speed up to 100 GB/s, the standard is predicted to power up the Internet of Things. Mobile app developers need to take count of the upcoming rise in transfer speed and be ready to effectively upscale their offerings. Spending on 5G infrastructure is predicted to reach 2.3 billion US dollars.

5. Beacons

Bluetooth-powered beacons are not new technology itself, but they gain increasing attention, as they enable to connect the online and offline worlds.Beacons are used in Leroy-Merlin mobile app to gain a better understanding of user’s behavior in brick-and-mortar stores. Knowing the patterns of their movement, the retailer is able to optimize the placement and merchandising.

And that’s only one of possible applications in the custom mobile app development world. According to Grand-view research, Bluetooth beacon market will be worth $58.7 billion by 2025 with estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate of 95.3%.

6. Instant apps

An instant app is an option to test and launch the Android app without installing it on the device. It may be a great opportunity for users who would like to test a few apps and choose just one. In such a case it is not required to have enough memory for it. The idea behind the instant app is to provide the user with the experience behind the product without the need to download it fully.

Due to instant apps, the emphasis put in creating amazing first experience may pay off and building the app that cannot charm the user at first glance – backfire.

7. Blockchain and decentralized apps

Blockchain technology is most renowned for being the technology powering cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin being the most renowned one. The main idea behind it is creating a decentralized database, that is hijacking and fraud-proof.

Blockchain technology may be used in securing payments or access to the network by generating the tokens used in authentication. With the decentralization of the database, no one would be able to modify the database records to gain unauthorized access.

The technology is commonly seen only in a cryptocurrency context, but it is changing with the interest of tech giants. Microsoft has recently announced launching its blockchain-based framework called Coco, that is aimed at increasing the blockchain adoption in the enterprise sector and may be a kickstart for blockchain-based custom mobile app development.

8. Mobile wallet

Mobile payments are an interesting trend not only from retailer’s and payments processors point of view. It is also about making users comfortable with doing payments by mobile devices. The level of mobile payments adoption differ. In the recent survey done by pymnts.com, 13% of American smartphone users claim to use Apple Pay, 24% use Walmart Pay, 5% say that they use Samsung Pay and 7% use Android Pay.

Considering fact that 24% of surveyed people use Walmart Pay, mobile wallets are a great opportunity for offline retailers who look for ways to keep the users and make their purchases more convenient. The mobile wallet is not only about payments done offline – it may be used also for powering the loyalty program. Starbucks app is one of the best examples, being the most frequently used loyalty coupon app. The app is not only allowing users to store and collect the loyalty points but also order the coffee and pay for it on the go.

9. Chatbots on the rise

Although modern chatbots are far from being perfect, they are already convenient. By processing the natural language they automate many tedious and repetitive actions like answering users’ most common questions (“is the store open today?”) or automating the process of ordering.

According to the recent survey, 15% of American adults claim to have used a chatbot to interact with the company during the past 12 months. With the popularity of facebook messenger, using chatbots on mobile is rising, as the Messenger is commonly used as a standalone app used by more than 1.82 billion people around the world.

10. Omnichannel and cross-platform

With various channels competing for the user and at least two mobile standards, with customers used to switch between, it is crucial to provide the best experience possible in all of them. According to MarketingSherpa, today’s consumer uses up to six touchpoints with a brand with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. That comes with the need to unify the experiences to keep consistency – no matter the device or channel.

That’s why Responsive Web Apps, that work within the browser as effective way as native ones are on the rise. Companies are looking for easy-deployable tools to build omnichannel solutions, with React Native framework being one of leading, with the ability to share and reuse up to 70% of code between platforms.

Summary – the dominance unthreatened

The trends above show that the traditional way of doing business is heavily challenged by modern mobile technologies. Smartphones are transforming the way users pay, shop or search for information. By the work of custom mobile app developers, they can do their tasks in easier and more convenient ways. That’s why finding a reliable and trustworthy partner is a must for a modern company.

We are Ideamotive –  a custom mobile app development company. We can help you create the next big in mobile providing state-of-the-art code and best European efficiency. Looking for a fast, reliable team of experts? Drop us a line.


Michał Rejman

Digital marketing specialist with a growth hacking mindset and 10+ years of experience. Michał’s goal is building high-quality technological content, with particular emphasis on React and RoR. Traveler, climber, remote work advocate.

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