As we embark on the new year, we review 2018 that just flew by. In 2018, the mobile app market exceeded 27 billion downloads, hitting a year-over-year growth close to 11%. This consistent growth trend over the past decade is
In this new year, businesses will be placing more emphasis on mobility and keeping up with the pace of mobile app innovation to satisfy evolving customer demands. In this article, several industry experts weigh in on which mobile technology trends will enhance the industry in the coming year.
1. The Native Vs. Hybrid App Development Showdown Continues
To build a native app or hybrid app? The debate between the two approaches has been persistent, but according to iOS Engineer, Marwan Alani, “native apps will continue to dominate over hybrid apps in 2019, regardless of the growth in hybrid technologies like React Native and Flutter.”
Alani goes on to say that native “domination can also be accredited to the abundance of native-only features being added rapidly by both Apple and Google to their mobile operating systems, and the fact that hybrid app frameworks — while having a relatively low technical entry point — are getting more and more difficult to maintain.”
Hybrid app often face with issues stemming from both native and hybrid systems, which challenges the process of identifying and fixing bugs. Another disadvantage is that hybrid apps often sacrifice aspects of user experience due to the limited customisation for specific platforms.
On the other hand, native mobile apps are developed for a specific platform and therefore, optimized and compiled with that platform’s core programming language and application performance interface (API). This gives native apps an edge over hybrids in terms of speed, responsiveness and performance.
2. Mobile App Development Is As Good As The Marketing Campaign
Developing an outstanding app is important – smooth user experience, provides the solution to a consumer pain point, but it should not be your only focus. The marketing campaign often only strikes as an afterthought under the simple assumption that user acquisition is the central metric for success. However, the real value and challenge lies in user engagement and retainment.
Joyce Solano, SVP of Global Marketing at Leanplum pointed to how “companies waste a lot of money acquiring mobile installs — currently $2.89 per install — only to see 79 percent of users never return after the first visit, and 2 percent of users ghost your app by day 90. But marketing campaigns play a key role in turning installs into loyal customers. In fact, engagement platforms help brands increase their share of highly engaged customers by 37 percent and the number of users who make in-app purchases in the first 30 days alone by five times.”
Ensuring that your product stays on in the market without slowly disappearing into the app store graveyard is no easy job. Solano says, “given mobile’s impact on loyalty and revenue … mobile engagement campaigns [are] the heart of their monetization strategy. In 2019, if you’re not doing mobile marketing, you’re missing a huge opportunity.”
The power of personalization has increased exponentially, along with its depth and one-to-one precision, setting a baseline for interaction that can both understand and mirror user behaviour.
According to Plot Projects, building user profiles and surfacing content by tracking online or in-app behaviour is no longer sufficient. This year, the open-rate of messages which are sent based on where and what a user is doing, lifting the engagement to double with personalized messages.
In 2015, Google coined a movement called ‘micro-moments’ and right-time marketing, opening up a discussion about harnessing real-world consumer intent, with mobile as the viable gateway. Increasingly, businesses have to maximise the value of marketing with targeted context to boost user interaction, such as sending place-based coupon redemptions and dynamic offers, which helps to reduce UX friction and uplift sales.
Furthermore, businesses should reconsider the train commuters, store shoppers, local brand loyalists, and frequent travellers. Based on the audience’s daily habits and life choices — across any channel or technology — brands need to find these people’s relevance for campaigns, offers or membership, working and connecting more audiences.
4. OTT Development
The OTT (over-the-top) market is showing huge consumer uptake via providers such as Crave, Netflix and Amazon Prime. By 2019, global OTT streaming subscribers are expected to exceed 300 million.
The mobile app development market is ready to shift focus onto OTT with an existing infrastructure support; greater availability of public WiFi; tablets, connected TVs, increasing popularity of streaming media players; and better device interoperability. On the same bandwagon, major broadcasters are also bringing in options for OTT.
Attribution and analytics companies are developing advanced capabilities to harness the right data to keep pace with the OTT market. The growth of newer OTT devices also creates more potential opportunities for publishers and advertisers. Cohen, GM of the Kochava Collective says “marketers will understand their users better and craft specific messaging that resonates with them…media companies will be bringing more traditional content on these platforms.”
As the audience broadens and new sources of revenue opens, it is an incredible opportunity for companies who evolve with the market to emerge on top of the competition.
5. Extending Augmented Reality
With big talk for augmented reality (AR), users can expect even more AR technology in 2019. While AR libraries (Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore) continues to grow and mature, the adoption rate in user-facing apps has not grown as much.
“It is expected that such technologies will be the basis for rapid development on AR oriented mobile devices in a few years down the road (Smart Glasses, Lens, etc.), so Apple and Google will continue their current investments in AR technologies and frameworks in hopes of dominating the AR market when it’s finally time for the technology to shine.” – Marwan Alani
Apple, specifically, has made a significant push by creating a powerful AR platform that aims to enable businesses to extend the benefits of AR technology across its entire iOS system, is evident in their partnerships with Pixar and Adobe. As ARKit continues to improve, users can anticipate improved face-tracking, rendering, 3D object detection, and stunning experiences in the next few years.
A New Year In Mobile App Development
Apps have evolved into a mainstream necessity in daily life. The 2019 trend is clear: users will gain access to hyper-personalized, real-time, contextual content that connect their devices seamlessly, with new and creative ways to create and share experiences. The demand of mobile apps will continue to persist, and businesses will have to place more appropriate focus on app development to deliver value. One of the first steps to that of course, is engaging a top mobile app developer that best understands your interest, as well as for yourself to determine your own project scope and requirements.