The Ultimate Guide to Application Development

“There’s an app for that.”

We are living in a time where the above sentence can be heard often.

Do you want someone to remind you about that client call you have? There is an app for that. Do you want to hire the services of a helicopter? Sure, you can, there is an app for that. No matter what you want, someone or the other already has an app prepared for it. All of this is possible because of application development and the tremendous strides it has taken in the past few years. We are going to discuss everything about it in this comprehensive article.

The Ultimate Guide to Application Development

“There’s an app for that.”

We are living in a time where the above sentence can be heard often.

Do you want someone to remind you about that client call you have? There is an app for that. Do you want to hire the services of a helicopter? Sure, you can, there is an app for that. No matter what you want, someone or the other already has an app prepared for it. All of this is possible because of application development and the tremendous strides it has taken in the past few years. We are going to discuss everything about it in this comprehensive article.

What is application development?

The process of creating a set of programs to accomplish business tasks is called application development. It is also referred to as mobile application development. With more than 5 billion mobile users in the world, there is no wonder that the demand for mobile apps is only increasing.

When Apple’s App Store was launched in 2008, it had only 500 apps on its platform. As of the first quarter of 2019, there are more than 2.2 million iOS apps with more than 20 million registered iOS developers. In the same time, there were 2.6 million Android apps.

The total number of app downloads in 2018 was 194 billion while in 2017 it was 178 billion. That’s a difference of 16 billion apps in a year’s time, according to The State of Mobile 2019 report.

Do you realize the importance of application development in the world right now?  

It is required for business of all sizes unless you are adamant about a brick and mortar setup. Even then, you might have to use applications to make your business run better and faster.

From creating a fantastic user experience, newer business models, making businesses run efficiently, etc., you need application development everywhere. It is one of the most important assets of an IT organization- application developers.

A majority of organizations are looking to capitalize on application development to get ahead of their competitors. They are working towards building applications that will give them more leverage in the market with the help of robust applications that are secure, scalable, and easy to maintain.

Custom Application Development

Creating software applications for a specific set of people or an organization with requirements that are unique to them is called custom application development. Commercial software usually targets a broad set of requirements, which can be packaged, marketed and distributed to a wide array of customers. But custom application development will only be for a specific set of users or it can be just a bunch of functions that the client wants.

Businesses that don’t have a strong IT team usually outsources their custom application development work. It will go through the usual steps of requirements gathering, coding, testing, deployment and so on.

Why is Custom Application Development important?

For businesses that have specific requirements in mind, custom application development is your best bet. Here are some of its benefits:

Scalable: The best part about custom applications is that you can scale it as much as you want. The developers will be able to assess the future needs of the application based on the discussion during requirements gathering. You do not have to purchase additional licenses or subscriptions to make it scalable.

No licensing and support fees: When you have a custom application that was built specifically for your business needs, you do not have to pay license fees to anyone. If you were to buy commercial software, you might be in trouble if the vendor goes out of business.

More profit: Based on the T&C with the vendor, you can white-label the application and sell it to other companies that might require something similar.

Efficiency: The whole idea behind building custom applications is that it will serve a specific purpose for you which will help run your business more efficiently.

Best practices for Custom Application Development

Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind for custom application development so that you can get the best out of the efforts that are put in.

1. What do the users need? 

No matter what you are building, at the end of the day, there is an end consumer, it could be your customer or your employees. Define what they need and build a workflow.

2. Find out which data is critical

Remember, not everything is important. Look for the data that is most important for the application. Any application has to be functional and it needs to capture the right data, otherwise, the app wouldn’t be able to do its job properly. Only when you understand the data that is required would you be able to move to the design part of the application.

3. Design considerations

The color schemes to be used and the navigation of the application is the first thing that happens during the design phase. There are businesses which already have a brand identity, it becomes easy to get colors using their brand identity guide. If not, then there needs to be discussion to ensure that you are setting design benchmarks for the future.

4. Creating an MVP

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product and is considered as the barebones version of your application. While it will not have all the functionalities of the final app, it will help you get an idea of how the app will turn out in the end and gives a feel of it.

5. Agile methodology

While there are a lot of application development strategies, the one that makes sense in today’s scenario is the agile methodology. With agile technology, you can easily make changes in your app during its development. The same is not possible when you are using other methods.

Rapid Application Development   

For those looking for agile methods of application development, Rapid Application Development or RAD is your best bet if you are looking for a faster method of execution. It entails rapid creation of prototypes and iterations. It insists on the use of software and getting user feedback unlike having strict planning and superior coding skills like the waterfall method.

Steps in RAD   

Step 1: Collect requirements

In this stage, all the stakeholders get together to define the requirements of the project and discuss the objective of the project, expectations, milestones, budget, etc. Once there is a clear understanding of what is expected of the requirements, the next step is to seek management approvals if you are doing it in-house. If you are outsourcing it, then once the requirements are finalized, the RAD developers will take care of it.

Step 2: Building Prototypes

At this stage, the development will start. The design team and development team will ideatea and come up with solutions. Based on this, prototypes are made with close contact with the clients whose feedback is also worked upon. After this, the final product is readied.

Step 3: Get feedback

The prototype built is converted into a working model. The users who get a chance to use the prototype are asked for feedback. Based on the feedback, the existing model is built upon and a better product is created.

Step 4: Keep testing it

At this stage, the prototype is ready, it has functionalities that the business wants. Ensure that every part of the system is working fine. More often than not, you will discover errors as you use the product extensively, so keep testing the code so that it works to its fullest capacity.

Step 5: Present to the stakeholders

Before the final launch, you need to familiarize the business with how the product works, the advantages that the business can get from working on it, etc. The users of the product should be given training manuals or they should be given training to handle the application in-person.

Benefits of RAD

  • Helps the developers make quick adjustments
  • The ability to make iterations without a fuss helps with the go-to-market time
  • You can reuse the code
  • Shorter testing times
  • Since there is a great deal of collaboration with the customer, they will feel included and satisfied
  • Code vulnerabilities can be addressed in the development stages itself

If you decide to adopt the RAD approach, then you need to include everyone involved. Only when you get approval from all the stakeholders would it be ideal to go through with the project. Educate them about how the RAD approach works, what are the processes that will be put in place, how it can affect them, and so on. Once they are on board, you should ensure that you have all the tools required to get the project up and running.

Low code application development

Do not want to use hand-coded computer programming for developing applications? Then low code application development is the one that you should choose for your application development needs. It creates software applications with the help of graphical user interfaces and configuration. Developers of different levels of experience can be a part of this where they can create applications using a visual interface in alignment with model-driven logic.

It helps with accelerated development of business applications as low code application development reduces the amount of traditional hand coding. Since developers of all tiers of skill set can be a part of this, it reduces the cost of application development. Grand View Research estimates that by 2027, the market size of low code application development platforms will reach $89.62 billion.

Benefits of low code development

Build at scale 

Without having to invest a huge amount of money, you can easily create a multitude of solutions ranging from robotic process automation apps to modernization. The solutions that you create using low code application development are easy to scale if you are using a cloud-native architecture. Keep providing better experiences for the end user.

High ROI

The usage of collaboration tools help you work with cross-functional teams to ensure that decisions are taken on a rapid basis. With the existing talent that you have, you can easily create apps rapidly without having to invest in an expert team.

Better customer experience

It not only affects the organization, but it has an effect on the customer’s experience as well. Let’s say you come across issues in the application or you want functionality added on top of it, you can easily make that happen as low-code development allows you to quickly adapt.

Agility

Low-code application development makes the organizations become more agile. Since it allows for a visual design instead of coding, the development process can be extremely fast. Imagine automated testing, especially with very little code, and you have yourself a winner that lets you build applications on a super fast basis.

Principles of low code development

It is driven by the below principles, which is why it can deliver impeccable value to the organizations that embrace it.

Model-driven development: Through automation and abstraction, you can transform your ideas into applications that deliver value to the business.

Collaboration: By getting inputs from different sources who have their own perspectives and experience, you can create better applications.

Agile: Achieve high throughput with the help of an agile framework.

Cloud: It helps with the speed of application deployment for the customers.

Openness: There is no limitation on what you can build using this development method as it is an agnostic enterprise application development process.

Multi-user development: A lot of developers of varying skill sets can work on the application at the same time.

Experimentation and Innovation: Since it allows for a lot of flexibility, developers can be experimental and innovative at the same time, especially so because the costs are also kept low.

Governance and Control: To maintain checks and balances, it has robust governance and control processes.

Community: It has a brilliant community of developers who help each other.

The best thing about low code application development is that anyone can build applications using its framework, even non-coders. But it also has a powerful suite of tools and systems that can help meet the requirements of businesses. The market growth of low-code development is attributed to the speed of digitization and maturity of agile DevOps practices.

Database Application Development

A database oriented application is a program whose objective is to enter and retrieve information from a database. It helps with simultaneous updates and queries from multiple users. There are two types: SQL database and NoSQL database.

SQL Database

In SQL database, we will come across the following.

Microsoft SQL server

Developed by Microsoft, it is a relational database management system. The SQL server is used for online transactions, ecommerce websites, data warehousing, etc. There are different editions of the Microsoft SQL server and they are aimed at different audiences for various types of workloads, starting from a small application to a large application that has millions of users.

MySQL

An open-source relational database system, it is extensively used for web databases, and is regularly used for ecommerce, data warehousing and logging applications.

Oracle

Produced by Oracle corporation, it is a multimodal database management system. It is usually used for running online transaction processes, data warehousing, and other tasks that have mixed data work loads.

MS Azure SQL Database

This cloud-based service of Microsoft is based on SQL server database technology. It is built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. For organizations that quickly want to scale the size of their database and are looking to store relational data in the cloud, MS Azure is one of your best choices.

For NoSQL database, this is what you will be dealing with:

MongoDB

It stores and indexes data in the form of documents. When compared with conventional databases, MongoDB offers greater and more efficient performances in data retrieval.

When businesses grow, there is a need for more data to be stored. It is impossible to do them in spreadsheets after a certain point. It can be so bad for the business that it might even slow it down if you are not able to retrieve a particular data from a spreadsheet. It is a given that it will consume a lot of time.

The expansion in business also means that you need to have an application that is more structured which can help with easy data retrieval. With the help of a database app, the users can define custom roles, offer user authorizations, implement specific workflows, etc.

Benefits of database application development

Reduces data redundancy 
File-based database management systems contained multiple files that were stored in different locations which resulted in multiple copies of the same file. When there is a single database, the issue of data redundancy never comes up.

Data sharing 
Data can be shared among the users, but by following correct authorisation protocols. Even remote users can share the data simultaneously and pass it to others.

Privacy 
Only authorized personnel can access the database. If a user is not allowed permission to access a database, they will not be given it. If the permission is only to view the document, the authorization protocol will be designed that way.

Data consistency 
The data in the database appears consistently across the database and the same data will be available for everyone viewing the database. If a change is made to the database, it will reflect for all the users. It is only possible because there is no data redundancy.

Enterprise Application Development

To put it in simple terms, enterprise application development is the process of creating applications for businesses. They are usually complex and are customized for the business’ requirements. These apps are deployed on the cloud across corporate networks, intranet, etc. Since it is built for enterprises, there is a lot of planning that goes into it, a multitude of functionalities to incorporate, and a thousand other considerations because there are many users involved.

It utilizes extensive parallel processing, network distributed resources, and complex logic. These applications have to operate in different networks and with many other applications. When creating enterprise applications, you have to use special tools. The enterprise application software revenue in 2019 across the world was $210.4 USD.

Challenges in enterprise application development

Like any other business application, the enterprise application development has its own challenges that it needs to take care of. Below are some of the most common challenges that businesses face during the development process.

Changing market conditions

There is a lot of unpredictability involved when it comes to market situations. With customer expectations hitting the roof, businesses might want to tread slowly when it comes to making changes, but they also know that changes are what propels them to success. So businesses need to be flexible based on what the market or customers say.

Employee engagement

When you are building an enterprise app, the first stakeholder who you need to worry about are your employees. The application should fix their lives and make it easy for them to get work done.

Security

There are various functionalities in an enterprise app, some of them might not be relevant to a particular user. They should not be given access to it. The security for business applications should usually begin with how you are going to restrict user access and secure the resources. The app should have encryptions, firewall, security software and it should be updated with the latest security patches. Make sure that the security level is the same across all platforms.

Big Data

There are trillions of GBs of data in the world, and it will only keep growing. Enterprises have a lot of data and they need to be managed well. As the volume of data increases, so will the storage costs, data centre costs, network costs, etc. It can even affect the user experience as too much data can slow down the entire system.

Rapidly evolving technology

With technology, what might be a hot asset can turn completely obsolete. For example, SaaS changed everything. Earlier, businesses had to buy software in advance by paying a fortune, they had to be installed on the premises, and it required heavy support and maintenance costs. Look at how SaaS has changed everything. So, the enterprise application that you build should be future-proof and not something that requires to be built from scratch if you want to add more functionalities when a better technology comes along.

Agile application development methodology

In Agile application development technology, there are a lot of iterations where the requirements and solutions evolve with greater collaboration among cross-functional teams. It helps the development team to develop software faster, better, with greater quality and an even greater ability to change. 60% of companies experienced growth in profits after they adopted the Agile methodology for their application development.

Agile promotes a disciplined method of project management where there is a lot of flexibility. It encourages iteration, team work, accountability, and being self-sufficient. The two most widely used agile methodologies are Scrum and Kanban.

What is Scrum?

It is a lightweight process framework for agile software development and is the most popular agile process employed by organizations. The Scrum process framework uses development cycles called Sprints. Lightweight means that the entire process is lean where it uses little resources and gets the maximum done. The 2019 Scrum Master Trends Report, which is based on the response of more than 2100 participants from 13 countries, 81% are using Scrum along with other agile practices like Kanban, DevOps , XP.

Scrum is used for developing complex software and product development by the use of iterative and incremental practices. It increases productivity and reduces the time for GTM. Organizations can work with rapidly changing requirements and develop applications that meet all of their goals.

How does Scrum benefit organizations?

  • Since it allow for a lot of iterations, it can handle changes without a fall in efficiency
  • Increases the quality of the output
  • Helps with faster go-to-market time
  • The organization will be more in control of the project and its deliverables
  • Business can see how the product is evolving and is even in a position to make changes without affecting the quality of the product.

Benefits of Agile software development

We are going to discuss how the agile development process helps each of the stakeholders.

Customer: It is easy to develop high-value features and that too in a short development cycle. Vendors will find it easy to take up development requests.

Vendors: There is little wastage even when developing a high-value feature as there is little overhead even with an increase in productivity. Customers will be satisfied, which makes it easy to reduce the churn.

Development teams: There is little insistence in doing non-productive work. Team members are given sufficient guidance as to what is expected of them and there is ample support.

Product Managers: The job of a product manager is to keep the customer happy by giving them an unparalleled experience. By being able to strategize and work on the application at any stage, the product manager will be able to delight his/her customers.

Project Managers: They are also called Scrum Masters, they will be able to plan and track the process in an efficient way. They are kept updated of the progress and are in a position to address issues as soon as they crop up.

C-suite executives: Scrum provides a great level of visibility to the project that is being developed. CXOs can use this to understand where the project is headed, plan more effectively, and better the final product.

Web Application Development

The process of creating web applications with the help of standard software engineering processes is called web application development. The difference between a website and a web application is how we interact with each of them.

We create, read, edit, and delete with the help of a web application. A web application is defined by its input. Websites are defined by their output, we watch videos, read interviews, browse business information of various companies, etc.

Have you heard of progressive web apps (PWA)? It is also a type of application software which is delivered through the web. PWAs can work on any platform that uses a standards-compliant behaviour. Some of its functionalities include offline access, device hardware access, push notifications, and it also has the ability to create user experiences that is otherwise possible when using native applications on desktop and mobile devices.

PWAs can perform faster than native apps and even offer better features. It is also portable across both desktop and mobile platforms.

Web Application Development examples

Web applications include the following: word processors, video editing tool, spreadsheets, webmail, file scanning, etc. There are so many web applications, each of them have their own functionalities and uses. Most of the web applications that are created these days will show maximum utility only when it is connected to the internet. Most of the web application developers build applications like that. Here are two examples of a web application.

Netflix

One of the most popular streaming platforms, Netflix is a web application. It allows its subscribers to watch series and movies whenever they want using the login credentials, on any device. We can only watch whatever is there on the platform. You cannot input something that is not there on the web application.

Google Docs

One of the most used documents applications, it has a variety of applications. You can even write offline and it will get synced once it is connected to a network. MS Word was the most popular word document, but Google Docs has many more advantages that helped with its fast adoption.

Web Application Development Framework

It is a software framework which is designed to support the development of web applications. They can also be called as libraries that help develop web applications faster and more intelligently. The number of web frameworks have increased significantly. We have chosen the most used web application framework for your understanding.

Django

It helps build quality web applications. Most of the developers who have worked with Django say that it is fast, secure, scalable, and versatile. Some of the websites that use Django are Quora, Pinterest, Instagram, Disqus, etc. This open source application was designed to help developers take applications from the concept stage to the completion stage as quickly as possible.

It takes care of user authentication, site maps, RSS feeds, content administration, and many other common web development tasks. It helps developers avoid major security mistakes such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, clickjacking, etc.

Ruby on Rails

Sites like Basecamp, SoundCloud, ZenDesk, Square, Hulu, AirBnB, Twitch, GitHub, Shopify, etc. are some of the websites that have used Ruby on Rails. Since its release in 2004, it has been one of the most popular technologies for web application development thanks to its rapid prototyping abilities.

The RoR framework allows for all sorts of integration to ensure that the project requirements are met. It follows the agile development process for a quicker development process. It also boasts of a highly interactive community who are ever ready to help RoR developers who are facing issues.

ASP.NET

It is a server-side web application framework that can product dynamic web pages. Developed by Microsoft in 2002, it allows programmers to create dynamic web sites, applications and services. ASP.NET has an event-driven programming model that increases performance and allows for the separation of application logic and user interface.

CodeIgniter

A popular PHP framework, it helps build scalable and highly-efficient web applications, websites, CMS and ecommerce stores. With its MVC-based systems and power functionalities, you can create complex web applications. Codeigniter is a lightweight platform which can carry massive amounts of data.

Laravel

It is a web application framework that has highly-efficient features like push-to-deploy, Redis, queues, and many other features which will help you launch and deploy web applications. With its superior code foundations, powerful features, and easy-to-use features, it is one of the best frameworks available for web application.

Web Application Development Process

Having the right process is going to be key for any web application creation. If there is no process in place, then it will not be possible to develop a functional web application. Here is the web application development process which you need to follow when developing one:

1. Initial discovery call

In this, we need to understand the problem statement, what needs to be solved and how do they want it to be solved. You can ask the following questions to understand better:

  • Why do you want to build an application?
  • What are the features that you want in the application?
  • What problem does it solve for your customer?
  • Who will use the application?
  • How will your customers use the application?

2. Requirement gathering

Once you have an understanding of why they are looking to develop an app in the first place, the next step is to find out their requirements. Here are some of the things that you need to consider at this stage:

  • Be aware of the objective behind the creation of the app
  • Outline the steps required to follow for the efficient completion of the project
  • Identify each of the features that they want in the application
  • Write them into simple and logical steps
  • Create a final document that will outline the entire process
  • Discuss the timelines and budget

3. Design and Planning

Now that we know what to expect from the project, here are some of the things that you need to do:

  • Create a logical sequence of all the tasks that are to be completed
  • Ensure that there is proper resource allocation and there is no overlapping
  • Identify the tasks that can be done parallely
  • Write down a timeline of the project along with the number of resources available and plan the project accordingly
  • Create an architectural workflow

4. Development

Once the requirements document and the design is ready, the next step is to work on the development of the application. The methodology that you use for the web application should be flexible as the scope of the project may change as the project progresses. Ensure that the codes are behaving as per the document and ensure that all the features are implemented.

5. User Acceptance Test

Also referred to as the testing phase, in this stage, a group of users validate the features that have been built. It will also report bugs. The group of users can also suggest changes if necessary based on the product requirements document.

6. Deployment phase

After the bugs are fixed and all the features are validated, the next step is to deploy the application in its real environment. Some behaviours will only crop up in real environments, so you need to allow time for support and maintenance after the application goes live.

Who is usually involved in a web application development process flow?

Here are the participants who can make this process a smooth affair: Project Manager, Product Owner, Back-end Developer, Front-end Developer, Quality Assurance Tester and System Administrator.

It is important to understand the processes involved in a web application development project so that you can create stunning applications.

Mobile Application Development

It is the process of creating software applications which runs on a mobile device. The mobile application development process involves the creation of installable software bundles like codes, binaries, assets, etc., implementation of data access with an API, and testing the application on various devices.

There are two dominant platforms. If you carry a smartphone, you might be having one of it. The iOS platform is the operating system that you will get on Apple’s iPhones while the second one is Android, which is powered by Google. Many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) use the Android operating system for their smartphone and other devices.

Developing applications for iOS is different from developing one for Android as it involves different software development kits as well as different development toolchain. If you target both these platforms, you can create applications for hundreds of millions of devices.

Before you start working on a mobile app, these are the questions that you need to ask the client:

  • What do you want your mobile application to do? Where does it fit in your plan?
  • Who is your TG? (target group)
  • How do you imagine your customers using the app?
  • What are the benefits that they will get?
  • What mobile application development platform are you going to use?
  • Are there other apps that have functionality similar to the app that we are building?
  • Tell us more about the competitor apps and the features they offer?
  • Which mobile application development framework and language will be used?
  • What is your budget for mobile app development?
  • By when do you plan to launch this?
  • Who will be our point of contact?
  • How do you plan to promote this app to your prospective customers?

Major approaches when building mobile apps

Native Mobile applications
These are written in the framework and programming language provided by the platform owner. It will run directly on the operating system of the devices such as iOS and Android platform.

Cross-platform applications
They can be written in a variety of programming languages and frameworks, but then they are compiled into a native application that is running directly on the operating system of the device.

Hybrid-web applications
It uses standard web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS and are bundled together as app installation packages. Unlike native apps, hybrid apps work on ‘web containers’ which provides a browser runtime and a bridge for native device APIs via Apache Cordova.

Progressive Web applications
It is a completely different approach and doesn’t conform to traditional mobile app development as it doesn’t consider the app store delivery or app installations. It uses a set of browser capabilities such as the ability to work offline, run a background process, and adding a link to the app to the device’s home screen to give the feeling of an application.

87% of users will check their phones at least one hour before sleep and 69 percent of them will check their phones within 5 minutes before they hit the bed. That’s the kind of impact mobile applications have in our lives. It is estimated that by 2022, the annual mobile app download will reach 258 billion, which is a 45% increase from 178 billion downloads in 2017.

Importance of Mobile Application Development

Thanks to fast internet connections, the usage of mobile applications have become even more prominent. People are addicted to their mobile phones. Many researches have suggested that we need to take a digital detox for our minds and body. That’s how deeply mobile phones have permeated into our lives. All because of the variety of apps at our disposal. The average attention span of humans dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds now, that’s less than that of a goldfish.

Here is why mobile application development is important

Increases brand awareness

Think of having your own mobile app like a real estate on your prospective customer’s person. How powerful is that! The more attractive you make the app, the higher the engagement of the users. It will bring them closer to your brand.

Customer loyalty

By building a highly functional mobile app for your business, you will be able to help your customer do a lot of things. Let’s say you run a restaurant, you can let them order food, reserve seats, book a banquet hall, check out the food virtually, and so on. All of this will make them a loyal customer because you are giving them a superior experience.

Better visibility

Your prospective customers will be on their phones checking out some app or the other. Maybe they are ordering food or booking a movie ticket. When you have an app, you can send push notifications which will make them check out your app, use the features available there, and so on.

Acquire customers

You can acquire new customers with the help of your mobile app. There are a lot of marketing techniques that you can use to increase your customer base. Attract potential customers to your mobile in the form of contests, giveaways, etc. Let them experience a taste of your product and get them deeper into the sales funnel with the help of content in your app.

One-touch access

You are making the lives of your customers easier by giving them an opportunity to take advantage of all the features with your app. They will be able to access the products easily, navigate through the mobile app, and more. If you want to have more ‘sticky’ customers, then you need a mobile app to make that happen.

Mobile Application Development Trends in 2020

With technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and more, they have changed the face of mobile application development.

IoT integration

IoT’s penetration in a bunch of industries has created a number of use cases. Things like smart home technology, smart refrigerators, smart security systems, smart lighting systems, etc. All of these owe their gratitude to IoT. The IoT market is expected to reach $318 billion by 2023, it is estimated that most of that will come from mobile apps.

App for foldable devices

Foldable smartphones are hitting the market. The screen size changes based on the user’s preferences. App developers need to keep into account when building apps for these devices. Even Google, in 2018, announced that it was offering foldable support on Android phones with its screen continuity API.

5G technology

With 5G, speed will dramatically improve, which means that mobile applications also should be able to handle that speed. It will also boost the functionality of mobile apps. Mobile app developers should use 5G network speed during the development and testing phase of the app. As of the first quarter of 2020, there are over 63.6 million 5G connections globally and 82 5G commercial networks.

Wearable devices

These are not new to us, but they are getting more popular and come along with powerful features. You can expect more apps to be made for wearable devices. We are going to see a time when there will be greater interaction between mobile apps and wearables. In 2017, the number of connected wearable devices reached 43 million and it is expected to reach 929 million by 2021.

Mobile wallets, predictive analytics, security, instant apps, on-demand mobile apps, and more are going to have influence on the mobile application development trends for 2020.

AI in Mobile Application Development

App development companies around the world are using AI for building applications based on the requirements. With AI, there will come a time when your smartphone can recognize faces, text, help with image labeling, scan barcodes, and so on. That’s how powerful AI can make that little device you carry around in your pocket. According to Gartner’s 2019 CIO survey, the number of organizations embracing AI technologies has increased 2.7 times from 2015.

How can AI help in mobile applications?

Better decision making

AI can collate and analyze large volumes of data. Let’s say these are user reviews and you want to understand their sentiment. It is impossible to sit and read thousands of reviews, not only is it a colossal waste of time, but it will lead to information overload. With AI, you can read all the reviews, that too taking into account their sentiments and give you a report using which decisions can be made.

Personalization

Customers want personalization these days. We are talking about hyper personalization where the experience is completely unique to them and not just as a segment of the business’ audience. AI can understand user behaviour and create recommendations based on the user’s usage.

Automation of routine tasks

One area of business where a lot of man hours is lost are doing mundane tasks. These don’t necessarily add value to the time of the person performing it. They might be doing something worthwhile which will add to the bottom line of the business. With AI, it can automate tasks, that too with accuracy and at a timeline much faster than the usual method.

Context-driven user experience

Standalone mobile apps can only provide a limited user experience. But with the help of AI, you can get user location and come up with messages and recommendations that are specific to the user.

There is a lot more that is possible with the combination of AI and mobile application development. The practical applications are being rapidly developed and are sure to keep us excited.

AR/VR in Mobile Application Development

Unlike traditional user interfaces, AR and VR takes the user to a whole new environment which they view in front of the screen. With the help of AR and VR, you can build mobile apps that will deliver engaging and highly interactive customer experiences which will drive sales and increase loyalty. The worldwide market of AR and VR will rise from $27 billion dollars in 2018 to $209 billion in 2022.

Benefits of AR/VR in mobile apps

Interactive marketing

With VR, you will be able to create realistic experiences for your users which will help the business to promote the products easily by using a combination of photography and technology.

3D vision

How cool and immersive an experience would it be to watch 3D avatars of all the products that a business sells? It will create a memorable experience for the user, who will come back for more as it is the kind of experience few companies offer.

Virtual showrooms

Without using much space, VR allows businesses to showcase its products. Businesses that are in real estate, retail, automobile, manufacturing, etc, can showcase their offerings and explain each part and accessory with relative ease even if the customer is not present at the showroom to view it visually.

Better learning experience

With AR, you can create a completely immersive experience where you can transport the user to a different place. Give them an authentic experience where they feel as if they are a part of the environment. It can also be used in medical colleges where students can perform surgery instead of having to experiment on real patients.

Greater customer experience

By using AR/VR, you can give a complete experience for the user where they don’t have to visit the store at all. No matter what you are selling, you can create a superior experience that your prospective customer will love. This will satisfy your customers, and they are more likely to make a purchase.

IoT in Mobile Application Development

It is an ecosystem of all physical objects connected and available through the Internet. The physical objects could be any of the following: automobile, smartphones, home appliances, wearable devices, vehicles, heart monitor, etc. The communication between objects is possible through sensors using Wifi, bluetooth, RFID, etc. It is estimated that by 2023, IoT devices will account for more than 50 percent of all networked devices.

Benefits of IoT in mobile application development

Real-time monitoring

Enterprises can track activities of their regular business operations. Through its automated tracking process, you can even eliminate a lot of errors. The system operators can use data-driven displays by embedding smart sensors on various objects to know about the pressure of the system, its efficiency, temperature, and other conditions. It even detects anomalies in machines.

Data security

When customers get personalized recommendations, they usually have to share a lot of their data to be eligible to get it. This poses a problem when it comes to privacy and data security. IoT has strict data security measures in place which enables it to use sensors to collect data without any issue.

Understand consumer behaviour

If you want to create highly successful marketing campaigns, then you need to know what your customers want. Businesses can build mobile applications with the help of IoT by collecting and analyzing data through various sources, such as the internet, social media, surveillance, etc.

Workplace security

You can build applications using IoT which can be extensively used to build a safe and secure workplace. Businesses can come up with apps which embed sensors and wearables when they are working in a high risk environment so that possible threats can be identified and swift action taken.

Analysis

By gathering data over a long period of time, it can help companies understand consumer behaviour or machine behaviour to make effective business decisions. The automated report generation ensures that there is no error during the data collection process.

Blockchain in Mobile Application Development

Blockchain is considered these days as a database that can be used by almost any mobile app. It is a decentralized ledger that tracks transactions between parties and is available to access for anyone. You cannot tamper with the data, which is what makes it one of the biggest finds of the 21st century. Global revenue from enterprise blockchain applications is expected to rise to $19.9 billion by 2025.

Benefits of Blockchain in Mobile Application Development

Data Protection

Blockchain offers unparalleled data protection as it is not possible to tamper with the ledger. It allows developers to add multiple layers of security and assigns private keys to the users. Unless you have a decryption key, it is not possible for anyone to manipulate the numbers on the ledger. As it is a decentralized system, there are replicas of the database across various computers.

Transparency

Blockchain is a series of interconnected blocks where each block contains transaction data and a timestamp for the previous block. It is a transparent digital ledger system that is permanent, public, and if someone tampers with the data, everyone will know about it. It will also identify the person who made the changes without revealing their personal information.

Secure mobile payments

Thanks to its decentralized peer-to-peer network, Blockchain allows for faster, secure, reliable and a contactless mobile payment. They are also more affordable to establish and maintain. There are thousands of devices or nodes which eliminates the chances of an outage which makes Blockchain secure.

Product traceability

With Blockchain, mobile developers can record every information and track them in real-time. You can easily locate an issue and fix it with the help of Blockchain. It prevents the creation of fake transactions and it is difficult to misrepresent the data.

5G Tech in Mobile Application Development

There is immense excitement surrounding the impact of 5G in the next generation services that will be available because of it. 5G is an entirely new network infrastructure which holds the potential to revolutionize the way mobile networks work. It is said that it will offer connectivity speeds that reach approximately 10 gigabits per second. 5G will be a game changer for AR and VR as it has incredible speed and massive capacity which will help in creating amazing experiences.

Market watchers estimate that video will make up 74% of mobile internet traffic in 2024, with more adoption of 5G.

Benefits of 5G in mobile application development

Lower latency

Network delay is one of the biggest complaints customers have against telecom service providers. These days, networks are used for a variety of things, some of which are to make critical decisions in real-time. 5G can help cut the latency to just 1 millisecond which will lead to less network interference and delays.

Better connection density

It refers to the ability of a network to support the successful delivery of a lot of messages. As of now, 4G networks can support only 2000 connected devices per 0.38 square miles. You can certainly expect more mobile devices per square mile as you need smartphones for your day-to-day life. In the same area, 5G will be able to support up to 1 million connected devices.

Helps the wearable industry

Major tech companies are building wearable devices for its customers. These wearables will leverage the speed and potency of 5G and replace many of the capabilities of a smartphone.

Supports enterprises

As we have said time and again, there is a lot of data that is generated with each passing second. Enterprises usually have a lot of data, and there will come a time when 4G will not be able to support it. 5G technology will play a huge role in ensuring that more data doesn’t restrict enterprises from functioning properly.

Chatbots in Mobile Application Development

Chatbots are versatile and can exist in a lot of environments. Therefore, mobile applications can augment them with a conversational interface. With the addition of a conversational environment on top of it, chatbots have so many applications to it. It was initially used only for customer service, but it has become much more than that now. It is believed that there will come a time when chatbots will replace mobile apps.

The market size of chatbots is expected to be $1.3 billion by 2024. Websites that have chatbot chatbot functions can increase brand awareness, sales and lead generation, marketing engagement, customer support, and more, says AdWeek.

If you do not have chatbots as a part of your marketing plan, then you are missing out on the immense opportunities that it gives us.

Benefits of Chatbots in Mobile Application Development

Personalization

The ability to create an environment where the user gets what they have in mind is something that all the businesses are striving to do. Imagine creating separate landing pages/product pages for different products/services that you have. So the chatbot can ask the visitor what they want through a series of questions and they can let them inside a web page that is unique to them.

Conversational experience

The ability to converse with a potential customer and directing them to what they are looking for can work like magic for conversions. Remember the ‘Live chat’ options that most businesses used to have earlier. Some of them continue to use them even where there is a better alternative in the form of chatbots.

Chatbots can completely replace that and give an even better experience for the customer. It can handle multiple requests at the same time, and can respond to queries at any time of the day.

Easy product and content search

Instead of making your visitors navigate the app and waste precious time, with the help of chatbots, you can reduce the time and send them to the location where they want to go.

Better onboarding experience

An intelligent chatbot can make the website visit a fun experience for the visitor. Most people don’t come back to a website as it does not provide them a clear picture of what is there and how it can help them. With Chatbots, you can guide your users through all the functions of the app without any issue.

Conclusion

Over the years, mobile has overtaken desktop usage, and the number only keeps growing. Apps are a major part of our lives right now. Many of us cannot imagine living without certain apps. People even exhibit withdrawal symptoms when they cannot access their favorite app. The average mobile user checks their smartphone 63 times a day. That’s the level of addiction to smartphones. We can certainly expect more mobile apps that have even more brilliant features than the ones that we use right now.

When businesses build mobile applications for its audience, they need to ensure that they are of the highest quality, do what it promises, offers superior experience, easy to navigate through the app, and so on. It is difficult to please customers these days as all the businesses are vying for their attention. So much so that 43% of customers are not happy waiting more than three seconds for an app to load.

Every single industry that you can think of, you will be able to create mobile applications to cater to its clientele. You can offer them an amazing experience and bring them closer to your brand.

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