If you own a smartphone like 77% of Americans, chances are you’ve used an app. Apps let you do almost anything on the go, from checking the weather or keeping up with social media to shopping for light bulbs, all at your fingertips. Life is busy, and we are increasingly doing things on the go; slowing down is not an option. Studies show that we unlock our devices upwards of 100 times per day. 

Like most things, trends in mobile apps change all the time. Apps have to keep up with today’s trends to stay relevant, or users will move on to something else. We’re using apps differently than we did a few years ago, consuming media in new and changing ways. Did you know the average app user consistently uses the same 5 apps? Whether free or paid services, these new trends are influencing the way we access and consume media. 

Appek has put together this list on the future of app development so you can stay on the cutting edge.

Emerging trends in app development:

#1 Chat bots

Chat bots are a computer program that automate various tasks for the user. The user can “chat” with the bot through an interface that typically relies on canned responses. These bots are integrated with the particular program you’re using to help you complete tasks. Chatbots can save you steps and time when completing tasks like scheduling an appointment or purchasing an item. Even better? You do not need to download these bots to interact with them.

#2 Home devices

Home devices like Alexa, Google Home and Cortana are becoming mainstays in many American homes. Whether it’s the hands-free control, versatility or ease of use, few can argue the benefits of an in-home voice assistant. Voice assistants continue to get smarter over time as machine learning advances. New apps for these devices are being developed every day, enhancing functionality and usability.

#3 Wearable Devices

While you may not be on the wearable device trend just yet, the market is growing fast, expected to exceed $51 billion by 2022. With the increased popularity in smart home technology, more and more people are adopting this trend on the go. Ordinary tasks such as checking your calendar and up to ⅔ of on-screen tasks can be completed by wearable devices, making information more accessible than ever. Ranging in price from $50 and up, wearables are fast becoming the next big thing in app development.

#4 M-Commerce

More and more users are adopting m-commerce relying on Apple Pay or Google Wallet to make purchases. These tools keep your payment information on file, eliminating the need to carry cash or cards and having the ability to pay with a single click. You can pay securely wherever you go, right from your phone. Wearable devices are even beginning to adopt this technology, playing integral roles in consumer buying habits. Augmented Reality, or AR Devices, are even beginning to offer this technology.

#5 Better user experience

Did you know that users will delete an app if it’s logo is ugly? Sites are becoming increasingly mindful of their user experience, designing for larger screens and simplifying overall user interface. Some apps are even offering an enhanced user experience by integrating augmented reality, allowing greater interaction with the product.

#6 Motion and location sensing

Using GPS technology, smartphones and devices can offer more intuitive user data, including local traffic reports and restaurant recommendations. This can provide enhanced levels of personal security and anti-theft measures for your device. This technology is paving the way for a more personalized, precise browsing experience.

If you’re an app designer or an avid consumer of technology, we think these trends will keep you in the loop as to what’s next in the field of app design. Let us know your thoughts below.