Last year was the first year that mobile traffic exceeded that of desktop users. Statistics published by Go-Globe show that mobile apps now account for 52% of all the time spent on online digital media. That makes the importance of smartphone apps, and the speed at which information can travel and be seen, more important than ever.
It has become abundantly clear that apps have come to permeate every aspect of our lives, from gaming to shopping to banking.
But what are mobile app trends for 2016?
At DuckMa, we are looking to the following mobile trends to be strongly featured in 2016:
This year has been quite a busy one for the “Internet of Things” (IoT), one of the most exciting opportunities for today’s enterprises. IBM, for example, announced in March of 2015 that it would invest $3 billion in its IoT business unit over the next four years!
Based on predictions and studies, tech analysts are convinced that the internet of things will be the next big trend and more and more people will be connected to “Things” in the next couple of years. Examples include health monitoring devices, home automation systems (doorbells, light switches, refrigerators!), toll collection systems, smart cars, etc. Be prepared to see more IoT devices and wearables in 2016.
This trend means that app developers need to be prepared for this onslaught and consider IoT and wearable technology when developing new applications.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
It’s not just for gamers anymore. While augmented reality and 3D printing have both been around for a while, these two emerging technologies are expected to continue hitting the headlines in 2016. We expect the market for virtual-reality devices and content to begin to develop in earnest in 2016. The growth will be bolstered by new players and devices. As publishers like Google and the New York Times begin to support these new devices and experiences, awareness will continue to grow.
Wearables are directly connected to the IoT trend. The spread of watches, bracelets, and necklaces capable of interacting with us is huge.
The Apple Watch dominated the wearables conversation for most of 2015 and may continue to do so with its second-generation watch, expected in late 2016. Fitbit will also likely continue to hold its own into the new year, with other companies jostling to make inroads into this market. Beyond these two safe bets, the future of dedicated activity trackers, and health and fitness wearables, is unclear but we do know that it is a burgeoning industry prime for today’s technology focused world.
We also believe that apps from the companies that make activity trackers, as well as compatible third-party software that works with the devices, will become more advanced, and that they’ll integrate diet and different fitness and health categories.
Mobile Marketing (Proximity Marketing)
Apps are now one of the most important instruments for mobile marketing. Most of today’s retail beacon implementations require shoppers to interact with a mobile app. These proximity detection devices then send content and offers to the mobile device of shoppers based on their current location. One of the main drawbacks of this kind of beaconing is that if the shopper fails to engage with his or her phone in-store then none of the proximity marketing messages will be received. That being said, it is a brilliant marketing maneuver that will continue to grow and evolve.
TIP: A very cool app completely based on iBeacons is Checkbonus, a mobile app that rewards you with promos and discounts when you walk in shops. (Currently available only in Italy.)
Build Your Own App
As people and businesses start to understand the potential of mobile technology, opportunities flourish for mobile entrepreneurship, as well as business simplification solutions. While business apps proliferate to aid our everyday lives, new software offers users the ability to design, publish, and market original apps based on white-label designs provided through simple graphical interfaces.