8 Mobile App Development Trends for 2021

In 2020 the world was told to stay indoors and keep contact with others to an absolute minimum. To make or nurture personal connections, people inevitably turned to technology more than ever before. None more so than mobile devices.

At the time of writing, that trend shows no sign of letting up – and mobile developers are adapting to deliver new and more sophisticated experiences to users on those devices.

These are our top eight mobile app development trend predictions for 2021.

1. 5G

Our first exciting mobile app trend for 2021 will be foundational for every other item on this list.

5G networks are up to 100 times faster than 4G. That sheer speed, available anywhere you go, will hugely impact the data-rich capabilities of mobile apps – along with the increased feasibility of high-fidelity content on streaming services.

Emarketer predicts an incredible increase in the number of 5G connections between now and 2024. That ongoing rollout will inevitably change the way that mobile apps are made.

2. M-Commerce

Statista predicts that by the end of 2021, mobile e-commerce could account for almost three-quarters of online sales.

The message here is clear: if you run a retail business and aren’t selling online, you’re missing out on an enormous market.

Of course, anyone doing so is competing with giants of the field, including Amazon. To have a fighting chance, you’ll need a professional-looking and highly usable mobile app or a similar alternative.

One viable alternative to a full-scale native mobile application could be using Progress Web Apps (PWA) to create a responsive web page that can be installed instead on users’ phones. Amongst the upcoming mobile app trends for 2021, we’d bank on that being a big one.

3. Dedicated Flip Phone Apps

One way mobile hardware developers have attempted to differentiate their products is by going backwards to go forwards.

Flip phones first found popularity in the 90s, but modern ones boast significantly bigger screens with full touch capabilities.

Seeing how developers innovate in order to make use of that screen space and their unique foldable nature will be one of the more exciting mobile app trends for 2021.

4. Apps for Wearables

Smart watches and fitness trackers have gained steadily in popularity in recent years, and that will only increase in 2021 as 5G rolls out in a world where people are encouraged to exercise alone.

In particular, Apple’s WatchOS 6 presents an enormous opportunity for mobile developers to produce innovative apps that customers can download on the move, directly to their wrists. That makes wearable apps – and Apple ones especially – a prominent mobile app development trend for 2021.

5. Android Instant Apps

From Apple to their biggest competitor, Google Android’s Instant Apps will also see significant innovation in 2021.

Instant Apps let users sample the app without even installing it first. Considering the wealth of digital content competing for users’ attention, making an app ‘Instant’ will give the developer an edge when it comes to turning someone just browsing the app store into a paying customer.

If you’re an Android developer, this will be one of the key mobile app development trends for 2021 you won’t want to ignore.

6. Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

We recently blogged about the ways Machine Learning is being used, and even looked ahead to the possible futures for the technology. That future will get closer than ever in 2021.

The applications of AI will also gather pace, making this field one of THE most exciting mobile app trends for 2021 and beyond.

From improved facial recognition, to smarter search, more lifelike chatbots, and deeper analytics tools, expect to see giant strides in the mobile space for both ML and AI as the year progresses.

7. Augmented Reality (AR)

Another exciting trend is augmented reality. Snapchat filters and Zoom backgrounds are just two examples of how AR has already penetrated the mobile space, adding a novel layer to the way we all communicate.

But those applications are just the tip of the iceberg. 5G-and-Cloud fuelled AR will conceivably allow mobile app developers working in the marketing, healthcare and hospitality sectors to deliver promotions, products and services in new and exciting ways. From our perspective, that makes AR one of the key mobile app development trends for 2021.

8. Internet of Things (IoT)

We started on 5G, and we’ll end on another popular stalwart of our blog posts.

In their own way, each of the advancements here will also tie into the furtherance of the Internet of Things. As apps become more usable and immersive, networks get faster, and mobile hardware becomes more wearable, the potential – not to mention widespread demand – for web-enabled everyday devices will grow and grow.

That potential will depend largely on the skill and imagination of the developers pushing the technology, and in 2021 we expect to see that on display more than ever. From growth in smart homes to smart cars, smart health systems and even smart cities, IoT could be the most prevalent of all the mobile app development trends for 2021 and beyond.

What can mobile development do for you in 2021?

With mobile device usage continuing to grow, it’s clear that app development presents an enormous opportunity to grow a business. So, is mobile development part of your business strategy for 2021? If not… why not?

And if so; we can help.

Visit our Mobile App Development page to find out more, or contact us to talk through how we can help your brand grow via mobile in the year ahead.