Published in


App Development Trends


The ever-changing landscape of technology continues to shape our work, our communication, and our lives. The last couple of years have seen massive investment from major companies looking to create the next big app trend that will change our world. While the possibilities of app development are endless and bountiful, it can be quite tricky to keep up with these mobile app trends.

That’s why our team paired up with the app building geniuses at The Lightning Platform by Salesforce to create this 20-point guide!

The Lightning Platform is a leading cloud platform that makes building AI-powered apps faster and easier. With Salesforce, now everyone is empowered to build apps for their organization. Learn more here.

This list will help you stay up to date with the latest and greatest in app development trends. From Augmented and Virtual Reality to chatbots and wearable apps, here’s our list of the 20 Mobile App trends that are shaping the future.

1. Augmented Reality


While many trends could be considered the top mobile app trend, Augmented Reality is the one that we think really deserves the title.

Augmented Reality is a technology that places a computer-generated image on the user’s view of the real world. Pokemon Go and Google Translate are two of the best-known examples of Augmented Reality. Another fun use of AR is a feature in IKEA’s app that allows shoppers to ‘drop’ 3D furniture in their house using their phone’s camera.

The augmented reality market is expected to reach $660 million by the end of the year, and there is no end in sight for what this technology can bring to the table for consumers.

2. Wearables


According to Statista, wearable apps are expected to reach 830 million people by 2020. While we are beyond excited about the potential wearables can bring to the masses, a majority of wearable apps are focused on fitness. They don’t have other capabilities like making phone calls, emails, and sending texts. Hopefully, more companies will shift their focus and energy to bring everyday tasks to wearable technology.

3. Chatbot Interaction


Falling underneath the Artificial Intelligence umbrella, Chatbots can simulate human conversation, create customizable user experiences with retailers, and even improve search engine recommendations.

There are already some companies that have mastered chatbot interaction. Duolingo, for example, expertly uses chatbots and gamification to teach languages to its growing base of 150 million users.

Chatbots, according to Gartner, are only used by 20% of the internet, but that number is expected to reach 93% by 2022.

4. Cloud Computing


If you are looking to do some intense work without frying your mobile device, cloud computing will be your best friend.

Cloud computing uses remote internet servers to store, manage, and process data off your local servers. This gives your device improved battery life, processing power, and more!

Software giant Cisco predicts that in 2019, 90% of data traffic will be cloud computing. The likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google are expected to account for 78% of the revenue generated from cloud computing.

5. Internet of Things


The future is now… or rather the future is things!

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is the ability to connect multiple devices to each other with the intention of exchanging data. IoT’s expected to reach 5.4 billion devices and grow to an estimated $561 billion in 2020. From improvements in efficiency to a plethora of economic benefits, the Internet of Things is challenging the tech industry to think bigger and be bolder than ever before.

6. Instant Apps


Wondering how you can free up some storage space for all those internet memes you know and love? Instant Apps is your answer.

It may sound too good to be true, but Instant Apps are generating quite the buzz with all things downloadable. Instant Apps allows you to use any app with downloading the entire thing on your phone. Google introduced Instant Apps into the Play Store recently, and the expectation is that the Instant Apps trend will continue to rise in popularity this year.

7. Full-Screen


There is no looking back now as full-screen devices are here to stay. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple’s iPhone X give users a full-screen, immersive experience.

There have even been reports that DigiLens, a company that helps power AR and VR products through display technology, is looking at a new kind of head-up display that would turn a driver windshield into a screen. That doesn’t sound dangerous at all…

8. Blockchain


(Don’t worry our cryptocurrency-loving friends… we were going to address blockchain technology sooner than later.)

It’s the new buzzword in the tech industry this year, and the powers of blockchain are much more than a talking point.

Simply put, blockchain is a digital ledger that publicly records transactions made in cryptocurrency (think Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.) The blockchain is more secure than previous networks. This makes it quite attractive to businesses that want a secure way to share information between multiple entities and make transactions between customers faster.

The best part of blockchain? We have only begun to scratch the surface.

9. Mobile Payment


Oh man, do we love us some Venmo and Apple Pay! In addition to the power of the blockchain, mobile banking and payment are quite the game changers.

From splitting a dinner check with a friend using Venmo to paying for a bottle of water using your phone, mobile payment is not only convenient but has revolutionized the way that we handle money.

Maybe the debit card is going to go the way of the dinosaur.

10. Security


In today’s smartphone run world, mobile security has become increasingly important. From protecting code to creating two-step authentication processes, developers are all-hands on deck trying to improve mobile security.

Mobile security apps take the necessary precautions to ensure that all your work and private information are shielded from those nasty little malware buggers, hackers, and spyware.

11. Location-Based Services


Once used for finding out where the nearest coffee joint is, location-based services no longer belong to the likes of Apple or Google Maps. Many other apps are incorporating these services to improve the user experience — including using the ever-growing and popular Bluetooth technology.

Location-based services also make apps more customizable to you which is on its own is a defining app development trend.

12. Progressive Web Apps


Called PWA’s for short, Progressive Web Apps bring faster updates and navigation, push notifications, and a wealth of other game-changing features. The apps open in your web browser and are displayed as websites so there is no need to install them via the App store.

13. Health Apps


By helping consumers make healthier decisions, health apps make longevity and wellness more attainable than ever. These apps offer users access to most health-related services available on their smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Due to the ease of accessibility of information, this trend also helps patients and doctors easily and securely collaborate. For example, some apps allow diabetic patients to send their glucose readings to their primary care physicians. Others allow the physicians themselves to stay organized and accurate with electronic medical records.

14. Enterprise Apps


Enterprise apps give businesses the solutions to solve most, if not all, common enterprise problems. These apps are generally too large and complex for individuals or small businesses to use.

Enterprise apps give insights and analytics on multiple areas of an organization to provide support to all departments. This ensure support is provided for all departments As businesses continue to look for ways to cut cost and increase revenue, enterprise apps are exactly what’s needed to improve productivity and efficiency.

15. On-Demand


We live in an on-demand world, and thank goodness that we do!

On-demand apps give consumers access to tons of services for a small fee — usually in the form of a recurring subscription. To date, 86.5 million Americans or 42% of the adult population have used at least one On-Demand Economy service, and there is no evidence that this app development trend is slowing down anytime soon. The list of on-demand apps goes on and on, but some of our favorites include Munchery, Heal, and Vint.

16. Google AMP


Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project aims to improve user’s experiences by creating fast, high performing websites and ads. This open-source initiative seeks to give a smooth, engaging experience on mobile and desktop. The material published in the AMP format loads almost instantaneously which gives publishers more improved key performance indicators to best present their content.

17. Lazy Loading


Lazy loading uses placeholder content when an entire web page appears. Usually, when we visit a site, the whole page is downloaded and formatted which can take quite some time based on internet connection or data signal.

Lazy loading eliminates the need for unnecessary bulk loading of irrelevant content and replaces the placeholder content when the user needs it. For example, a user may visit a website featuring an entire photo gallery. Rather than load the entire gallery at once, lazy loading will just load the photos as they are viewed.

18. Battery-Efficient and Lite Apps


The Lite Apps mobile trend is growing faster than anyone had anticipated. Why?

Well, a stripped down, bare bones version of an app allows more users to access it — especially users who have devices with limited memory and connectivity. Also, Lite Apps offer most of the main features that you would get on the full version. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype have seen immediate success by creating a lite version of their originals.

19. Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality (VR) is spreading like wildfire.

VR is an immersive, three-dimensional, computer-generated environment. With massive investments from companies like Microsoft, Sony, Google, Facebook, and Apple, Virtual Reality has gained momentum. Soon, it will become common to see VR in education, engineering, media, and all around us. The possibilities are endless, and that’s why this is a trend that we are excited to see develop.

20. Biometrics


Biometric devices use physiological characteristics — such as fingerprints, or voice and facial recognition — to identify a living person. With the ever-increasing importance of cybersecurity, biometrics provide more security for any password protected systems. In fact, a biometric system can reduce the chances of being hacked to one in a billion!

Passwords are generally a weak link for security, so many organizations are focusing on integrating this app development trend into their networks.

Are there any app development trends we’re missing? What do you think about this list? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article, please give it a clap (or 50?) and share it with a friend!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Award-winning media studio. Learn more at mission.org