Since the introduction of the iPhone SDK and the first 500 iOS mobile apps in July of 2008, the mobile app landscape has changed dramatically. The phrase, “There’s an app for that” has taken on a whole new meaning. As 2019 comes to a close with over 200 billion apps downloaded for the year it’s quite clear that now more than ever people are turning to apps for answers and entertainment in their pocket. 2019 saw record spending on the App Store and Google Play and spending is projected to hit over $105 billion for the two platforms in 2020. All of this increased traffic is bound to come with changes. Here are some things that you can expect.
Increase in Wearable Technology and IoT
As products like the Apple Watch and FitBit have made clear, Mobile Apps are no longer limited to your smartphone. The new frontier before us is that of Wearables and the “Internet of Things.” By 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices, ranging from smartwatches & thermostats to doorbells & oven probes. This is just the beginning of an increasing trend towards the integration of everyday items through mobile apps.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Though AR may appear to have stalled somewhere after the release of Pokemon Go, AR/VR spending is estimated to hit over $18.8B by 2020; a 78.5% growth over 2029. Apple is currently working on an AR/VR gaming headset and has 1000 engineers on AR/VR projects. They originally planned to have the headset ready for the market by 2020 but the release has been postponed until 2022. Though it may be a few years off, have no doubt, AR and VR are gaining serious traction right now and the future will be in your pocket before you know it.
Increase in Use of Mobile Wallets
More and more consumers are opting for the speed, convenience, and security of mobile wallets over tangible cards. Mobile wallet payments have grown at an average rate of 80% per year for the last 5 years and are projected to account for over $500 billion in payments by 2020.
Increase in Streaming
The transition away from cable television towards mediums like Netflix and Amazon Prime video has all but slowed down. App Annie anticipates that consumers will spend 674 billion hours in video players on Android phones alone. That’s up from 558 billion last year. The increase in attention will also warrant more competition as Disney+ and other providers get into the marketplace. In a battle for customer loyalty, streaming services will offer more exclusive content to stand out.
Change in the Gaming Landscape
Mobile apps account for over 50% of all gaming revenue and the introduction of subscription-based gaming is beginning to dominate that market. Gaming subscriptions offer consumers a greater variety of games for a fixed price. The flat rate is appealing to current gamers, and will also gain attention from parents who want to eliminate children’s asks for new games, continued upgrades and in-app purchases. Though the future is trending towards gaming subscriptions it will still take time to change the mindset of those who expect mobile app games to be free downloads.
Increase in In-App Advertising
With the seemingly infinite amount of apps on the market now, consumers are becoming less inclined to purchase paid apps, even if it is a one-time payment. Companies eager for returns on their mobile apps are combatting this by selling screen real estate in their apps.
Mobile Apps are only becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives. This is great news for anybody who has one or wants to build one as they are not going anywhere anytime soon.