Mobile App Predictions for 2020

Mobile App Predictions for 2020

     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. 


What is a Rapid Development Partner?

What is a Rapid Development Partner?

Your Rapid Development Partner is like your very own Superhero.

A “Rapid Development Partner” is actually what it sounds like, however, to be clear we’re talking here about a rapid “software development partner” who has a core focus on mobile and web application development; quite often they’re your project partner from concept through MVP (Minimum Viable Product) delivery.

What they do is also clear, develop software, and deliver said software (web and/or mobile) as rapidly as possible, without error, defect, flaw or bug.  This is rarely the case, though there are many claims to the providing of this highly valuable type of service/skill. Unfortunately, even though the majority do eventually end up delivering without bug or defect, they often deliver with error or flaw, (misarticulating the client’s requirements) and deliver such extremely late. 

So, let’s help you discern if you’ve actually found a rapid development partner, and determine if they are of quality.

  1. How do you protect yourself from failing to deliver on time? (destroys profitability and credibility)
    • Were you set up for failure from the moment your client signed the statement of work?

There are some things to ask to look for red flags before you even engage: 

  • How often are you scheduled to meet?
    • Aside from purely fixed requirements development, agile and waterfall methods both suffer terribly the longer the time between client-designer-developer meetings.
      • Once a week is the LEAST meeting quantity recommended;
      • Once or more daily if possible is utopian;
  • Have they provided you with a “Statement of Work”? 
  • This is a comprehensive breakdown of what they are going to do, to what end, what is included, what is not, and what is intended to be delivered as an end result, this should include also an explicit timeline (with milestones if extensive project) for deliverable(s).
  • Have they asked you for “user story” for each user or customer type that will interact with your developed project?
    • This is an easy opportunity to tune in to your client’s project vision, that most designers and developers miss out on.
  • Is there no designer to work with the developer?
    • Either you have designs (from a designer) or your statement of work should include such; otherwise this project is destined for overruns.2. How do you have confidence that they are advising the right technology solutions?
    • Are they advising just because it’s technology they’re familiar with, or are they advising because it’s the right technology to meet the client’s requirements?

While it’s best to have a competent CTO on your own staff, you can ask the following to gain confidence as a non-developer:

  • Request some logical/reasonable explanation as to the technology choice being advised;
    • ask what this technology choice implies in terms of code maintenance
      • Support
        • Is it new technology or is there a thriving community of users and supporters for this choice?
  • Ask them to compare it to at least one other technology choice for your having an easier ability to understand through a comparison, 
    • highlight pro’s and con’s of each.
  • In the cases where you’re wildly out of your league/realm of coherence, a second opinion from another design/development shop is a great way to gauge accuracy.

That second point, is as critical as delivering on time; the scalability of the client’s technology, the cost of maintaining it and the ability to get community support for your chosen technology, are all vital considerations when inventing software.

Begin your rapid development journey now.