Jan. 9, 2017
Rodrigo Coutinho (pic above), Co-founder and Head of Product Design at Outsystems points out the top three mobile app dev trends for 2017.
1. "Mobile App Dev: More Augmented Reality Apps
Who hasn’t been amazed by the success of Pokemon Go? And with that kind of success comes imitation and innovation. The list of augmented reality (AR) apps for the iPhone alone has reached a number high enough that the top 40 can be ranked.
AR is like virtual reality and GPS combined and it’s going to be hot in 2017. There’s likely an increase in the number of augmented reality mobile dev projects underway that go way beyond fun and games. As part of this top mobile app dev trend, developers can expect these types of apps to move into industries such as retail, manufacturing, life sciences and any others with a high degree of automation.
Gamers need not worry that their games will be abandoned. 3D game developers are investigating how they can use augmented reality apps to enhance the engagement levels of their software. Initially, people were concerned about “broadcasting” their locations to a server through GPS, but that concern is steadily dissipating, thanks to wearables, sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).
2. Mobile App Dev: Even More Context-Aware Intelligent Apps
Expect cutting-edge, intelligent contextual mobile applications that combine IoT, machine learning and big data processing in 2017. Currently, the number of separate but connected devices is expected to reach more than 28 billion in 2017. Revenues and profits from the IoT industry have been surging since 2015, and some think that they will double by the end of 2017. So, related to this mobile app dev trend, developers can expect an increase in demand for apps that use smart device sensors.
What’s different about these “smart apps” from those in the past is that they separate sensors and content delivery and include a “thinking” component. Machine learning and artificial intelligence process the context and location of the person or sensor (often in a wearable) so relevant content or actions are recommended. This “contextual awareness” enables an app like Netflix to recommend programming tailored to the person logged in and not the whole household. It’s also what’s behind a smartphone health app that recommends the appropriate food for a diabetics to eat after a specific exercise to normalize their blood sugar levels. These apps will really take off this year and developers should be ready to integrate AI and machine learning into simpler apps.
At the same time, developers should expect to be asked for some contextually aware, intelligent apps to process big data. As part of this top mobile app dev trend, developers will be challenged to strike the right balance between user-friendly interfaces and reliable, enhanced functionality in contextually aware, intelligent applications.
3. Mobile App Dev Much More UX as Art
User experience (UX) will continue to be the single biggest indicator of the success of a mobile application (or even lack of success), just as it has been this year.
Designing a diffused background is becoming more common for app developers and we see it becoming a requirement even now in 2016. Diffused backgrounds for apps, with highlighted call-to-action tabs and buttons and areas that are easy to tap, allow users to focus on the main features with the backgrounds providing minimal distraction. That’s a characteristic that’s bound to become a gold standard.
As for UX as a whole, it will keep up its evolution into an art form that is contributed to by graphic designers and artists. So, look for parallax graphics, grid-based interface designing, split-screens, splash screens and visuals, and micro-interactions to gain traction. The days of simplistic flat apps will be gone in 2017.
A final note (about enterprise apps)
We have been doing some reading and we keep seeing that enterprise apps are poised to take off in 2017. However, we think that’s not a trend for 2017 but a 2016 reality. In fact, many of us feel that it’s anticlimactic to bring up enterprise apps for 2017. They’re here and they’re real. And that’s why we’ve made sure you can use OutSystems to develop the enterprise mobile apps that so many businesses crave."