Last year, mobile became a dominant digital platform, and adoption of the technology has exploded. Apps are more important than ever for businesses striving to engage with their consumers, employees, operations and suppliers.
Our latest white paper - Mobile App Trends: What to Know for 2017 draws insights from AppSheet user data and leading industry research to spotlight the 7 trends that we believe will shape mobile app development for businesses in 2017.
Get an overview of some of hottest trend you'll need to know in mobile this year, and download our white paper for the full scoop.
1. Enterprise mobile app development to accelerate
Mobile app development and engagement has been growing at breakneck speed. In its most recent prediction for mobile apps, Gartner Inc. forecast that 70 percent of software interactions in enterprises will be on mobile devices by 2022.
IT departments are challenged to manage and distribute the array of custom built and prepackaged apps in use within enterprises. Developing an enterprise app store is the solution to this problem.
2. Micro apps to become a powerful force
While some mobile apps offer the same all-in-one functionality as desktop applications, all-in-one mobile apps tend to have too many features, can be hard to use and slow.
Micro apps, on the other hand, take the opposite approach. They are streamlined and targeted at enabling users to perform specific tasks easily. They can address a specific employee need or streamline a discrete process, like approving an expense report. While such apps have been around for years, they are now flourishing on mobile platforms because of several advantages.
3. The year of the citizen developer
A trend has sparked: the rise of the “citizen developer.” These are ordinary business users with little or no coding expertise who takes it upon themselves to build an application. Low-code and no-code development platforms like AppSheet facilitate rapid mobile application development, and have supported this trend.
Citizen developers make it possible for business users to meet their own needs quickly and affordably, leaving IT departments to tackle bigger, more complex and strategic projects.
4. Greater democratization levels the playing field
An April 2016 survey by Clutch found that less than a quarter of small businesses had a mobile app, but nearly half of the small businesses were likely to have a mobile app by 2017 or later.
Cost, skill and geography are no longer constraints as app-building tools make it possible for non-professionals to develop apps anywhere.
5. Beyond iOS vs. Android
The battle between Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS has raged for years, but the arena is broadening, and app builders in 2017 must contend with new and evolving frameworks.
App builders still need to target Android, iOS and web browsers, but they now must also contend with apps embedded in messaging platforms such as Slack, Facebook Messenger and Skype.
6. Deeper integration with mobile sensors
Location-based services (LBS) are expected to be integrated into more mobile apps. The GPS feature of smart devices is a common starting point for app builders.
This trend has put mobile apps on a convergence path with the Internet of Things (IoT). Mobile apps that exchange information with smart sensors will be a key part of this phenomenon.
Location-sensitive mobile apps are adding greater value through features such as credit card capture devices, on-device printers and connected scanners.
7. New dimensions for app security
Security looms as a large concern with mobile apps, and recent publicity over hacking attacks at Yahoo and the Democratic National Committee among others will increase demand for more sophisticated defenses on mobile apps such as two-factor user authentication and stronger data encryption as well as more robust security features on mobile devices themselves.