2021: More mobile than ever!

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  • 12 Jan 2021

What are the biggest changes in the mobile sector over the past few months? What are the main trends for 2021? According to David Renoux, there has been a real revolution in mobile apps over the past few years. Over the last decade, they have made way for real gems of technology and design. Nowadays, there are more than 3 million apps available to download from Google Play and more than 2.5 on Apple’s App Store.

 

App development: a 110% increase in demand in 2020

For companies of all sizes, as well as industry and the public sector, mobile app projects – which were already plentiful before COVID-19 – have grown and will continue to grow extremely quickly. The current crisis is pushing companies to reinvent themselves with great haste, in terms of their organizations, businesses and technologies.

 

Anything is possible!

With the technical acceleration, all mobile-related projects are achievable, so long as they offer a solution for an identified need or a specific use. Development platforms keep evolving, and technical solutions have enabled all kinds of plans. Cross-platform technologies like React Native, Flutter and of course Cordova and Ionic make it possible to build projects without negatively affecting the frequency of updates or the time to market. Native development environments lead to considerable enhancements each year. They lighten workloads and significantly boost the appeal of those technologies. Besides, Apple has fitted the iPhone 12 Pro, with LiDAR a 3D laser technology from the professional world of environmental mapping. Augmented reality is already within reach.

 

The pandemic has also had a substantial impact on the unprecedented boom in mobile purchases. Companies which were already extremely mature in terms of online sales (websites and apps) have witnessed a 30% increase! M-commerce is thriving. Some of our clients have multiplied their sales by a factor of 10 in 2020, thanks to their native apps!

 

And what about B2B? Most of the newest developments to spring up have been corporate apps designed for use by employees. R&D projects initially scheduled for the medium term (zero paper policies, IoT and technical applications connected to industrial equipment, etc.) have emerged in massive numbers. They give employees effective tooling that is safe for them to use and suited to their processes and practices.

 

Creativity, innovation and technological leaps at the heart of the next projects

Tomorrow has yet to be written and imagined. The arrival of 5G technology will undoubtedly further speed up the development of B2B apps. The new devices arriving on the market like foldable smartphones, will shake up our app consumption habits. Plus, mobiles are on the road to becoming the computers of tomorrow. The power of their processors is surpassing those of low to mid range computers, featuring new interfaces like DeX from Samsung and those offered by Huawei and LG, on which users can work like they would on a computer screen.

 

The same goes for tablets: the new iPad is competing with many of the laptops on the market. MacOS now fully supports app porting. A company will be able to create a compatible business app for its iPhones, then roll it out to iPads and MacBooks, effectively migrating all of its laptops to these devices.

 

The apps of tomorrow: more interactivity

As for 2021 trends, the emphasis will remain on app personalization. Developments should be motivated by their intended use and by the experience you want to offer. The difficulty involved in organizing in-person workshops with groups of users to gather their needs is easy to work around today thanks to online collaboration tools such as Miro and InVision. You can also expect to see more and more “micro-interactions” on your screens. Those little animations that may seem insignificant at first glance (like when you click on a button, scroll through a page or add an item to your shopping cart). From a UX perspective though, they considerably improve user appeal. In terms of B2B, we will be devising more and more solutions that use voice command shortcuts, as those assistants have proved to be very useful in freeing up the user’s hands while performing physical work.

 

The end of mobile apps has frequently been foretold. And yet, they’ve never been so relevant as they are today! The popularity of PWAs, which were originally presented as “app killers” in 2018, have only served to reinforce the synergies between their uses. There are no technical limits on creation, and apps are bringing about this change in organizational structures which was perhaps only waiting for this nudge to take root and be assimilated. I have no doubt that creativity and responsiveness will also be there to answer the call in 2021!

 

 

By David Renoux, Director at Neopixl & Mobile Solutions Manager for Smile, published on December17th in ICT printed version by Paperjam, Luxembourg

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