2019 has been a good year for mobile app development. Terms like artificial intelligence, wearable devices, augmented reality or blockchain have sounded a lot and will continue to do so in 2020.
Continuous innovation also means more opportunities for app developers and goes hand in hand with the rise of new trends among the app users.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important mobile app trends to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond. Keep reading to find out more!
Index – 10 Mobile App Trends for 2020
- IoT taking over more devices
- AR and VR features on more devices
- Expansion of 5G
- Integration of beacons
- (Even) more apps on-demand
- Smarter apps due to AI
- The rise of Voice User Interfaces (VUI)
- The upswing of Android instant apps
- Wearables will no longer depend on apps
- Mobile wallets: from e-commerce to m-commerce
App Trend #1 – IoT taking over more devices
The latest developments in the realm of Internet of Things (IoT) have enabled us to control different devices using our smartphones.
In 2020 we will see how this technology is applied to more and more areas, such as home automation, IoT in public spaces or its extension to the medical sector through eHealth apps and virtual assistants.
IoT will make room for more opportunities in mobile app development to accelerate operations, reduce costs and improve cybersecurity.
It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be 10 trillion IoT devices, a figure that will continue to rise to 22 million by 2025.
There’s also a big chance that 2020 will be the year in which the IoT framework, which has not yet been standardised due to its novelty, will be consolidated.
Read also | Internet of Things: soon connecting the world by 26+ billion devices
App Trend #2 – AR and VR features on more devices
Over the last few years Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have revolutionised the mobile app development industry – and they will continue to do so – it’s expected that in 2023 more than 2.5 million people will use devices incorporating these technologies.
“According to Statista, the global AR and VR market will grow from EUR 23.4 billion in 2018 to EUR 181 billion in 2022.”
This technology is fully established in the mobile world. By 2018, more than 380 million Apple devices were ready for AR and VR.
What’s the future of AR and VR apps? In retail you can think of virtual fitting rooms and being able to see what your clothes would look like in different colours. Another example is the improvement of navigation systems such as Google Maps.
Keep on reading | The 6 Best Frameworks and SDKs for Augmented Reality [iOS & Android]
App Trend #3 – Expansion of 5G
In 2020, we’ll make room for 5G internet. The increase in speed will have consequences for mobile use and application development.
It will allow more use of 3D games or augmented reality applications, for example.
App Trend #4 – Integration of beacons
The hotel industry, the healthcare and retail sectors already use this technology. Beacons are wireless transmitters that use the bluetooth feature of a mobile phone to send signals. That’s why they’re so useful for local actions.
A retailer, for example, could send temporary offers to people who have the app installed and are located nearby.
In 2020 this technology is also expected to be used more frequently in mobile payment procedures.
App Trend #5 – (Even) more apps on-demand
In the world of on-demand apps, it”s only just begun. By the end of 2025 this industry is expected to generate profits of more than 300 billion euros (24 times more than in 2014!).
If only looking at the current market, there are endless ideas for on-demand apps that allow you to launch a new product or service easily and efficiently.
Bottom line is that we want to be serviced faster than ever in our daily lives, which leads to all kinds of ‘Uber-like’ app services such as cleaning, shopping, paying parking fees, ordering a taxi etc.
In 2020 the on-demand business model will reach new verticals and deepen those where it already exists.
App Trend #6 – Smarter apps due to AI
Artificial Intelligence makes day-to-day life easier for app users and thanks to its integration with mobile devices, it saves developers time and money.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that the AI industry will increase its revenue by more than 42 billion euros by 2020.
How is this going to be achieved? Mainly by using Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), smart apps, cyber security or in alignment with IoT.
This chart shows some examples of how companies will implement AI.
App Trend #7 – The rise of Voice User Interfaces (VUI)
According to a study by Mobile App Design, in 2020 nearly 50% of mobile search queries will be conducted by voice. Applications such as Google Home, Alexa or Siri have made it increasingly common to use audio on the smartphone.
That’s why one of the development trends will be to include this functionality in applications to improve user experience.
App Trend #8 – The Upswing of Android Instant Apps
Instant Apps were introduced by Google in 2016. The use of these native applications, which can be used without installation, will continue to grow in 2020.
A well-known example is Vimeo’s most recent report which shows that the session rate has increased by 130% since adding the Android instant app touch button.
Read also | What are Native, Web and Hybrid Apps?
In 2020 new possibilities will emerge for the development of this type of apps. The latest version of Android Studio already allows developers to divide their apps into modules in order to show the user only a part of it.
App Trend #9 – Wearables will no longer depend on apps
Sales of wearable devices might double by 2022. With these figures, it’s natural for developers to create apps that can be used on these devices.
Until now, the relationship between the wearable and the smartphone has been close. The Apple Watch uses watchOS, for example. However, the applications of the wearables will become less dependent on the smartphone.
App Trend #10 – Mobile Wallets: from e-commerce to m-commerce
The way consumers buy and pay has changed a lot in recent years. As a result, the payment method has changed from cash to card and has now shifted to mobile payment applications such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
Therefore, when creating a new application, think about whether incorporating this feature can improve the user experience.
The figures from Business Insider showed an annual growth rate of 80% between 2015 and 2020.
The increase of security in m-wallet payments and the integration of these systems in applications will be a major challenge.
Read also | Mobile payment methods in App Development
The future of app trends 
Apps are becoming more and more part of our daily lives. From simply ordering groceries to fully controlling home devices, the possibilities are endless.
Because we are getting more used to easily paying for all purchases online with payment apps, the focus on privacy and security is also increasing. In 2020 attention will be paid to this when we make the next step in the development of mobile apps with these trends.
Would you like to know more about mobile app development and whether apps could be interesting for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.