The Changing Face of Mobile Apps

The Changing Face of Mobile Apps

Latest statistics shows that users now have option to choose from 1.6 million apps available at Google Play Store and 1.5 million app available at Apple App Store. Some of these applications are paid, whereas others are available as free downloads. But before five years most people did not know what a mobile app was. Within a short span of time mobile apps have become an inseparable part of modern lifestyle.

The trend further encourages small, midsize and large enterprises to launch mobile apps to connect with existing and potential customers in a more effective way. But the face of mobile apps has been changing continuously with emergence of new mobile devices and release of upgraded mobile operating systems. That is why; each business must know the features required to make its application popular and profitable in the longer run.

Features Changing the Face of Mobile Apps in 2015

Cross-Platform: The worldwide market share of mobile operating systems keeps changing at frequent intervals. So no modern app can become popular and profitable in the longer run by targeting the most popular mobile platform. Most enterprises nowadays develop and launch applications by targeting Android, iOS and Windows Phone. There are also several tools that make it easier for developers to create cross-platform mobile applications using commonly used web technologies and a single code base.

Responsive Design: To deliver richer user experience, each mobile app must run smoothly on smartphones, tablets and phablets. For instance, each iOS application is required to deliver quality user experience across different models of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Thus, developers have to adopt responsive design to make the app deliver similar and rich user experience across multiple devices. Some apps even deliver images and other content according to the screen size and resolution of the device to keep the users engaged.

Compatibility with Wearable Devices: Within a shorter amount of time, many companies have launched a wide variety of smart watches and other wearable devices. The users do not have any option to install apps directly on their wearable devices. But they can pair their wearable and handheld devices to access information and notifications anytime and anywhere. Thus, the mobile apps must be extended to wearable devices. The developers must allow users to access the same app on their handheld as well as wearable devices smoothly.

Responding to Voice Commands: The personal virtual assistants introduced by Apple, Google and Microsoft have completely changed the ways users interact with their mobile devices. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now enable users to get quick response and perform certain tasks through voice commands. So users will soon want to access and run apps through voice commands. The programmers need to take advantage of the personal virtual assistants, and make the apps respond to users’ voice commands.

Multitasking: Both iOS and Android now allow users to run two apps simultaneously on their tablets. The latest version of iOS allows users to run two apps side by side on iPad in either Split View or Slide Over mode. But most conventional apps do not support the multitasking features. The modern apps must support multitasking, and enable users to access two apps simultaneously without any hassle. The multitasking feature will have a huge impact on both existing and new mobile apps.

Mobile Commerce and Payment: A large percentage of modern users make mobile payments and carry out mobile commerce transactions. They also have option to use mobile payment solutions according to their mobile platform. Apple and Google frequently update their mobile payment solutions to enable users to make payment using a wide variety of cards. Recently Apple enhanced Apple Pay to make it easier for users to pay for goods and services using their credit cards or charge cards. So the modern apps must allow users to take avail their preferred mobile payment solutions without any hassle, and carry out financial transactions in the most secure way.

Interaction Tools: The users can interact with their mobile devices in a number of ways. In addition to using the built-in touch keypad, they also have option to interact with the mobile device through stylus or third-party keyboards. While announcing iPad Pro recently, Apple previewed Pencil and Smart Keyboard. The Smart Keyboard is designed with physical keys just like a laptop keyboard, whereas Apple Pencil can be used as a stylus. So the apps must respond to the stylus and keyboard efficiently to deliver richer user experience.

Social Media Integration: Like mobile apps, social media is also an important aspect of modern lifestyle. As a number of studies have highlighted, a large percentage of users nowadays access social networking platforms on their mobile devices. So while developing an app, the developers must integrate it with popular online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The integration will enable users to share content and images with their contact easily and quickly. At the same time, the social media integration will also help enterprises to spread and promote their business information.

Mini Ads: The massive popularity of mobile apps has made it easier for enterprises to promote their products or services by serving ads to the most relevant audience. But the way a business serves ads will have a direct impact on the application’s user experience. The businesses must serve mini yet informative apps to convey the required information to users without disturbing them. Also, the ads must be interactive to gather suggestion or feedback from the users. However, the developers have to create apps that deliver ads to users without affecting their current activity or creating any disturbance.

While planning for mobile app development, a business needs to focus on several factors. Along with checking the most recent versions of mobile operating systems and latest mobile devices, it also need to keep in mind the latest trends in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. A proper plan will help the enterprise to enhance the app’s look, feel, performance, and user experience according to the latest trends and practices.

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