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Top 6 Mobile App Trends for 2017

Updated on March 29, 2017
Casey Fairweather profile image

Casey is a tech enthusiast and aspiring game designer, with a particular focus on mobile.

During the last couple years, mobile has made a huge splash. Yet, there are plenty of businesses that are still hesitating to invest money into mobile strategies. For most of them, the high price of mobile apps is the main stumbling block. But in 2017 there are plenty of ways to build an app at an affordable price. Here are six main trends that would shape the way mobile app field would change.

Small Business Apps

While previous years were named Years of Mobile, 2017 should be the Year of Small Business Apps. With plenty of app building platforms out there, affordable apps become available for any business. And these apps still have the same functions and design as those costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is, small businesses can now compete with each other and with larger companies.

Handheld devices and wearables are ubiquitous.
Handheld devices and wearables are ubiquitous. | Source

Geofencing goes mainstream

If you don't live under the rock, you have probably heard about geofencing by now. If not, here is a quick glimpse.
Can you imagine walking into a certain shop and getting an offer via the store’s application that literally sees you walk through the door? This is the most typical example of location-based mobile messages enabled by geofencing. Marketers love it. This feature was first introduced during the trade shows. The main idea is to target customers the moment when the purchase is most likely – while they are in a store – and through coupons and special offers make them buy more. In 2017, IT experts will work on these personalized location-based ads to make them even more effective.
Moreover, many social media (Facebook, for instance) try to implement their own versions of Snapchat's geofilters that are triggered by geofencing as well. This is also an opportunity that marketers will not miss.
By the way, you can also use geofencing for family monitoring and more and more parents plant beacons on their little ones to see if they are safely home from school on their mobile screen.

Internet of Things brings more and more apps

More and more devices today are connected to the Internet – all the smartphones, tablets and wearables (like smart watches and fitness wristbands) contribute to the overall concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Most of them are GPS-trackable, which also plays well with the aforementioned geofencing trend.
However, for most of us, the "IoT" conjures the vision of a smart house, familiar since Branbury's early stories. There are appliances and garage doors, printers and lights – people can upgrade anything in their life with an app. This fact would definitely cause a significant mobile boom this year.
The downside of this trend is the rise of ransomware and other harmful programs that target smart houses.

IoT explained simply

Apps learn more about users

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have advanced tremendously over the last few years. And according to calculations, by the year of 2020, about 85% of customer interactions will go on without human participation. Machine learning had improved over the years from the simplest form – when online store was able to track things you have purchased to use them for your future recommendations. Today, the store’s software can learn your individual customer likes and preferences. There are plenty of other machine learning examples in mobile apps. In short time apps would be able to recommend you saving strategies, determine strengths and weaknesses.

Each app collects a plethora of data that can be used to study you.
Each app collects a plethora of data that can be used to study you. | Source

Augmented Reality goes further

In 2016, augmented reality game Pokemon Go based on popular TV series has conquered the world making everyone run around their cities and ruining the line between the virtual reality and our physical world. The greatest thing about virtual reality is the fact that once you put your headset on, it transforms the world around you by injecting new objects into your field of vision.

In Pokemon Go, they simply added imaginable creatures into the reality, and after the booming success of the game developers kept on implementing the augmented reality into other games. But in 2017 augmented reality is expected to enter the field of business apps – it would bring presentation process for new products, ideas or simply data visualization to a whole new level.

Pokemon GO made AR immensely popular.
Pokemon GO made AR immensely popular. | Source

More apps, more games

The mobile app market is going to grow 270% by the year 2020 with games taking up to 55% of it. Game designers are advised to "think Lego" which I believe is an echo of a huge Minecraft boom the recent years saw. Basically, games in 2017 are going to be what you make them to be: some basic tools, rules, plus your creativity. Such games are going to be addictive with upgrade options to keep you interested, hence the revenue boost predicted for the upcoming year.

Share Your Thoughts!

In your opinion, what is the most significant mobile trend for 2017?

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Bottom line

Every year mobile seems to go further than expected, and 2017 promises the great changes in the field as well. Therefore, in case your business still has not entered the mobile, it is high time to invest in mobile development strategy or make some improvements to the existing one.


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    • Annes Black profile image

      Annes Black 10 months ago from New York City

      I voted 'big data'. It is the defining trend AND the most disturbing. We do not really know who has access to all that information we provide willingly, allegedly 'for better user experience'.