The mobile app development market is evolving at a rapid speed. With the spread of the pandemic of 2020, certain apps have become extremely popular like video conferencing apps, on-demand service apps, etc. 

To compete in the market, you need to keep up with trends. In this article, we will talk about the trends and the cost of mobile app development with a forecast for 2021.

In general, trends can be divided into two big categories. First, there are global (long-term) trends that concern IT giants and are designed for a mass audience. Second, short-term trends, categories that are growing and likely need to be implemented in the next 1-2 years. 

AR and VR

In 2021, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will be one of the main trends for mobile app development. Why is it so? Simply because the consumers love it. Today, AR and VR are increasingly used in gaming, hi-tech shop displays, healthcare, entertainment, and more. Suppose you want to design a room. The engineers can produce various models in a matter of seconds. Google is about to introduce a new AR feature for Google Maps. People can get directions from the camera phone in real-time.

According to Statista, the market size for AR and VR technology will rise close to 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

Does this number tell anything to you about app development? Surely, you don’t want to miss augmented reality app development.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Today smart homes, savvy health insurance plans are no more from the realm of science fiction but we see them in real life every day. We witness an increase in demand for IoT gadgets and systems which, naturally, will result in the increase of IoT apps.

According to Statista, the IoT market has seen a sharp increase from 2020 to 2021, with the expected market value reaching $1.6 Trillion by 2025. We will see an increase in cloud platforms and a reduction in the cost of sensors.

In short, we are living in a digital age. Today, everything is connected to the web that creates data to be utilized and exploited using IoT-powered mobile apps.

Mobile wallets

This is the right time to invest some money to develop mobile wallet apps. Why? The answer is the evolving e-commerce. The convenient e-wallets allow users to make payments simply by scanning a QR code or entering the number of the payee. The transaction is done directly from your account to the payee’s account. Of course, this is much easier for the users as the transactions have become super simple and efficient.

According to the Payments Industry Intelligent report, by 2022, the forecast value for mobile payment apps will reach nearly $14 trillion. The mobile-savvy nations are China, Norway, United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia. Take a look at some of the stats.

Smart clothes

In the age of the internet, even clothes are getting “smart.” For the first time, people got serious about it when Google and Levi’s introduced a ”smart” jacket. The jacket has a small “smart” sensor unit on the sleeve, designed to control your Smartphone.

Today we witness smart sneakers, clothes that keep track of your health by monitoring body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, as well as water and body fat levels. Another trend is sports and fitness. For example, Babolat has released the POP Tennis Sensor wristband which collects data on a sportsman’s moves. Some sensors are built in the racket itself like the one developed by Sony.

In short, smart clothes are another sector to invest in. It will definitely become a trend in 2021 since the consumer market is promising. The only thing that prevents smart clothes from becoming a popular trend at the moment is their high cost. However, new apps will allow producing such wearables at a lower cost in the coming years, as experts predict. Smart clothes will soon become popular consumer goods and we see the seeds already in 2021.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Computers continue to play a greater role in ordinary consumers’ lives. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will continue to be a trend in 2021 and apps developed with AI and ML devices will be popular again. A perfect example would be chatbots. They save a lot of time and resources for businesses and are a convenient and faster way of communication for consumers. 

In addition, businesses can easily learn about user likes and dislikes, their behavior patterns. This feedback-based approach has been integrated into app development thanks to AI and ML technologies, and no wonder successful apps take this trend into account.

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What to consider when creating a mobile application?

It’s not a secret that thousands of apps fail every day. Why is it so? What is the secret behind successful apps? What should be considered when creating a mobile application?

Experience and location of the outsourcing development team

Your development team is the key to your success. Today, there are thousands of development teams all over the world. How can you choose the right one? Simply research the company with its portfolio. Successful teams normally have successful apps behind their back. Research the path of the app that the development company has produced.

Another thing is the location of the outsourcing company. There are a lot of development teams that are from various Asian countries that can work at a lower budget. Do not be misled. A lower budget does not always mean lower quality. There are a lot of talents among these teams that can provide quality that can compete in the market. 

Read the Geography of Software Development Outsourcing for guidance.

The complexity of the mobile application

The complexity of your mobile application depends on your budget, of course. However, when you are creating an app, money should not be the first factor. More important are consumer preferences. So, when developing an app, research is the first and most important stage. A feedback-based approach is the best to evaluate your idea. And speaking about the idea, let’s turn to another factor that you should consider when developing an app.

The idea comes the first

Simple ideas are the best. But how do you come up with the idea? There is a possibility that you are an expert in an industry and already have a super functioning idea. But even if you are not a specialist in a field, you can still come up with working plans.

In that case, you have to study the field before you go to the outsourcing companies. Research and interviews are vital at this stage. You can talk to those who already have an understanding of the field. Do not overlook this. Your app totally depends on this stage.

OS for a mobile application

One last thing to consider is the operating system. It’s not a secret that the market is dominated by Android and iOS. To know the difference between the two, read the article Android and iOS: All Pros and Cons.

As you will see, the choice will depend on several factors, like:

  • Location of the application release
  • Targeted audience
  • Number of platforms
  • User views

How to evaluate mobile application development?

When thinking about the evaluation of mobile application development, don’t think only money-wise. Your app may cost you money, but the revenue it generates may justify the budget. A more important question is ‘what is the value of the app’. Here are some questions to consider when you estimate the value of your app.

Financials

If you’re just starting from scratch, it can be difficult to develop financials for your mobile app. You can start by researching your competitors to gain an understanding of cost structure, revenue generation, and the business model for your app. From there, begging building out complete and verifiable financial records that can help you answer questions like:

  • How old is your business? 
  • What has your revenue been for the last 1-3 years? 1-2 months?
  • Can you replicate the cost structure of other applications?
  • How stable is the financial structure for the app?
  • What is your customer acquisition cost? How does it relate to your customer lifetime value?

Growth

Mobile app growth can be volatile, especially if you’re entering a space that is trending. For example, things like healthcare, fitness, and video conferencing are incredibly hot app categories right now. While they will likely be relevant long-term, the number of applications will likely surge and saturate the market. So how do you measure and verify that you can grow? Try answering these questions:

  • How has download and search traffic been trending for this app category?
  • Is the market demand evergreen or trending? 
  • How is your app different from competitors? If a trending category, how will you grow long-term?
  • What metrics are you tracking? (Downloads, daily log-ins, open rate, etc.)
  • How many active users do you currently have? What does your monthly user count 

Operations

You’ll need to determine how your app will function, what team members will be necessary, and even showcase the quality of your code. Here are some questions you’ll want to be able to answer:

  • How much is the owner involved in the app development process?
  • What technical roles are necessary to keep the app running? 
  • What does your update and maintenance schedule look like?
  • How well documented is your code? Are you following industry best practices?

Answer these questions one by one for your app, and you will come up with a justifiable budget and roadmap for your app development. As always, you should add these questions and categories in your business plan to develop a holistic picture.

Before diving into app development, do the research

So the question is: ”How to develop a successful mobile app for a reasonable price?” You need to know what to expect from the app and how much money is justifiable to invest. Go ahead, and assess the value of the app and take into account all the trends for 2021. Your idea may turn into something unexpectedly successful if it is supported by research, feedback, an experienced development team, and thorough analysis.

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AvatarAnahit Ghazaryan

I am a technology writer and product manager at Addevice, a mobile app development company. I am pleased to be able to share my knowledge with people who are looking for valuable information to learn more about application development motivates me and inspires me to create better content.