Categories: Business / Developers / Mobile Apps

It’s been another big year in the mobile app world. Mobile has consolidated its supremacy, becoming our go-to for shopping, entertainment and communication. We’ve also seen AR and VR start to take hold as more than just novelties.

So what’s next? Let’s take a look at some of the mobile app trends 2018 is likely to send our way.

Wear your mobile app on your sleeve with wearables

Wearables are on trend for 2018.

Wearables are on trend for 2018.

The third series of the Apple Watch brings cellular with it, reducing its reliance on iPhone connectivity. It’s also more responsive – and packs a solid battery life. Together, these features will see Watch shift from a gadget accessory to a handy tool delivering real functionality. And it’s not alone. There are dozens of similar devices now hitting the market in the lifestyle, fitness and luxury markets. Watches reign supreme, but we’re also seeing wearables like high-tech clothing – and of course VR and AR headsets.

Seeing is believing with VR and AR

Speaking of those headsets, all signs point to VR and AR picking up steam in 2018. They’ve been gaining ground with storied products like the Oculus Rift and cult apps like Pokemon Go! and even IKEA’s shopping app. And with integration of the ARToolket into Apple’s SDK and Google’s launch of ARCore, we’re going to see AR and VR skyrocket in the app space. 2018 is also set to launch Magic Leap, the Microsoft Hololens and LG’s SteamVR headset, meaning that more virtual worlds await.

Apps get smart with the rise of AI

Personalization continues to be a major trend in designing apps with sticking power. And increasingly it’s an experience underpinned by smart systems and deep learning. Expect 2018 to bring us smarter chatbots and more tailored suggestions as apps leverage the brain power of AI. On the other end of things, marketers can also use AI-enabled martech tools to create targeted, effective campaigns.

Pay with your wallet, not your cards

Credit cards will be passe in 2018.

Credit cards will be passe in 2018.

As Apple Pay and Google Wallet become more mainstream, we’re moving away from cards and towards their digital alternatives. We’re also seeing merchant apps themselves handle payments – rather than letting the POS systems at a retailer do so. About 10% of Starbucks sales currently go through its mobile app, and Walmart Pay has potential to become a major player in payments. Digital wallets streamline the shopping experience, support personalization and offer opportunities to deliver value-added services. In 2018 we’ll see them cross over more thoroughly into the “real” world.

Apps will step up their security game

2017 was unquestionably the year of the data breach. From Equifax to Yahoo!, our newspapers were full of problems around hacking, leaks and poor disclosure. And with 2018 being the inauguration of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, security and data compliance are going to be well and truly on the radar. This will have consequences for how data is collected and shared – and how such permissions are granted.

As mobile consolidates its place in our world devs have plenty to plan for and anticipate. With quickly evolving technology, growing expectations and increased scrutiny, the mobile space is challenging as ever – and as exciting.

Touchtap is a digital agency specializing in mobile-first development.We can build your mobile app for you.

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