Apps spent more than $78 billion to attract users in 2021. This is 40% more than last year due to the growth of 50% Android and 26% iOS. The reason is the ATT in iOS 14.5, which led to the turbulence of the entire ecosystem: from mobile marketers through media sources and advertising networks to mobile attribution providers.
The 2020 pandemic has made its own adjustments to technological progress, and at the moment there are clearly noticeable changes in the trends in the development of mobile applications. In 2021, the situation with quarantine restrictions has somewhat weakened, but already now we can assume which areas will be relevant at the beginning of 2022 – what developers should pay attention to and what the future of mobile development is.
One of the most recent trends that are gradually covering the whole world is the development of multi-purpose, multitasking applications for smartphones. Previously, applications were created each to solve a specific task – only communication, exclusively logistics, a certain type of services, etc. Even if you take a specific area, such as medicine, the programs were made separately for fitness, diets, lifestyle, proper nutrition, etc.
Currently, software products of the "super" class are gaining popularity. Such a super application alone is capable of performing a whole range of versatile tasks at once. The popularity of multi-purpose applications is due to the desire to create an environment that maximally covers all user needs. For example, what will a person choose – one program that solves 10 diverse tasks, or 10 applications, one for each task? Of course, it is more convenient to have a multifunctional product at hand. There is such an interesting comparison regarding American apps and Chinese WeChat:
This trend comes from Asian countries. As an example of the most successful and currently popular super applications, the following can be distinguished.
1. WeChat (combines the functions of communication via messenger, access to social networks, and payments via mobile).
2. Gojek – with this super application, you can order food at home, solve logistics issues, call transport online, pay for a certain set of services or use daily services. The application is developed and enjoys great success in Indonesia.
3. Alipay is a payment service from Alibaba, which provides users with the ability to pay for a variety of services, goods, banking services, and mobile communications. Payment is offered both by bank cards and transfers from accounts and by scanning a QR code. The latter method is much more popular since not everyone has bank cards.
4. Natural.AI - an American application where you can make purchases, order food, pay bills, etc.
In the period 2022-2023, the wave of super-applications will spread to other countries – in particular, many companies in the USA are already working on creating such multifunctional programs. First of all, this trend will affect communications and payments. Mass development of such products will make a real breakthrough in the App industry.
AI is gradually conquering the world, conquering individual spheres of human life. The introduction of artificial intelligence is already taking place in security systems, information retrieval programs, household appliances, and other technologies. It is already difficult to surprise someone with a smart home system or voice search for information on the web, and artificial intelligence was the basis of these technologies.
To date, this is the most promising direction in the development of not only mobile applications, but also computer programs for home and production equipment. Mass robotization will lead to the fact that very soon the phone will become our best friend, with whom you can talk, run programs by voice, manage and configure functionality, practically without touching the display.
Voice assistants will also be modified. This direction dates back to 2016, and today users have already been offered several promising projects by Google Now, Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and others. But in general, they are able to solve only simple tasks– such as finding the specified information on the network or changing the phone settings. In the near future, it is planned to create more powerful programs based on artificial intelligence that would be able to solve complex problems based on the political, economic, and social situation in a particular country and the world. The new assistant, which the developers are so eager to create, will be able to assess whether it is worth investing in real estate at the moment, will be able to advise which specialist to contact, where to go in the evening, which educational institution to choose for your child, and so on. The main advantages of the proposed assistant, which programmers are striving to create already in 2022, are as follows.
1. Broad personalization. The more personalized the assistant is, the more the user gets the impression that it works exclusively in his interests. Such assistants will determine the person talking to them, his identity, personal data, social status, and other indicators in order to fulfill requests as accurately as possible.
2. Emotional state analyzer. The voice assistant at the peak of its development is a reasonable artificial intelligence that can read the mood and emotional state of the user based on his speech, which will allow better recognition of intentions and more accurately perform tasks.
3. Interaction with a minimum number of stages. Information from the assistant can be obtained faster, the number of stages that must be completed for this will be reduced.
Artificial intelligence is the future, and active developments are underway in this area, which does not bypass the creation of mobile applications. Therefore, we can safely expect that very soon 2022 will present new projects using AI.
Video communication tools
Communication using video communication programs during quarantine and self-isolation has become the only possible option for interaction not only between family members and friends, but also colleagues, company management, and clients.
Working remotely made us think about the quality of existing video communication applications and plan their modernization or the creation of completely new technologies. Despite the fact that the pandemic is gradually receding and many can go to work in the office, working at home has become almost a habit – many employees prefer to work in a comfortable apartment rather than in a noisy office.
Based on this, the development of programs for video calls is now in trend – this is a popular direction in almost all countries of the world, and most likely, the trends will continue when the pandemic ceases to threaten humanity. Moreover, the remote mode did not negatively affect the efficiency of work – the indicators of most companies even increased during this difficult period.
So the development of new applications, even more, convenient and high-quality technologies for video communication has good prospects in 2021-2022. Moreover, this is not only communication at work, with friends, colleagues, or relatives, medical services via video communication and shopping are beginning to gain popularity. Even in the absence of a direct threat to health, many will prefer to communicate with a doctor via video rather than visit hospitals and stand in queues.
As for shopping by video, this is a fairly new and unusual direction in which developments are already actively underway. This includes online streaming, online shopping, and direct communication between sellers and buyers via video communication.
Application of 3D graphics for mobile applications
3D graphic elements will not surprise anyone anymore, this technology has long been used in a variety of design fields. The new trend assigns 3D graphics a slightly different role – not decorative, but functional. The creation of such "useful" graphics will soon become possible directly with the help of smartphones and tablets, opening up a huge field for activities and the creation of complex graphic objects.
Now, 3D graphics are designed to improve functionality, increase efficiency, and only in the background – to please the eye and attract visually.
From a commercial, advertising point of view, 3D graphics will also add advantages, since with this tool you can provide a complete overview of the product from all sides, which is a winning approach in online shopping.
Virtual or augmented reality is getting closer. If at the moment it is mainly used by the gaming sphere, science, medicine, then in the near future this promising direction will cover other spheres of human activity. Mobile platforms continue to develop applications using augmented reality technology, many well-known companies are investing in AR technologies – the same Apple, for example. The creation and modernization of AR glasses have captured the minds of many developers around the world, so this direction will continue to develop steadily and actively.
Visualization with benefits
Visualization is always associated with some visual representations, interesting and colorful visual effects. But the purpose of a truly useful visualization is not high decorative, but the best way to transmit information flows. With the right approach to it, even the driest and most boring information can be made rich, lively, and interesting. The most important thing that visualization gives is an emotional response, the formation of your own ideas in the brain. Visual presentation of data excites the imagination and evokes emotions that allow you to better recognize, understand and master the presented amount of information.
At the moment, the use of visualization helps in training, commercial areas, and many other industries, including medicine. With its help, it is easy to understand how the budget is spent, how complex mechanisms work, how signals are transmitted at a distance, what happens to the body under the influence of various stimuli and diseases. Visualization allows you to explain complex processes in simple language of images – physical, chemical, economic, mental, biological. This is how valuable information is assimilated using images.
In commerce, visualization is used to work with the needs of consumers. Its use allows you to better penetrate the target audience and influence it in order to sell a certain product. Visual effects have long gained popularity in the world of mobile applications – gaming activities, educational, commercial, and other materials cannot do without a high-quality visual representation, so this is one of the promising areas that will definitely be used in development in 2022 and 2023
Colors for a functional experience
Colors will be used in mobile design not only for aesthetics. They will mean more and be used as part of a functional experience.
Using different color schemes, designers will be able to guide the user through the application or separate different functions and actions. In addition, designers will continue to use colors for visual feedback and hints – this trend in the design of mobile applications will not go away.
It's no secret that successful apps are interactive and always dictate trends. Interactivity increases the retention rate of the application as users become more involved in it.
Micro-interactions will remain a trend in the design of modern mobile applications. They give users visual feedback on the app and create a positive user experience.
Sounds in the mobile app
The application can interact with the user not only through visual feedback. Sound effects, even small and tiny ones, will have a big impact on the user, which will increase the retention rate. We are confident that sound will be more widely used in mobile applications.
The hamburger menu will no longer be in our apps. We will have more creative navigation - hidden menus. It appears only when you touch a certain area of the screen or use a certain gesture. The Chrome app already uses hidden navigation.
All the above-mentioned technologies already consist in the development of mobile applications, therefore, their further strengthening and development is planned for 2022. However, do not forget that technological progress does not stand still, and it is quite possible that by the beginning of next year completely new technological developments will appear.
Modular scrolling will be a trend for apps with a large amount of content. This allows you to read individual columns or rows of information, so the interface is more intuitive. Another option is infinite scrolling. You are familiar with it if you use the Instagram app.
Parallax scrolling has its own charm and gives the user a sense of dynamism. It will definitely remain in the mobile app design trend of 2022.
When creating UX, designers usually consider ideal users who follow a given path in the application. But what if the user strays from this path? Here there is a need to map failures in order to guarantee even an imperfect user gets a positive user experience. The display of failures takes into account non-ideal user actions in the application.