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Top 16 Mobile App Development Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2018

There are some exciting emerging mobile app development trends for 2018

In 2017, businesses first realized that having a dedicated mobile app for their business is not an option or a luxury anymore. In fact, it has become an indispensable tool in your marketing arsenal for surviving and thriving in today’s mobile-dominated world. 2018 will be no different as we are promised to see the mobile app development landscape evolve even more. If you want to make 2018 a successful year as an app developer, here are seven mobile app development trends you should keep abreast of:


1. Rise of Instant Apps

Welcome to the world of Instant apps that alleviate you of the need to download or install apps before using them. Google is sure to lead the way with its Android Instant apps that let you access apps from anywhere without installing them. Not only are instant apps more convenient to use and save space on your mobile device, but they also ensure a smoother user experience, just like you would expect from a native app. In fact, Android Instant Apps are akin to native apps that function like a website. Best of all, they are compatible with older versions of Android operating systems as well. Do not be surprised to see other mobile operating systems jump on the Instant App wave in 2018.


2. Mobile Application Performance Management (MAPM) Creates Value

2018 is the year when mobile app developers start to leverage the full value chain of mobile apps and deliver services that help their clients drive both commercial and technical performance. For too long, the technical performance of the app has sat separately from the commercial performance, one being the domain of the developer, the other owned by the commercial team. As the app landscape continues to mature and evolve, app users will become ever less tolerant of poor UI or slow, crashy apps.

Never before has it been more important to deliver apps that are technically sound AND stable, while at the same time drive demand. In addition, apps will have to deliver right user experience to keep users fully engaged and using the app. Enter the latest acronym – mobile Application Performance Management. We see this technology expanding greatly in 2018 and giving developers the ability to manage the full life-cycle of their Mobile App Performance.

3. Use of Machine Learning and AI in App Development

In their quest to deliver a more personalized experience to every mobile app user, mobile apps are continuously learning about your likes and dislikes. With machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analysis in full swing, we might see apps that not only collect data but have a propensity to automatically adjust to deliver a more personalized user experience to every app user according to their preferences. Apps taking advantage of artificial intelligence are already flooding the market. Some notable examples include Prisma, Google Now and Siri. A new wave of AI ready apps is soon to take the app store by storm.


4. Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMP)

Google made its intentions clear with the launch of a mobile-first index, and they did not stop there. Google joined hands with Twitter to create Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a toned down version of HTML geared towards enhancing the speed of mobile pages. Since its launch, it has created a splash in the mobile app development industry as most mobile app developers and web developers are jumping on the wave. Thanks to faster load times, lower bounce rates, and a fluid user experience, 2018 is setting a new precedent. Google has already integrated this burgeoning technology with its mobile search.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

5. Mobile Blockchain

With the meteoric rise of blockchain powered cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it seemed like everyone wanted to get in on the blockchain bandwagon action towards the end of 2017. We don’t expect 2018 to be any different. One way we see mobile app developers looking at blockchain technologies is as an alternative to traditional mBaaS systems, especially to solve the unique challenges around HIPAA. The problem lies in determining if blockchain is right for an app, rather than a traditional SQL database. Then there’s the challenge of synchronizing transaction records among disparate mobile users.

Some see it as a way to solve problems on how to manage user authentication. What is clear though is that blockchain has huge momentum right now. There’s a lot of buzz and hype around blockchain right now but it’s clear that not everything is going to be as easy as it seems for blockchain development in 2018 unless you’re just looking to jump on the bandwagon by renaming your soft drink company.

Mobile Blockchain

6. VR and AR Apps

In 2017, we saw VR and AR extend beyond the entertainment industry and make an impact on other industries as well. 2018 will see the rise of VR and AR technology in mobile apps. While VR ready and AR ready mobile apps are bound to make a splash, we will see this technology make its way to older apps as well in 2018. Businesses are poised to leverage VR and AR to deliver an immersive user experience to customers. Mobile app developers will enable users to experience and feel the product before purchasing it.


7. Enterprise Apps and BYOD

Despite security being a major concern for mobile devices and mobile apps, we will continue to see the popularity of BYOD concept. 72% organizations are already investing in BYOD in some capacity. 2017 proved to be a massive year for BYOD devices and 2018 would be no different. The hybrid enterprise app development is projected to go main stream this year, as it reduces the cost of mobile app development and speeds up the overall process.

Enterprise Apps and BYOD

8. Lazy Loading

How many times have you come across an article that fails to load entirely because of high-quality images? We have all faced this situation. Thankfully, mobile app and user experience experts have resolved this issue by introducing a new method known as Lazy Loading. In lazy loading, images only load when a user scrolls down to an image. This reduces the bounce rate and increases the conversion rate. Incorporating lazy loading into your mobile apps will significantly enhance the user experience of your mobile app. Most app developers will use this tactic in 2018.


9. Chatbots Replacing Mobile Apps

Believe it or not, the popularity of the chatbot is relatively new and can be traced back to 2016. Between April and October of that year, Facebook, Samsung, Amazon, and Apple, among others, all launched a bot, created a messaging platform using bots or did BOTH. In 2017, the global conquest of chatbots continued, and they began springing up on just about every website. But chatbots weren’t just destined to sit in the browser. They began making their way to mobile and in 2018 you’ll start seeing them everywhere.

And it’s easy to see why It’s relatively easy for developers to code a chatbot, since they don’t have to worry about complex UI design and, for the same reason, users love bots because there is no complicated interface to learn. Beyond that, there’s no need to develop native mobile apps that need to be updated constantly for iOS and Android. What’s not to love about bots? Except when they achieve consciousness and turn against us. But we expect that to be a few years off.

Chatbots Replacing Mobile Apps

10. Cloud and Edge Computing Will Transform App Development

Google Drive, Dropbox and Office 365 have already proven how effective cloud apps can be. This trend will carry over 2018, as more and more app developers are jumping on the cloud bandwagon. So do not be surprised to see the number of cloud-based apps grow exponentially in 2018. According to Cisco VNI Global Mobile Forecast (2015-2020), cloud apps will drive 90% of total mobile data traffic by 2019 globally. More enterprises will switch to cloud-based apps as it helps them overcome major data security issues.

With IoT devices going mainstream, this will lead to the emergence of new technologies to utilize it effectively. One such topology is edge computing. Edge computing will transform the way IoT devices communicate and app developers will capitalize on the edge topology model to make data transfer between devices a breeze. Tech giants such as Cisco and HP have already invested millions in terms of hardware, software and services pertaining to Edge Computing., which clearly shows that Edge Computing is here to stay and not going away anytime soon.


11. Wearable Apps

Smart watches and other connected wearables have created an altogether new technology market. While many of these devices can provide standalone features they still require some support from mobile for instance before the Watch OS 4 the Apple Watch needed iPhone’s network for calling. Except for this, users prefer wearable devices to be synchronized with their mobile phones for easier access to data.

Wearable Apps

12. Mobile Payments

The blockchain is not the only way to revolutionize mobile payments. With the rise of eCommerce, there is also a complimentary rise in the number of mobile payment apps and mobile banking. Also, more and more mobile payment mechanisms emerging. Consider the recent initiative of scan and pay system leveraged by VISA cards and Samsung. Soon there will be mobile payment apps leveraging that and more.

Mobile Payments

13. Mobile App Security

The enterprise mobile security is the new zone of focus for mobile app developers. With the increase in popularity of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, there is a substantial risk of enterprise mobile apps being affected by personal devices of employees. Developers are taking more rigorous initiative to secure the app’s code from the ground up. There is also an increased awareness towards better use of authorizations and encryption.

Mobile App Security

14. Bots (Web Robot)

A bot, also known as a web robot is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet. They typically perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive. The most well-known examples of a bot are the software that Google uses to crawl the Internet to gather content that is used in their search results. They are also increasingly being used in to build chatbots, software that can communicate much as humans do, often to answer commonly asked questions and the like.

Bots enable companies to optimize their business processes, increasing productivity and decreasing costs. These same tasks extend to mobile applications as well. Bot-based mobile app development projects include customer service and support solutions.

Bots (Web Robot)

15. E-Commerce and M-Commerce

As more mobile applications incorporate the ability to process transactions and new payment technologies emerge, demand for ecommerce and m-commerce mobile app development will continue to increase. Existing mobile applications are integrating new payment technologies such as cryptocurrency wallets and new mobile banking functionality while entirely new mobile applications are being built around these technologies.

 E-Commerce and M-Commerce

16. Games

The integration of gaming technology into mobile apps has been around for a long time. However, new games and the underlying technologies change very rapidly. As a result, mobile app development for gaming will remain popular going into 2018.



Mobile app developers will have their hands full in 2018 as new trends continue to surface. They will need to keep pace with the emerging trends and tailor their app development methods according to the latest trends to create winning mobile apps. Be it Instant Apps, lazy loading, or accelerated mobile pages, we will see them change the app development industry by leaps and bounds. On the other hand, cloud-based apps and enterprise apps will reduce the security risk. VR and AR mobile app integration will make the user experience even more engaging for users.

What Are Your Trends?

OK, so we told you what our picks for some of the top mobile app trends for 2018 are but what about yours? Any of the big news stories or features that we missed out on?

Which mobile app development trend do you think looks promising enough to create the biggest splash in 2018? Feel free to share your opinion with us in the comments section below or reach out to us on social media to let us know!