Android has always been ahead of the game in app development. This is hardly surprising, as Google remain at the cutting edge of emerging technology, and increasingly apply this to their smartphones and mobile applications. Indeed, with their smartphone market share of over 85% set to continue to grow over the coming decade, one could say that Google and Android have a mandate to lead the way in app development.
Android also dominate the market because they are quick to respond to what the public wants. Often they are able to anticipate customer needs and present a new product or feature a fraction ahead of demand. There are risks in being too forward-thinking however, and app development will be guided by public appetite over the next few years, not just by what is possible.
A case in point is the matter of personal health apps. Already millions of data points are created every day thanks to integrated phone apps and wearables designed to monitor our health and help us stay fit. In some cases this information is for our own use, but in others it is relayed to health professionals or our medical records. This allows for more personalized treatment plans, preventative care and data-driven decision making, but the sheer volume of information can become overwhelming.
While the future may see many more Android apps designed to help us take care of our health, developers may find that users back off as concerns around privacy and data continue to rise. Similarly, health professionals need to sift and analyze the huge amount of patient data they receive, and not all of it is relevant or valuable. Healthcare apps may not become as ubiquitous as they could be if users feel the data being generated is counter-productive.
The rise of betting apps
The last few years have seen a massive surge in gambling legalization across the world, as governments recognize the huge benefits that properly taxed and regulated gambling can have in terms of public funds. Online sports betting apps have also grown in popularity, often integrated with other services that provide up-to-date information on your sport of choice.
The future looks to see fierce competition among developers, as users increasingly turn to sites like bettingsites.info in order to find the best betting apps. Apps are rated according to such factors as ease of bet placement, live streaming options and mobile specific bonuses, all of which will become more essential as users demand greater flexibility and choice, and the decreasing frequency of desktop.
With near-unrivalled data gathering ability, Google are among the forerunners in AI development, and it is likely to be deployed in their smartphone apps to greater effect in the next few years. They will become more adaptive and adept at predicting what you want to do ahead of time, creating a customized experience for each user. Improved speech recognition will let you interact directly with the app, while in-app payments will speed up transactions.
A major growth area looks to be apps that integrate with the Internet of Things. Setting your washing machine, checking home security cameras and even checking how much milk you’ve got left in the fridge will all be possible via an app on your phone. Start cooking that casserole by using an app so that it’s ready to serve when you walk in the door.
Smaller is better
With the number of apps growing dramatically, we’ll likely see a trend towards smaller apps that can be used instantly and in many cases don’t need to be downloaded onto your phone at all. Others will download only what is needed and quietly uninstall once you’ve finished using them. This means that your memory won’t be used up by hundreds of apps, many of which you only use occasionally. Instead many will be hosted on the cloud, while others will take up so little space you’ll barely know they’re there.
Security and convenience
Harnessing the latest technology to meet customer demand, apps over the next few years will focus on greater convenience and enhanced security. Users are aware of the risks that come with downloading third-party apps, and will expect developers to stay several steps ahead of hackers and fraudsters in terms of security measures. Yet at the same time they will not want to use two-step verification every time they log in. Developers will need to balance these requirements to give maximum security alongside the best possible user experience.
No-one can predict exactly what new apps will be available in ten years’ time. Some of today’s favorites may fall by the wayside, made obsolete by more efficient alternatives. But new features and possibilities will doubtless appear, and Android users will be best placed to experience them