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Three mobile app development trends IT should track

Keep up with the latest advancements in mobile application development, such as AI and big data integration, and see which trends IT and developers are tracking in the enterprise.

Just like the trees through the four seasons, mobile application developers are used to change. This new season has brought three trends that are quickly becoming essential to keep track of for organizations both big and small.

One constant in mobile application development is that nothing is constant for long. Emerging technology has adapted to the modern mobile world and is geared toward advancing mobile app development at a rapid pace. The enterprise is looking for applications that can work across multiple platforms and still provide an excellent UI. Developers are now using artificial intelligence (AI) to produce and integrate big data, enhancing the user experience and application integration into workplaces previously untouched.

The driving force behind the latest mobile app development trends is user experience (UX). If employees cannot do their work on the application due to an incompatible user interface or continuous lags, productivity halts. The quicker IT and developers embrace these top mobile app development trends and implement them, the sooner organizations can get ahead of the game.

Trend 1: Multi-platform apps

If the app is built right, it only has to be built once.

One of the mobile app development trends that developers should keep an eye on is the increasing need for multi-platform applications. An important consideration for developers when creating multi-platform apps is where the app's data will be stored, because the available memory storage will be different depending on the device. Mobile application development platforms (MADPs) provide back-end integration and drag-and-drop code templates, eliminating the need for new coding per app. MADP apps are easy to make and work across multiple platforms. These apps should have a simplified UI, so that it remains unaltered on different devices or OSes.

Mobile app developers can use languages such as JavaScript, #C and HTML5 to create applications that play nice with everyone. Using cross-platform apps helps cut downtime and money for organizations. If the app is built right, it only has to be built once.

Trend 2: AI, big data and real-time data

The explosion of the internet of things has brought with it big data loads. AI technology helps break down the large quantities of data to produce real-time results such as traffic conditions, faster and more adaptive insights such as fraud detection, and boost productivity such as email categorizing.

AI technologies are welcomed guests at the business applications table and are learning to include deep neural networks, natural language and conversation capabilities. Mobile application development trends such as speech and image recognition, machine learning, and chatbots all take advantage of AI technology. Advancements such as IBM Watson Conversation API and Google Cloud Natural Language API give developers more access to such capabilities.

The problem with AI applications is they are not all ready for prime time. AI works by combing through extensive amounts of data, while trying to understand and extract what it's programmed to find. If an organization does not have the time or resources to devote to building AI applications, then that is not a mobile application development trend to embrace. Companies in marketing, customer service and financial services should consider the long-term benefits of harnessing this technology now, as its predictive analytics and increasingly limited margin of error continue to grow stronger.

Trend 3: UX/UI

The third and most prominent of the mobile app development trends is that of having an enhanced user experience and engaging user interface. If a developer creates an application to streamline an activity or to provide mobility for a specific part of work, it is vital that the user has a positive experience with the application. Every mobile app developer should first know exactly what the app is used for and how the users will interact with it. The application's main use, the technical level of the app and the application features all directly affect the UX.

The user interface should also be at the forefront of a mobile app developer's mind. If the UI is not adaptive to all types of devices, it will limit the application's usefulness, making it short-lived. Mobile app developers have to put the user first and create a UI that will work under multiple conditions, such as low lighting or limited connection. These ideas are how mobile app development trends become habits and how organizations stay ahead of the game.

Next Steps

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This was last published in October 2017

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