10 Mobile App Development Trends to Prepare for in 2023

Propelrr Contributor

July 28, 2022

Your competitors are likely exploring the technologies and trends mentioned in this article.

Another year presents another opportunity for growth in mobile app development and businesses adopt these technologies strategically.

As developers continue to build on top of technologies developed in 2021 until 2022, we can expect that it will continue to shift consumer behaviors and market trends. For one, there is more widespread use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) among brands for creating engaging online shopping experiences.

Other exciting new technologies you should be noting are, of course, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML); all with 5G powering it. Altogether, this means businesses have access to more accurate and agile data processing and analysis. Through the automation provided by AI and ML, solving complex problems, decision-making, task completion becomes swifter while reducing human error.

But while these technologies provide boons for businesses, there is also a bane that follows it. This would pertain to customers that, knowing these exist, will be conditioned to expect and demand more from businesses.

The outlook is that customers will look to brands to provide the best experiences, or else, lose the business they bring in. Other benefits include:

  • Giving you a competitive edge in your niche
  • Offering better customer service
  • Helping you more effectively utilize your social media channels
  • Allowing you to connect with customers faster and easier
  • Improving customer loyalty, providing unique features and services
  • Creating another outlet for customer feedback

If you want to stay relevant in today’s competitive digital marketplace, you absolutely need to pay attention to what is currently happening in the field of mobile app development. The last thing you want is to get left behind, but no need to worry here. We’ve got you covered! The following article will look at the ten essential app development trends you must know for 2022-2023.

Mobile app development trends for 2022 to 2023

1. 5G 

With lower latency, faster speeds and faster data transfer, it’s no wonder 5G is fast on its way to becoming the mobile technology standard in 2022. 

Chart, bar chart

Description automatically generated

SMARTPHONE USAGE. Global 5G smartphone shipments in 2019, first quarter of 2020, and first quarter of 2021, by leading vendors (in million units). Photo by Statista

660 million smartphones worldwide are expected to be 5G-enabled by the end of this year, accounting for 47.5% of all devices. ​​As a result, the mass adoption of 5G will lead to higher quality apps. This will stimulate growth in the field of mobile app development by increasing the output coming from both consumers and developers alike.  

The fifth generation of mobile connectivity:

  • Improves app functionality, allowing developers to add more features without negatively impacting the app’s performance
  • Makes integrating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) easier and faster
  • Increases the speed and security of mobile payments 
  • Enhances mobile streaming 

2. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and its subset, machine learning, increase the speed at which apps are developed while reducing human error. 

AI-powered solutions make mobile apps more intelligent, increasing their performance while improving user experience. It predicts patterns to deliver more personalized experiences, automate repetitive tasks, monitor various metrics, improve customer communication, and more. 

To give a recent and resonant use-case, we look to the East; at the various ways countries in Asia acted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AI and big data were used for contact tracing and to enforce quarantine regulations in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. As a result, this new integration of AI helped to flatten the curve of COVID-19 among these countries. 

Though you may not be using it for that purpose, businesses dealing in softwares as a service (SaaS) or softwares as a product (SaaP) can be smart about using AI, too. 

AI can greatly enhance your SaaS or SaaP mobile apps with a range of features, including:

  • Face, speech, text, image and emotion recognition
  • Predictive analysis to personalize recommendations
  • Photo animation
  • Search and navigation improvements
  • New immersive experiences
  • Online payment fraud detection

As many of the largest companies have integrated, or have begun to integrate, AI and ML into their business models, it’s clear that the use of these technologies will continue to grow as time moves forward. With these advancements in technology, automation will continue to expand, saving companies time, money, and energy, and giving them a sharp competitive advantage over the businesses that are still relying on traditional manual procedures. If you want more power in your industry, this is a good place to start. 

3. Augmented and virtual reality

AR and VR are expected to play a bigger part in mobile apps in the coming year asboth offer an immersive experience that is second to none. This is especially true for gaming, entertainment, live streaming, and travel and tourism. 

The AV/VR market is expected to grow to $160 billion by 2023, a significant increase from the 2020 figure of $12 billion.

Chart, bar chart

Description automatically generated

AR ON THE RISE. This graph shows the number of mobile augmented reality (AR) active users worldwide from 2019 to 2024 (in billions). Data from Statista

In the world of ecommerce, AR and VR personalize user experience by allowing customers to “see” how products fit into their lifestyles. Today, mobile apps utilize AR/VR to encourage users to try out: 

  • Furniture and rugs
  • Paint colors
  • Clothing
  • Hair colors and styles
  • Makeup 
  • Eyeglasses 

If your company is considering integrating AR/VR technologies into their business model, there are a few things you may want to consider before jumping onto this trend. These new technologies are both exciting and cutting edge, so it makes sense to want to begin getting involved early. 

But as with any new technologies, you have to research, and make sure your company can truly benefit from AR/VR before putting money, time and effort in this space.

4. M-Commerce

Mobile commerce (m-commerce) apps address the growing number of mobile users who shop directly via apps instead of through web pages. 

79% of smartphone users worldwide used their mobile device to make online purchases in 2021. It is expected that by the end of 2022, nearly 73% of all e-commerce will have been m-commerce.

Mobile retail apps have been shown to:

  • Increase customer engagement
  • Improve conversion rates 
  • Grow revenue

Mobile e-commerce app use is predicted to grow substantially in 2022. Retailers wishing to remain competitive should begin developing their mobile commerce apps immediately. 

5. Beacons

Introduced in 2013, beacon technology is becoming increasingly popular today in app development for proximity marketing. 

What are beacons?

When Bluetooth beacons — small, wireless devices that transmit signals — are installed in retail settings, they connect to the app installed on nearby users’ smartphones.

Beacons help to gather and traverse customer data, as well as to help execute campaigns. When applied in retail, this technology can be used to contact customers who have the Bluetooth setting authorized and the right retail apps downloaded on their phones. Customers are then given in-app advertisements for recommended products, and they can also be encouraged to purchase through the use of coupons and rewards sent directly to their phones.

Beacons that register proximity know exactly where a customer is located in a store. Because of this, the app can advertise about ‘aisle specific’ products, make different purchase recommendations, and notify the customer of specific sales/discounts accordingly.

The beacon market is growing at an annual rate of almost 60%, and the market value is predicted to reach $56.6 billion by 2026.

Chart, bar chart

Description automatically generated

VALUE OF BEACONS. The photo shows beacons technology market value worldwide in 2016 and 2026 (in million U.S. dollars). Data courtesy of Statista

Beacons personalize the shopping experience for users, while allowing the retailer to better understand buyers’ shopping patterns. To review, beacons can:

  • Notify app holders of a current sale or special offer as they pass a beacon. 
  • Help retailers track customers’ behaviors in their stores.
  • Facilitate point-of-sale mobile payments, increasing convenience and customer loyalty.

Shopper data is key to understanding how to better connect with your customers. As retail stores continue to advance, they may just be able to understand the customer better than the customer understands themselves. 

By providing the shopper with an array of opportunities and choices through effective advertising and persuasion, a high-quality app may encourage a potential buyer to purchase more than they planned to. Hopefully, the buyer can also feel good about doing so as well! 

Beacons can be the technology that helps to facilitate this progress.

6. Wearables

The substantial growth in the wearable device industry during the last few years shows no signs of easing any time soon. Want to stay ahead of the competition? Start developing a mobile app that provides an exceptional user experience on wearables such as smartwatches, smart rings, fitness trackers, smart clothing and even implantables. 

The number of connected wearable devices grew from 325 million in 2016 to 722 million in 2019, and the number is predicted to reach over 1 billion by the end of 2022.

Integrating mobile apps with wearables offers the ability to:

  • Receive and view messages and notifications quickly
  • Track one’s personal health metrics or diagnose one’s patients
  • Improve customer service by collecting buyers’ behavior histories
  • Transmit information to workers on production lines and in the field 
  • Communicate potential risks to first responders in a timely manner
  • Alert workers of fatigue that can compromise their safety on the job

Wearables are presenting so many opportunities for app companies; particularly from the health industry. In the near future, these devices will carry sweat sensors, which will give wearables the ability to test their user’s electrolyte and glucose levels. In addition to this, they will be able to detect signs of stress in the user’s physical and mental health. 

These wearables will also develop payment capabilities. Marketers can take advantage of this by leveraging beacon technology (as addressed above) to send users specific discounts and offers based on their current locations. 

Get ahead in your industry, and start brainstorming about how you can take advantage of these wearables in the frame of app development. As the popularity of these devices continue to increase, so will the possibilities for innovation. Be a pioneer, and start exploring these capabilities. 

7. Instant apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) or instant apps are like mobile web pages with app functionalities. While not requiring installation on a user’s device, the instant app’s function is available to the user as needed. 

Instant apps are less dependent on the Internet, save space on devices, allow users to avoid the app store, load more quickly than traditional apps and are updated automatically. They are currently available only for Android devices. 

Graphical user interface, diagram, application, Teams

Description automatically generated

INSTANT APPS. An example of how using an instant app differs from a traditional app. Photo by Addevice

Instant apps help businesses:

  • Stand out from the competition
  • Increase consumer engagement
  • Achieve higher conversion rates
  • Grow their sales and revenues

8. Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things or IoT is not new, but the market is steadily increasing. Smart home technology is among the most popular applications of IoT app integration. 

Consumers enjoy the convenience of remotely adjusting their home thermostats, locking/unlocking their front doors and accessing their home security systems via a mobile app. IoT home-control products like Echo allow users to operate smart electronic devices through a voice assistant or an app.  

Spending on IoT technology worldwide is predicted to grow from $749 billion in 2020 to $1.1 trillion by 2023.

IoT-enabled mobile app development is anticipated to grow in these markets:

  • Household devices
  • Smart devices
  • Automobiles
  • Health care 
  • Factories
  • Automation 

So how does this tie back to digital marketing? Here are three examples.

IoT is an excellent way to advertise, considering that many of the products in the future may be connected to the internet via an app. For example, your dishwasher may send you a promotion for an organic soap. This evolution in technology will influence mobile strategy. Digital marketers will need to expand their marketing approach to consider many of the devices, products and industries/markets listed above.

Being able to personalize is an excellent advantage of IoT. The data collected from customers’ items can help marketers obtain important information needed to create higher quality customer experiences. For example, someone who avidly uses their fitness watch may receive exclusive deals for fitness products or local gym programs in their area.

Speedy service is another advantage of IoT. As technology begins to advance, consider a smart house. If there is a machine in need of a battery update, the owner may be notified by the device, and an order may be automatically or manually sent out for a new battery. Consider a smart refrigerator recognizing when your butter is low, and putting out a new order for you. Pretty cool!

IoT has so many possibilities for the digital world. This is a great time to get ahead of the curve and discover where IoT can fit in your industry.

9. On-demand apps

Mobile apps that allow users to hire services on demand, such as ride-sharing, accommodation rental, video streaming or food/grocery delivery apps, make our lives easier. On-demand apps help businesses expand their customer bases. 

A picture containing text

Description automatically generated

YOUR FAVORITE APPS. This photo shows some good examples of on-demand apps. Data courtesy of GBKSoft

86.5 million Americans are using on-demand apps, and the on-demand service app market is predicted to hit $335 billion by 2025.

In addition to the uses mentioned above, opportunities for on-demand apps exist in these areas:

  • Health care
  • Fitness
  • Pet care
  • Laundry
  • House cleaning
  • Plumbers/mechanics
  • Barbers/beauty salons
  • Pharmacy delivery

Digital marketers can take advantage of this technology by giving users the ability to order goods and services via their on-demand apps. To do this, you need to create an easy-to-use app that serves as the bridge between a consumer and the supplier/service. Two very successful examples of this are Postmates and Uber.

10. Apps for foldable devices

Businesses that build or offer apps ignore foldables at their own peril. Flip phones dominated early mobile phone sales and while not seen much recently, foldable phones are back. 

These are not your parents’ flip phones — today’s  foldables are much more versatile. They now require seamless adjustment of the  app display when the phone is folded and unfolded.

Foldable phone shipments worldwide are anticipated to reach 50.1 million units in 2022, up from 3.2 million in 2019.

Market share of leading search engines from January 2010 to December 2021

  • A larger screen for a more immersive streaming or gaming experience 
  • A larger screen that offers space for more information and controls
  • Multiple windows that provide the ability to multitask

By the year 2031, the Future Market Insights research group predicts sales of foldable phones to be $65 Billion. They are, and will continue to be a disrupting force in the mobile market, so it is important for digital marketers to take advantage of this now.

So how can you do this? The most important thing is understanding how to build an app to be compatible with these types of devices.

You need to build your app to consider both unfolded and folded screens. The unfolded screen should lay out the main display, and the foldable screen should present a cover display. The folded screen should feature the app information in a micro-mode style. This is a better layout because the information is broken up into smaller pieces. 

Likewise, an unfolded screen should have the content laid out in full length.

When creating an app for foldable devices, it’s essential to have a healthy screen ratio because the device shifts screen size between being unfolded and folded. The unfolded ratio should be set for landscape viewing, whereas the folded ratio should be a very high and long screen size.

Get ahead of the market now, and make sure that your apps are foldable friendly!

Key takeaways

The mobile app industry is growing and continually evolving. With millions of apps available, how do you ensure that yours stands out and provides what consumers want? The answer is very clear, and hopefully this article has provided you with a guiding light. 

Staying competitive in today’s mobile-centric environment requires that you keep the 2022-2023 trends in mind when creating a new app or refining an existing one. Integrating the relevant top trends into your mobile app development process is the best way to help your company succeed. Take 2022-2023 by the horns, and make this year a great one!

About the Author

propelrr contributor aaron wittersheimAaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency. He has helped startups, middle-market firms and Fortune 500 companies improve organizational structure and grow through his expertise in process conception, task automation, technology and internal project management.