Change is coming fast in the mobile world. From developing new, immersive mobile experiences to responding to global economic trends, smartphone manufacturers and app developers are constantly innovating to meet users’ expectations. With that in mind, I wanted to talk to some of the most famous experts in our field to get their opinions on what we can expect from mobile in the near future.
Device Evolution: Delivering a next-level mobile experience
Before we delve into the latest and most exciting app developments, it’s worth looking at how mobile devices themselves have evolved. Leading smartphone manufacturers are at the forefront of advancing applications by optimizing devices so that they are able to facilitate the most advanced application experiences.
Charlene Fang, Managing Director of leading smartphone brand OPPO UK, said that the main focus of many brands will be to improve the battery life of smartphones. “For example, if a gamer uses an app for 6 hours a day without charging, they want the same experience after a few years of use,” she explained. “One example of innovation in this area is the Battery Health Engine (BHE) which provides faster, safer, longer-lasting battery charging performance, an area where we are seeing increased demand. Not only is this great for the consumer experience because it means they can continue to enjoy the same levels of use for the apps they love for longer periods of time, but it also means the batteries are more sustainable.”
Fang also expects demand for lithium-ion batteries to increase over the eight years, to the point where it will reach more than two terawatt hours in 2030. “Whether we start to see applications based on artificial intelligence or more applications that enable synchronization and compatibility between devices – the challenge is The challenge facing manufacturers in 2023 is to ensure the longevity of the batteries inside consumer devices.”
According to recent findings by data analytics and brand consulting firm Kantar Group, Android experienced stable growth in the third quarter of 2022 in all markets except Italy and mainland China, which was reportedly a result of Huawei’s stunted growth. Across Europe, Samsung’s Galaxy A series remains one of the most popular devices, while the flagship S series dominates the US market. As many know, Huawei had a disastrous year that the company blamed on a weak economy, as well as ongoing disruptions from the coronavirus and supply chain issues. Huawei’s rapid decline in Europe has helped other Chinese brands gain a much stronger foothold, notably Xiaomi and Oppo.
Attracting Diversity: Developing apps for all consumers
A big focus over the next year for many companies is looking at how they can make their apps more accessible to all customers. For telecoms giant BT Group, this means helping foster a closer relationship between designers and engineers to make new and existing apps more usable for disabled users. Developers are currently falling short in this area, said Roniz Nepomuceno, director of accessibility at BT Group. “You would think that all popular applications would offer, for example, support for both portrait and landscape mode, dynamic text, effective screen readers, improved navigation and improved color contrast. The truth is that there is more work to be done to make sure that Proper support is a common occurrence, whether it’s to improve screen readers for blind customers or make it easier to navigate content for those with dexterity problems.
App developers need to be proactive when it comes to global health trends, too, said James Sanders, principal analyst, cloud and infrastructure at CCS Insight, who noted the rise in people seeking mental health support after the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. Sanders believes that smartphones are important tools for providing mental health support and wellness advice to clients. “Given the challenges around accessibility to mental health care, and the use of wearable devices such as the Apple Watch to track physical activity and health, using smartphone apps to manage mental health is a natural next step in app-based healthcare. Leveraging existing data from physical health apps and sensors such as exercise, sleep, weight, and menstrual cycle with user inputs about their mood throughout the day and alcohol or tobacco use, smartphone apps can use analytics to identify external factors that influence your mood,” he said.
Inside the Verticals: Games, Shopping, and Social Media
What can we look for in terms of trends affecting specific sectors? Lexi Sydow, Head of Insights at data.ai, predicts more and more users are gravitating towards different social media habits, particularly sharing visual content. She said the data shows that users are “no longer satisfied with just communicating through text” as evidenced by the growing popularity of apps like BeReal, which encourages users to post pictures of what they’re doing within a set two-minute window each day.
In e-commerce, data from the Adjust analytics platform shows just how bright the future of these applications can be. The first half of 2022 saw e-commerce usage was 8% over the 2021 average and 6% higher than the first half of 2021. The revision noted that this indicates that mobile shopping is more than a temporary trend – it is a pillar essential. Furthermore, Adjust expected more shoppable ads on CTV in the future. Marketable CTV leads to a more impulsive purchase, as customers experience fewer purchase barriers and a shorter lead time. It is widely expected that e-commerce giants like Amazon will follow this trend and pave the way for smaller e-commerce companies in the process.
Next year also looks set to deliver the most immersive mobile gaming experience yet. There will be a sharp increase in the availability of AAA titles on devices as publishers benefit from the continued growth of mobile games, said Manit Khera, CEO of Backbone, which develops mobile game consoles for iPhone and Android. He said, “People are looking to play games on their mobile phones more than on their game consoles, and that is something we will see more of in 2023. Cloud gaming makes it possible to play HD games anytime, anywhere, on any device. This means that console owners can Now take their console experience beyond the confines of their living room or gaming setup and play Xbox, PlayStation, and PC games anywhere on their mobile device.”
Economy Bites: How Apps Will Help
The world also faces increasing economic challenges, with inflation being a particular concern for many. Lexi Sydow, of data.ai, warned that a looming recession would affect the app market in the coming months. It noted that while we are seeing an increase in downloads across sectors, there was also a decline in consumer spending in the third quarter of 2022. However, Seidu said that the decline in disposable income among consumers presents an opportunity for apps that offer affordable services. “In the US, Temu, an e-commerce site that provides more affordable wholesale prices to the retail market, has seen explosive growth with 1.37 million downloads, since its app was launched in September 2022,” she said.
Samsung has led the way in developing new services to help its customers deal with the cost of living crisis. For example, the brand has successfully launched the SmartThings Energy app to allow consumers to track their energy usage and set spending limits. Tej Dosanjh, Director of Content and Services, Samsung Europe, commented: “As the cost of living continues to be affected by rising food prices and rising gas and electricity bills, household budgets continue to shrink. With the onset of winter, consumers will be wary of turning on the heating. There is something for people to do. done to help mitigate that and take back some control – right from their smartphone app.”