Learn all about the biggest and most important trends affecting the mobile app development world in 2017.

The mobile app development world is in a constant state of motion.

With striking new innovations hitting app stores every year and the way people consume apps constantly evolving, blink and you could miss major changes.

As experienced mobile app developers, it is our opinion at Apps4U that the best way of making sure you don’t miss important developments in the world of apps is to monitor and keep track of the latest and greatest trends affecting the industry.

For businesses using or considering developing an app, here are the most important mobile app development trends of 2017:

Mobile App Use Is Rising

Mobile phone usage continues to rise.

In 2017, global phone ownership hit record figures, totalling five billion unique network subscribers — a growth of a billion users in just four years.

But it isn’t just the volume of phone usage that is increasing. The amount of time spent using them is rising, too.

In 2013, the average daily phone use statistics indicated an average of 2 hours 15 minutes. In 2017, that figure has risen by an hour, with a consistent rise suggesting it will continue to grow into 2018.

What’s even more interesting is that, as mobile phone usage rises, the use of the usual favourite form of entertainment, television, falls. Estimates suggest that by the end of the year, TV will be average at 3 hours 50 minutes of watch time per day, down from 4 hours 30 minutes, with mobile phones up to 3 hours 23 minutes.

These figures suggest that, in 2017, mobile phones are fast becoming more popular amongst the general population than television. Mobile internet usage in 2017 has also overtaken desktop, claiming the majority share — over 52%.

What does this mean for businesses considering mobile app development? It means your market is growing — and growing fast.

Business App Downloads On the Rise

As mobile app usage increases so too do the number of downloads from app stores.

This makes sense, of course. You would expect the number of app downloads to correlate with the number of smartphones that actually exist. However, things are a little more complicated than that.

The type of apps that are downloaded is also changing.

Previously, gaming apps were kings of the app store, dominating downloads. But in 2017, we’ve seen a shift in the type of apps being downloaded. Entertainment apps still rule the roost, yet their figures are tumbling.

As their figures fall, other apps rise up. Downloads of lifestyle and eCommerce apps, the kind your business app would likely be categorised under, increased by over 80% throughout 2016, with the growth continuing into 2017.

Business apps are in much higher demand, as people seek to streamline their shopping and service acquisition experience. With the demand there, now is the time for small businesses to be investing in mobile app development.

Contact the Apps4U team today to find out how you can do exactly that!

Consumer Engagement up 300% on Mobile Apps

People love mobile apps far more than they like a mobile website.

85% of mobile phone users say they prefer an app to a mobile website, which correlates with statistics suggesting 85% of their time is spent on apps when using their mobile phone.  

The reasoning behind users’ love for apps is their accessibility and ease of use. The data backs this up: conversions on apps are, on average, between 100%-300% higher than a mobile website.

Mobile app design conversion rates

The argument is that the features and functionality of an app make them more appealing and, when combined with in-built shopping experiences and customised browsing options, results in a better sales platform that consumers are much more likely to engage with.

Android Apps Are Becoming More Valuable

Previously, there was a fact generally accepted by much of the app development community: iOS rules the roost in terms of value and revenue.

It’s no secret that Android has the biggest cut of the app market, 85% compared to Apple’s 11%. Yet, in terms of app revenue, iOS applications always came out on top, trouncing Android developers by thousands year after year — making, on average, 500% more profit than their Android cousins.

But, in 2017, things are looking very different.

Android apps are becoming a lot more valuable, increasing to levels of previous iOS value. While the revenue of iOS apps has also increased, it has done so at a much slower rate, meaning the gap between Apple and Android has shrunk immensely. Gone are the days where the value of Apple means producing an Android app is far less effective.

Times are changing on the app stores. For the first time ever, 2017 is set to see the Google Play Store take in more money than iTunes and the Apple App Store.

Whether you work on iOS, Android, or both, it doesn’t really matter all that much though. Overall revenue from apps is predicted to rise in 2017, meaning everyone, no matter what platform you are on, is set to see a bigger paycheck this year.

That is if you’ve already developed a mobile app.

More Small Businesses Are Developing Apps

Survival in the small business world is all about beating, or at least keeping up with, your competition. Being left behind and losing your competitive edge could be disastrous.

In previous years, most small businesses were without mobile apps, but things are set to change in 2017. The latest trend of mobile app development has to lead to predictions of a large jump in app ownership by the end of the year.

Currently, figures for SMEs that have developed apps stand at around 46% of the total pool of companies. By the time 2018 rolls around, that figure will be up to nearly 70%.

If you’re one of the 30% or so businesses not develop an app in 2017, you risk not only missing out on the benefits of creating an app for your small business but also falling behind your competition.

Worried you might lose your competitive edge without an app? Fear not! Mobile app development needn’t be an expensive pipe dream.

At Apps4U, we can build you an affordable small business app, complete with all the features and functions you need to beat the competition.