Mobile technology has come a long way in the past few years. This age of faster digital information and sensory overload has encouraged tech functionality to become more and more essential. We're turning into a world that uses apps to solve our problems and as a solution for deep specialization and management for our digital lives.
In today's constantly evolving, app-saturated world, developers need to take note of trends and new technologies available to make their applications stand out from the noise. As mobile devices become smarter, faster and smaller, consumers will be expecting more and different things from their apps.
The following are some of the big trends and hot topics that will dominate the mobile space in 2013. Developers will need to take note of these and address the challenges and opportunities presented to make their apps a success and delight in the hands of future mobile users.
Wearable Tech is on the horizon
While there is a lot of attention being paid to getting apps onto bigger screens like tablets and televisions, there is another movement to get apps involved on smaller screens, designed to be worn rather than carried. The first crop of "real-world" wearable tech such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass hints at a near-future of more obscured technology. The future of wearable tech will see very simple headband-like devices that will be powered by the brain. People will be able to access and share information with minimal physical involvement. This will give some interesting challenges to developers when creating interfaces for these kinds of devices.
Opt-in/Opt-out Apps will expand
Today, many apps require access to certain data or functions on your mobile device, such as a user's "current location" to access the app. However, with many issues of privacy circulating around the tech and mobile industry, users want to be able to connect to these apps without infringing on their privacy or security. Developers will begin implanting various forms of artificial intelligence to create functionality within these apps without needing much, or any, private data and still give a great user experience. With AI, apps will be "intelligent" enough to circumvent the opt-in/opt-out issues by utilizing other available data.
Misuse of Big Data
Business is a lot about data and the future will be even more about data. Companies such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have access to hundreds of millions of users' data and do not always explain what they're doing with this information. In a world where data is sold, transferred and transformed, there is a huge potential for all this data to be misused. Companies and developers need to implement new algorithms and modules to better manage and protect their users' data. The issue over security and privacy is still a hot topic, and developers will need to make data privacy a priority to gain loyalty for their apps.
Apps that are more precise and customized will dominate
To stand out from the crowd in the app-universe, developers need to create smarter apps. These apps need to have increased precision and relevance, become more personal, enable the use of many more information sources and to link to other devices or apps, and allow more adaptive user experience. All of these more complicated features require the use of one or many AI technologies available.
This upcoming year, we will see a lot of changes happening in the mobile space: as devices will become smaller, apps will need to work around privacy and big data issues, and personalized technology will be more popular than ever. Developers will need to integrate new technologies such as AI to make sure the apps they are creating will remain relevant in today's over-saturated app market.
Lars Hard is CTO and founder of Expertmaker, a premier Artificial Intelligence (AI) software platform that would help transform search, discovery and recommendation, and enable broad deployment of intelligent solutions for companies and a free platform for developers. Last year, he was a featured speaker at Mobile World Congress, Droidcon UK and AndevCon.