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Mobile Application Development Trends to Watch Out In 2018

Umesh .A Bhat Hacker Noon profile picture

@xeraconUmesh .A Bhat

2017 has been a remarkable year for mobile applications. Mobile apps are no longer an optional investment, they are a necessity. Mobile is the best way to meet customer demands and increase sales.

Mobile app development is one of the most actively growing sectors thanks to the number of free apps downloaded in 2017 (more than 254 billion). The mobile application market has a variety of apps such as gaming, utility, home workout, social media and Google apps.

Businesses use these mobile apps for

  • Product and service branding,
  • direct marketing of the business,
  • Increasing customer engagement, etc.

Nowadays, SMB’s are also joining the trend of getting their own apps developed for similar purposes.

We are laying down the various mobile app development trends that will take place in the year 2018 and how they will shape up the future of this segment for the years to come!

1. Android Instant Apps

Android instant apps are native apps that work as websites and appeal to users easily with the convenience of their use.

  • No installation is required, and instant apps will remove the difference between an app and a website.
  • With a click, businesses can allow users to take advantages of their app within their website.
  • Without installing the app, you can access it from anyplace.
  • Android instant apps are easy to share.
  • With no need for app downloads, the users need not worry about their device storage.

*Note: The Android instant apps are compatible with all the Android versions (Jellybean to Current)

2. Cloud-based Apps

The world is literally living in the cloud and when it comes to mobile app development trend for 2018, integrating your application with the cloud technology is a must-have.

As per Cisco VNI Global Mobile Forecast for the year 2019, cloud apps will drive 90% of total mobile data traffic globally.


  • A streamlined operation
  • reduced hosting and hardware costs
  • the storage capacity of apps and smart devices
  • increased collaboration and productivity
  • Efficiency of storing and sharing data

The mobile app development market is driven by cloud-based apps and even the app developers are familiar with this fact.

Mobile cloud traffic will increase in 11 times with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60%.

The development of cloud technology has made it easier to manage the data without impacting your smartphone’s internal memory. Dropbox, Google Drive, and various other cloud apps have been around here for a while. 2018 will see more development towards this segment.

3. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Apps

If VR redefines the world, AR is the game changer. We saw Pokémon Go successfully do that.

In case of AR and VR, experts predict that the overall revenue will be $150 billion by the year 2020.

Augmented Reality (AR)

  • Businesses can provide a detailed visualization of their products and services to the clients
  • The real-time relevance and importance of the product can be explained to the clients
  • Employees can be trained in a more efficient and realistic manner

Virtual Reality (VR):

  • Where the business cannot reach, their virtual showrooms can
  • Promotions of product is made easy using technology and visual content
  • Helps businesses brand and market themselves quickly
  • The 3D vision of the product and service helps user understand the actual use and features of a product

The Future

Amazon Go is already leveraging these technologies for disrupting the retail industry. Enterprise Augmented Reality will target industries such as:

  • Retail,
  • Healthcare,
  • Engineering and
  • Real Estate

Virtual Reality technologies will focus more on gaming and events segment. In 2018 and further years to come both the segments will dominate many more sectors than just games.

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

Normal users are really moving towards the dream of living in a smart home inside smart cities.

Commercial honchos are curious to implement industrial IoT, automotive industry, smart health, and smart retail is growing.

  • IoT apps will gradually start their ascension and 2018 should be the year for them to make a mark in industries such as healthcare to education and from smart homes to smart offices.
  • Taking off as a full-fledged technological industry will take some more time for IoT but the technology will have its screen time.
  • Apple watch is the living example that this industry has a lot of scope.
  • Google too released Android Things for promoting IoT adoption.
  • With the increase in demands of other IoT devices and apps, the developers will have to become more innovative in meeting the diverse needs of the users.

As per the predictions of seasoned analysts the IoT industry will grow to $661.74 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 33.3% when compared to $157.05 billion in the year 2016.

This impacts the mobile app trends in 2018 in a major way as smartphone users will require working apps for running their IoT devices.

5. Blockchain

Blockchain is gathering tremendous attention in comparison to any other technology in recent times.

It’s a shared, unalterable ledger that helps in recording a company’s information which gets listed as blocks be it their transaction history or bitcoins.

These informational blocks cannot be altered without altering all the subsequent blocks and without the knowledge of the network it is built on.

Infosys says that a third of banks will adopt a more commercialized blockchain in 2018.

The dictators of the data industry are somewhat cautious about the blockchain technology because there is very little chance of any data tampering.

According to a study conducted by IBM, nine in ten government firms are planning to invest in blockchain for financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance purposes.

Smartphones are becoming mobile data storage carriers, only waiting for better security measures. And in the year 2018, blockchain-based security measures will get implemented on mobile apps

6. AI in App Development

Be it IoT or smart apps or Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), every business that deals in the technology sector will employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to all of its processes.

As per the report from International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2020, the AI market will experience a revenue growth of more than $47 billion.

In the year 2018, the concept of machine learning and artificial intelligence will experience the much-needed evolution.

Complex patterns of huge datasets will be easily recognized using machine learning and based on this, apps will be able to create insights.

In the medical domain, machine learning will help doctors plan treatments and provide timely diagnosis such as the information of the drug, dosage etc.

7. Beacons and Location-Based Services

  • Apple’s iBeacon and Google beacon are already popular in the integrated location-based service.
  • In the future starting from 2018, the use of Wifi will no longer be limited to the service industry, retail outlets, and healthcare.
  • Apps with Wifi support will rise based on various requirements.

8. Additional Security

Since the dawn of smartphone technology, there has always been a continuous demand for security.

Smartphones are managing confidential and sophisticated user data, and this will continue in 2018 but what this trend requires more is the security measures that must be applied to keep this data secure.

Network World predicts that “70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018“.

  • An HP study reveals that 70.6% of apps have access to the external storage of your smartphones and 94.7% of apps include logging methods that get stored in your phones cache.
  • In 2018, developers will be thinking a lot about developing apps with built-in security features.


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