Your users are mobile.

Many of them don’t even have desktops anymore.

Some of them are even phasing out notebooks in favor of mobile tablets.

And these aren’t just consumers sitting at Starbucks. These are your B2B partners, your prospects, your competition. Everyone is moving – or being dragged – toward mobile technologies these days.

Where does your business stand?

As investments in mobile technology continue to climb rapidly through 2017 and beyond, many companies are feeling the crunch … crunch from lack of expertise, lack of resources, and lack of time.

But you need to follow your users onto those mobile platforms, too. So you need to find a way.

Even better is when you can lead your industry there and become a market leader.

To do that, you’ll need to build more than a mobile-friendly version of your website. You’ll need to push the envelope a bit. You’ll need to wow your customers and users and make them want to use your app.

So with that in mind, here are seven “hot trends” we’re seeing right now in mobile applications. These are trends you’ll want to consider when designing your own mobile app:

1. Integration with web and social media

The distinctions between apps, websites, and even social media are blurring. At one time, each of these entities presented a different face for your business. But more and more, those entities are merging into one comprehensive front. This is partly due to technology streamlining the gaps between the platforms, and partly because users are looking for more social-type interactions on every platform. Get ahead of this trend by designing useful social connectivity that follows a user no matter what platform they’re working on.

2. Artificial intelligence

Mobile apps are already using artificial intelligence tools – like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and IBM’s Watson – to provide better answers to customer queries.

The next step will be not answering user needs, but anticipating them. As mobile apps start learning from user activities and patterns, new features will allow you to suggest valuable advice, products, and services. And since these suggestions will be not only timely, but also personalized, the results can lead to new levels of efficiency, satisfaction, and even sales.

3. Virtual and augmented reality

Pokemon GO may have shown what can be done with this exciting new technology in the gaming space, but consumer and b2b applications won’t be far behind. Early adaptors could win big here with some innovative thinking. And it’s so new that a well-thought strategy can literally push a brand into a market leadership position.

4. Creative brand expansion

As discussed in How A Custom App Can Make Your Product Better, the trend of expanding the products and services with mobile application features is still in its infancy. Hardware devices with apps for remote operations and monitoring can open up not only new benefits, but new markets as well.

Mobile surveys, social interactions, and push notifications will create new opportunities for interacting with brands.

5. Wearables

Smart watches and fitness monitors were just the beginning. These devices need to continue pushing the envelope with new features and functionality to broaden their appeal. At the same time, brand new devices will call for new forms of mobile integrations as well.

Innovators will find ways to incorporate these wearables into their marketing plans (or design their own). Huge markets could be made accessible by partnering their products and services with wearable technologies in new and interesting ways.

6. Automation

Improving profits is a trend that never goes out of style.

Every day companies are discovering new ways to use mobile applications to automate their processes. As mobile technology is integrated more and more into your business, the opportunities to reduce costs and improve efficiencies through mobile automation will grow.

Replacing other computer technologies with cheaper tablets (or even existing smartphones) can be a huge cost saver in terms of both capital and productivity. Remote operations can save in transportation costs. The ways in which mobile applications can automate your business are seemingly endless. And the results can be game-changers for your business.

7. Agile Coaching

Many companies want to develop mobile applications in-house because their engineers are eager for something new. But they don’t have the time to train them, get them started, and push them up the learning curve quick enough to meet the demands of the market.

If your company has some mobile app development experience, but needs help with the process and/or producing results, then Agile coaching may be the answer. Agile coaching is one of the hot new trends on today’s mobile development scene.

In an Agile coaching model, an expert mobile team like Ascendle sets up your project and gets your production sprints going. Your team works with us and we teach them every step of the way. Once they’re up to speed on the process, we hand over the reins and they’re ready to roll.

You get a mobile product launch without the training delays and stumbles of a less experienced team. Your development team gets on-the-job training with Agile processes and mobile best practices. It’s a win-win that many companies are opting for as they look for the best mobile development solutions.

If your company doesn’t have the mobile app experience, then the best course is to hire a third party like Ascendle to build your app. This is less risky and gets you to market much quicker. Afterwards, when we hand the project off to your development team, is where Agile coaching can begin. Now, in the context of a working app, we can teach your team how to follow Agile methods and prepare them for future launches. You’ll still need to develop the technical expertise, of course, but with strong processes in place, that transition becomes much easier.

Harnessing Mobile Application Trends

So there are seven of the hot trends we see for mobile applications in 2017 and beyond. If you want to learn more about harnessing these trends for your own company, we’re excited to help. Just call us today for a free consultation.

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