Mobile usage and app downloads are on the rise. In response, developers are finding unique ways to utilize tech in our phones to solve real-world problems, record accurate data, and provide entertainment to millions.
On all financial fronts, the future of mobile apps looks rosy. Over 81% of all Americans own a smartphone, and the software as service (SaaS) industry is now valued at over $134 billion. Recent developments in 5G give people better connections, virtual reality provides an increasingly useful service for businesses and individuals, and advancements in wearable technology can offer us a deeper understanding of our health and wellbeing.
With all the buzz surrounding apps, it’s important to know where the industry is headed. So, what might the future of apps hold?
Health and Wellness
Technology gives us better health solutions and equips us with the tools we need to proactively manage our wellness. Apps can also help healthcare providers gain a better understanding of their patient’s conditions, as they can gather empirical data even when the patient isn’t in the doctor’s office. There are a few great ways that tech can boost our health and wellness — here’s a quick introduction.
Whether you’re a regular road-runner or a couch potato, there is an exercise app for you. There are dozens of intuitive apps that are designed to meet you at your level of fitness and motivate you to stay on track. Running apps can help you manage your pace, and gym apps can create entirely bespoke routines to match your goals.
Wearable apps have made it easier than ever for folks to record their own biometrics. Watches, straps, and base layers can take accurate recordings of your heartbeat, breathing rate, and sleep quality, which allows you to see exactly how healthy you are.
Improvements in biometric apps are also giving users deeper insights into the intensity of their exercise and recovery. For example, providers like Whoop can measure the gap between your heartbeats — this shows you how intense the exercise is — and can plan recovery days more accurately. Future developments will likely build on this tech and apps will become ever-present monitoring our health.
Sleep is an important part of our health, as our bodies use this downtime to recover and re-energize both physically and mentally. Sleep apps can help you drift off sooner and can measure your sleep to give you an accurate idea of your sleep cycles. Some apps contain bedtime stories read in calming tones, while others will be there to tell you exactly how much time you spent in high-quality, “REM” sleep.
Virtual reality apps give us a new way to interact with the real world around us. Architects can overlay precise 3-D models, gamers can interact with content in the real world (think Pokemon Go), and educators can use virtual reality to present information in visual, engaging ways.
It’s also possible that virtual reality apps will help us work in the coming years. Sports teams already use virtual reality to train new players, meaning it is likely employees with difficult tasks gain training through the medium of virtual reality. Even for those of us working desk jobs, virtual reality apps can give us new interfaces that help us manage data and find solutions more efficiently.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to make serious changes to almost all industries. AI programs can learn quickly and are usually programmed to help decision-making in fields like supply chain management and healthcare. This reduces risk in our everyday lives and helps users negotiate massive amounts of data. AI apps have also made headway in the education field, helping teachers navigate learning styles and challenges.
The personal benefits of AI in apps are not yet clear, but deep learning programs could make their way into individual use. In particular, AI may help us all understand and reduce our carbon footprint in the coming years. That’s because climate change is an issue with data sets that are too big to comprehend. AI can connect individuals to climate change by showing them the impact of their lifestyle and can help users reduce their personal emissions.
Millions of people use mobile apps to game. Old-school games like Tetris and Super Mario Bros work well on a mobile platform, as they require lower-spec technology to run effectively. However, advancements in smartphones also make it possible to play multiplayer games like PUBG and Clash of Clans.
In the coming years, mobile games will likely learn to utilize the specific advantages of smartphone gaming. In particular, look to see more games like Pokemon Go which takes advantage of players’ geographical location to drive gameplay.
The future of mobile apps is exciting. As smartphone technology advances, mobile apps can develop more advanced, intuitive software and interfaces for users. We can already store, analyse, and interact with massive amounts of data through our phones and a future powered by virtual reality and AI promises to increase that capability.