22 Business Owners Forecast the Future of Mobile Apps


1. Do businesses still need to launch their app in the future?

2. What’s the future of Google’s Play Store and the Apple App store?

4. If you launched an app, what were some of the hurdles you needed to overcome?

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In a world where it feels like everyone has a smartphone, mobile applications have taken a leading role in how customers access business products and services. Starting in 2016, mobile app downloads have increased globally, with 230 billion mobile apps downloaded in 2019. This marks a 63% increase from 140.7 billion downloads in 2016 and the number is only projected to rise.

While no one can predict what the future of mobile apps looks like, business owners have a unique take on how apps have informed - and will continue to inform - their business models and vice versa. We interviewed a handful of savvy business owners to get their take on what they believe lies ahead in the trajectory of mobile app development. We’re excited to share some of the responses we received below!

1. Do businesses still need to launch their app in the future?

A majority of the business owners we interviewed allude to the inevitability of mobile apps growing in both numbers and functionality. According to them, the accessibility and convenience that mobile apps provide cannot be denied.

Jordon Scrinko is the Founder and Marketing Director at Precondo and has over 8 years of experience in business, marketing, and investment. Regarding mobile apps, he says:

Every business should have an app for their company. It enhances the progress of the company. An app can attract an audience from around the world, and making the app easy and faster to use will help your audience understand your business and the policies of your company. In this world of technology, apps do have a bright future

Adam Garcia, owner of The Stock Dork, tells us about the ever-increasing popularity of mobile wallets, specifically for the gaming and food delivery industries:

Payment gateways and app wallets have become increasingly important in today's world. As a result, mobile applications built today must adhere to economic principles that require such behaviors.

Like Garcia, Rameez Usmani, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at WebHostingAdvices, brings our attention to the technology behind mobile apps and the ease with which users can navigate an app using this technology:

“Cloud technology will be the foundation of mobile app development in 2022. Many of the things we do on applications now, such as booking a cab or ordering meals, rely on cloud technology. The cloud has made site hosting more affordable, load efficient, and accessible.”

However, Kyle MacDonald, Director of Operations at Force by Mojio begs to disagree about the necessity of mobile apps for businesses, saying:

While I do think all businesses need to have a website, not all businesses need to have an app. Certain businesses simply don't have any reasons to need an app, and creating/maintaining one would thus be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Adam Hempenstall, founder and CEO at Better Proposals, also emphasizes the importance of market research when it comes to determining whether you’d like to move forward with an app:

Launching an app depends on the type of business you’re running. Not everything needs to be an app. I guess this would be better answered by your audience. Get to know them and understand whether they would like an app better than your current solution.

2. What’s the future of Google’s Play Store and the Apple App store?

Google Play Store and the Apple App Store undeniably claim a lion’s share of all the app stores worldwide and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon. According to the following business owners, the future of these stores is bright and only growing.

Gerrid Smith is the Director of E-commerce and Co-founder of Joy Organics. His former company, Black Fin, was featured on the 2017* INC 5000 list* at #821 and specializes in high-end digital marketing strategies. Regarding the beginnings of the Apple App Store, Smith writes:

“...when Apple launched the App Store, 500 apps were available. Since then, the mobile and corporate app marketplaces have flourished. Increasingly, businesses of all types rely on subscription commerce organizations to carry out crucial procedures and expedite mundane chores. The number of mobile app downloads could surpass 258 billion in the near future. 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone, a number that will increase as smartphone usage becomes increasingly essential.”

Burak Ozdemir, web developer and small business owner from Turkey, has over 10 years of experience in the IT industry and has worked on a wide range of projects for both small businesses and large corporations. Ozdemir poses an important question regarding the ever-growing mobile app market:

It is no secret that the mobile app market is becoming increasingly saturated. With millions of apps available on the App Store and Google Play combined, businesses find it harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. So, what does this mean for the future of mobile apps?

Here to expound on the future of mobile apps as it relates to Google Play and Apple’s App Store is Maksym Babych, CEO at SpdLoad, an MVP development company for startups. A MBA PhD candidate, Babych is well-versed in all things regarding mobile apps. He says:

“Google is always gathering new resources to gather information about apps, help people find and use the ecosystem at work, and raise questions about Android's overall security. Google Play helps developers create and use quality apps for business, reaching more than 2 million Android devices worldwide and leveraging the best user experience.

The future of the App store:

  • Apple will continue to require apps to use its IAP system for any relevant purchases that occur within the apps themselves.
  • Most apps will also have to offer IAP at the same time as any external methods.
  • App Review will be extremely rigid, inconsistent, capricious, petty and punitive with their enforcement.
  • Apple will not require price comparisons between IAP and external purchases.

The ease and flexibility of selecting services in a few clicks is what makes these apps so popular with consumers. The associated benefits have prompted many companies to consider investing in this niche.”

3. What are consumer demands regarding apps?

How many times have you downloaded an app, only to find it to be incredibly slow and glitchy? Or perhaps there are too many functions and you find yourself in a haze of option paralysis or just plain confused.

App reviews are one factor to consider when choosing what apps to download, but they hardly give the whole picture and can oftentimes be biased. When considering what consumers want from apps, the business owners we interviewed know that ease of use, speed, quick responsiveness, and a simple interface are a few factors that draw users in.

Users also want a “human” element to apps, as in, knowing more about the brains behind the app or feeling like they’re having a conversation with the app. Amjad Naushad, CEO at Elkanio Research Labs, tells us:

Having a mobile app is advisable if the app functionality includes a lot of visualization and interaction from the end-user.

On the other hand, all the financial apps, e-commerce apps, and tools requiring minimal touches from end-users will get replaced. They will get replaced by a conversational interface similar to WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. These days, customer interactions with financial institutions have already migrated to conversational interfaces…Down the line, many industries will follow this path, and conversational customer engagement will emerge.

CEO at Gadget Review, Christen Costa, believes it’s important to regard the developers behind the app and it’s easy to see why with his background in Project Management and Business Consulting. He tells us how apps can beautifully demonstrate the work both the business and developers have done in order to create the final product:

I think app-launches will continue to be a part of business' development for the next couple decades. App launches are a fantastic opportunity to finesse your brand in a way that is meaningful for you. App launches also act as a way to boost company morale, as it is an exciting way to express what your team has been working so hard for!

Morshed Alam, a software developer with over 10 years of IT industry experience and Founder & Editor at Savvy Programmer, has this to say:

...mobile apps are great for businesses because they allow customers to connect with your company in a very personal way. Customers can use your app to access information about your company, stay up-to-date on your latest products and services, and even make purchases. This helps build customer loyalty and increase sales.

Upcoming Trends for 2022

Many of these business owners spoke enthusiastically about the trends they see forthcoming for mobile app development.

Founder & CEO of VPNCheck as well as Speedcheck, Dr. Frederik Lipfert, has a special interest in the intersection of analytics and technology. He spoke specifically to The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data:

IoT and BigData are the next game-changers, and they are being discussed practically everywhere right now. The industry of mobile app development is no exception. It is projected to be the next big thing in the world of mobile applications. Mobile connectivity can be expanded to a worldwide scale, and IoT can simplify processes by making them more abrupt.

Developers should begin including it as an essential feature, as future investors will value such aspects highly. Numerous services are also connected to achieve a shared goal.

Speaking of IoT and Big Data, another growing trend among mobile apps is the employment of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Frederic Linfjärd, Director of Growth Marketing at Planday and strong advocate of experimentation and augmentation, remarks:

AI interference can be integrated with the help of critical elements such as IoT and Big Data. It is critical to identify the aspects of your product where AI may help your business. The food industry has also begun to incorporate AI into its mobile applications. This is done to assist consumers in making suitable selections. When the system generates a massive volume of statistics, AI comes in handy. It is now up to the app creator to choose how AI objectives are acquired in mobile applications. According to current trends, a common AI system can run efficiently on a variety of platforms.

In addition to AI, the future is looking towards Augmented Reality (AR) as well. Shivbhadrasinh Gohil, co-founder and CMO of Meetanshi, has a strong background in Digital Marketing as well as Marketing and Content Strategy. He says AR:

...provides a more immersive experience to the customers and propels them down the sales channel.

Tim Parker is the Director of Marketing at Syntax Integration, where he has been for over 29 years. He forecasts that mobile apps will be increasingly flexible to accommodate screens - not to mention challenges - of all sizes:

Were you a fan of flip phones in the past? Then you must be interested in foldable cellphones. Samsung's foldable OLED display is poised to upset the smartphone market and open the way for a slew of novel smartphone experiences. Developing apps that fully utilize the capabilities of these foldable phones will put you ahead of the competition. The software should be responsive and capable of expanding when the screen becomes larger. On the larger screen, you can also have it launch new tabs or menus. In short, foldable screens can provide new opportunities for mobile app developers.

4. If you launched an app, what were some of the hurdles you needed to overcome?

Launching an app entails numerous factors that a business owner must consider around development, app performance, as well as maintenance costs. The business owners we interviewed spoke lucidly about these considerations.

Apps must be innovative and clear on the unique value they add to app stores. The truth is most apps are ignored or never downloaded in the increasingly saturated app store world. With his background in manufacturing, software, and engineering, Adam Rossi, CEO of TotalShield, knows that customers crave a singular app, not something that is derivative:

One of the main things customers want from apps is a rich experience. They want something that isn't available elsewhere and something that is valuable to them. The needs of users should always be kept in mind during the app creation process-- especially when it comes to providing genuine value to users.

In addition, marketing strategy is key when it comes to reaching the masses. Before marketing, however, one must consider the performance and functionality of the app itself. VP of Operations at Essenvia, Daivat Dholaki, knows a thing or two about running processes and procedures smoothly. He tells us:

Performance issues are a major reason that many users will uninstall an app after downloading it. If you're going to spend the time and money to develop an app, make sure that you're including all of the latest trends, designs, and performance boosters to help your app stand out from the crowd. If you can't afford to invest that much into developing an app, then perhaps you should consider foregoing the app altogether. If your app isn't going to stand out and become a favorite among consumers, then there's a good chance that it will end up costing you more money than it's worth.

Once again we hear from Babych, who remarks on some of the challenges around launching an app:

Teamwork and collaboration (leads to delays), continuous development of tools and SDKs (a challenge for developers), hidden costs, complexity of application design, and cross-platform app development (not enough resources).

Additionally, one must consider security risks associated with app usage. Michael Hess, eCommerce Strategy Lead at Code Signing Store, knows the importance of helping users certify their software through trusted certificate authorities. He tells us to heed security precautions:

When it comes to mobile wallet development, one of the key issues is the security of funds and transactions. Because social separation has been the new norm since the pandemic, contactless payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Pay fix the problem. In the future, security and payment convenience will drive innovation in this industry, allowing it to emerge as a significant mobile application trend.

According to some business owners, a successful app should have a variety of in-app options but not so much that the user might get overwhelmed. Rahul Vij, CEO and Managing Director of WebSpero Solutions, tells us about some of the quandaries he encountered when launching his business’ app:

...a few of the problems we faced were stuffing just the right amount of features in the app because too many features slow down the speed of loading pages and break the application. In contrast, fewer features bring the feeling that something is missing.

The other hurdle that we faced was it took time to generate organic traffic on the app. After much analysis and reviewing, we changed our SEO techniques, which helped us bring a niche audience to the app and have a wider reach.

CEO at Projector1, Robert Welch, adds onto this sentiment. As someone who’s been in the smart TV industry for 8 years, Welch knows the importance of giving the app user options. He says:

The customer pays special attention to choices in the application. The more the options, the more they feel sorted. Hence, keeping everything in one place in a simple manner does the job. If they have to download the app just for one option available, they might want to skip it. Hence, customers like varieties in an app.

Keeping an eye on metrics and planning for marketing costs is another essential component of running an app. President and CEO of Core Media Concepts, Will Manuel, has 21 years as a web strategist focusing on web development, SEO and internet marketing experience. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting:

The biggest hurdle outside of securing the initial funding for the development of the app, is the marketing of the app. So many entrepreneurs and startups totally neglect to budget for post launch marketing. You need to set aside 40-50% of the budget you built the app with, and have that same amount for marketing the app. Without awareness and being in the right places, user adoption will suffer.

David Glasser, PR Executive and Growth Director at Notta, knows that in order for a diverse range of users to be satisfied, an app must be flexible. He emphasizes the importance of catering to different platforms:

Device compatibility becomes an issue as you work across smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

As you can see, many factors play into forecasting the future of mobile apps and this is an ongoing conversation that’s not likely to burn out anytime soon. On one hand, launching an app can create additional exposure for a business in new markets around the world. However, the competition is fierce to win users over.

While most business owners argue an app can only help a business, it’s important to consider the shortcomings and challenges of developing, running and maintaining an app in addition to considering what platform to develop for.

For help with choosing a stellar team of developers for your business’ mobile app, contact us and we’ll be thrilled to connect you to a Pangaea vendor that best fits your mobile app needs!

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