Legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks memorably said that “great moments are born from great opportunity.” When it comes to the immediate future of app development, the inverse is true: Opportunity is born from moments — specifically those that Americans spend on their smartphones.
A recent study showed that the average American spends 5.4 hours a day immersed in that fashion. Most of that time is devoted to social media, with the rest spent shopping, exploring entertainment options and executing searches. And all that screen time results in increased possibilities for those engaging (or investing) in app development.
There are multiple ways in which forward-thinking entrepreneurs will be attempting to ride this wave in 2019. Here are some:
- Artificial Intelligence: Every blue-chipper — whether Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple — has invested heavily in this space, scooping up startups as they go. Google, for instance, paid $400 million for DeepMind in 2014 and has used it in a variety of ways since.
- Cloud-Driven Apps: It is predicted that such apps will drive 90 percent of all mobile data traffic in the coming year. Microsoft’s Office 365 is prominent in this space, though apps like Dropbox and WordPress have risen in popularity as well.
- Internet of Things: Over $660 billion will be invested in the IoT by 2021, according to estimates. That’s over four times more than in 2016, and its impact will be seen in everything from thermostats to refrigerators.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages: Launched by Google in 2015 in response to news apps produced by Facebook and Apple, such pages promise faster loads and increased ad exposure.
- Progressive Web Apps: Known for their speed and reliability, they combine the best of websites and mobile apps. Swiftness is of particular importance, as it has been determined that over half of users will ditch a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality: Both offer immersive experiences, which are crucial to attracting and retaining clients. They allow a prospective client to virtually tour a house or envision how a piece of furniture might look in their home, to cite two examples.
- Wearables: The trend that began with the Fitbit and Apple Watch figures to continue in 2019, with updated versions of those items and other devices that will impact not only healthcare and fitness but such businesses as the hotel industry.
Blockchain is also expected to impact the mobile app space, and there are expected to be increased inroads by such payment apps as Google Wallet and Apple Pay, which have yet to catch on in the United States.
And overall there is no question that all those moments Americans spend on their smartphones are bound to lead to increased opportunities for developers and investors.