2020 will be the year of smart apps [7 Trends]

smart apps

The app market is still big business. The number of app users is increasing every year. In addition, the time consumers spend on apps is increasing considerably. What can we expect in 2020 if you look at the app trends? I map the most important predictions.

The time we spend on apps has increased by 50% compared to 2016. This can be seen in recent research by the business intelligence company App Annie. This amounts to an average of around 3 hours a day.

All over the world, people are spending more time than ever on the mobile phone. In various economically emerging countries, such as India and the Philippines, there is even a mobile-first situation. In these countries, the smartphone is the primary means to its

 Internet. The 7 app Trends for 2020:

1. Saturation of the number of apps in the stores

2. Subscribe as a business model

3. It’s time to break up

4. Cloud gaming

5. Alternative open-source operating systems for Google devices

6. The boundaries between smartphones, tablets & computers are blurring

7. Foldables

1. Saturation of the number of apps in the stores

The number of app downloads is increasing sharply every year. Last year, 194 billion apps were downloaded. Nevertheless, the number of apps offered is not expected to increase in proportion to the number of downloads in the coming year. It remains a difficult prediction. Will the number of apps in stores ever become saturated?

On July 10, 2008, the App Store for iOS opened its doors with a “few” 500 apps. This seemed like a huge amount then. But if we look at the growth in recent years, nothing is less true. In the 3rd quarter of 2019, there were no less than 2.47 million apps in the Google Play Store and around 1.8 million in the Apple App Store. The original 500 is nothing.

Nevertheless, I expect that the number of apps in the stores will slowly remain the same or show less growth. The reason for this lies in two causes:

Cause 1. More difficult to compete

Competition for app providers is intense and building apps is becoming easier. This is due to more advanced programming techniques or tools such as app builders. This means that there is already a good alternative in the stores for many app concepts and it becomes more difficult to compete.

Cause 2. Stricter guidelines

Both the guidelines in the Apple App Store and the guidelines in the Google Play Store are becoming stricter for publishing apps. The reason for this is that they want to monitor the quality of the apps in the stores. The stores will not make up for poor quality apps, or apps that offer nothing unique.

2. Subscribe as a Business Model

The revenue model of apps is increasingly shifting to subscription types. Earning models such as in-app purchases or paying a fee for downloading an app are becoming less common.

In-app subscriptions, in particular, have been very lucrative in recent years. Apps that are already familiar with a subscription earning model such as Spotify, Netflix and Tinder have been using in-app subscriptions models for years. This way they adjust the content and income based on recurring and loyal app users.

Subscription forms offer the user more convenience and comfort. Another good example of this is Apple Arcade, Apple’s gaming service that allows you to play all the games offered for a monthly fee.

3. It’s Time to Break Up

A risky “trend” in this list, given that the subject is strongly related to the political spectacle, but I would still like to mention it. The big tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are under attack. Not only because of safety issues or eavesdropping practices but now also because of possible monopoly positions. Billions of euros are earned annually with content that is put online by companies that do not make the content themselves, ie Facebook and Google. Their revenue model is primarily in offering and advertising content from others.

The EU has therefore drawn up new guidelines to modernize copyright online. The purpose of this is to curb the flow of “free” money for reclining tech giants. In addition, they want to reduce their dominant position, because they now have data from you in almost every area. The start of these stricter guidelines arose from the implementation of Article 13 this year.

The Economic Power of the Giants

There has also been a stir in the US, especially in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, the market dominance of major tech companies appears to be a hot topic. For example, there is the talk of a forced division. This is to better protect consumers against the influence of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

This also concerns the public debate and the concentration of the economic power of these giants. On the one hand, a split would be interesting for smaller tech companies to also enter the field. On the other hand, the question is whether young, innovative (smaller) companies are no less likely to make the enormous investments required to comply with complicated legislation.

Also read: Next-generation app marketing: this is how you ensure that users do not drop out

4. Cloud Gaming

IoT, the cloud, machine learning or artificial intelligence. You can hardly ignore it if you read (or write) a tech-related article. Because more than enough has been written about it, I am limiting myself in this article to cloud options related to gaming.

Cloud gaming is a technique behind game services, with which a game is played without a game console or game computer. The games are streamed from a server in a server center to the user’s device. This allows graphic games to be played on a smartphone, without the user having to purchase a game computer.

On November 19, Google launched the beta release of the Google Stadia cloud service. All you need is a working internet connection and a supported device from Google such as Chrome, ChromeCast Ultra dongle or Pixel smartphone.

New competition from Streaming Services

The online game industry has been dominated by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo for years. This relatively saturated market suddenly finds new competition from these streaming services from, for example, Google or the aforementioned Apple Arcade, the hybrid cloud gaming variant.

The streaming service is free in some cases, then you pay per game. Or in the case of Apple Arcade, you pay a monthly amount and you get access to all games. This new form of cloud gaming makes it possible to play AAA games on mobile phones, in relatively good quality. This can result in the fact that traditional games that use consoles and game computers will be played less.

5. Alternative open-source operating systems for Google devices

The US government blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei earlier this year. This had major consequences for both Huawei and American companies such as Google, which has Huawei Android operating system licenses for smartphones. To be less dependent on America, Huawei has been busy developing an open-source alternative to the Android operating system. It is called HarmonyOS.

What exactly is HarmonyOS?

From similar previous projects (Windows Phone and Linux OS), we now know that it is a difficult task to compete with Android. However, HarmonyOS offers potential if you look at the KPIs of the system. For example, it has been specially developed for smart devices that use IoT such as smartphones, smart home products, and even smart cars in the future.

Not much is known about the specific details of the new operating system. But Huawei CEO Richard Yu claims that HarmonyOS works faster and smoother than Android.

In addition, the new operating system is more pleasant for app developers. This makes it an open-source network, which makes it more attractive for developers to develop apps for the platform. The biggest advantage for developers is the fact that you can write an app in HarmonyOS for each device. Whether it is a car, telephone or TV.

Tip: Do you want to start using Google Ads? View the options at Frank watching.

With Android, app developers now have to create multiple versions of the app. harmony is expected to be further developed next year. It will not be an alternative to Android for now, but it is a nice behind-the-hand tool and it offers new perspectives. Huawei’s license to do business with US companies is expected to be renewed again according to the New York Times. But HarmonyOS seems to be a worthy backup plan for now.

6. The boundaries between smartphones, tablets & computers are blurring

Not long ago, Apple introduced the iPad Pro. This focuses primarily on the business market. The iPadOS combines the power of the iPad and Mac. This gives the iPad a new set of features that previous models did not have. This makes the iPad more and more a remote desktop.

Apple also launched the Catalyst Project earlier this year. The Apple Catalyst Project makes it possible to let existing iOS and iPadOS apps work on Macs. These developments ensure that the boundaries between tablets and computers gradually fade. In the near future, the tablet will become a smaller remote version of your desktop and will serve more as a kind of extension of your computer.

7. Foldables

It has been a while since the first foldable telephones were introduced. The foldable phones (also called foldable) from Samsung, Huawei and Royale were presented earlier this year. The Motorola Flip Razr will be released at Christmas. According to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​2019 would be the year of the folding smartphone. They were partly right. Where 2019 was the year of the introduction of the foldable, I think that 2020 will be the year of the real breakthrough.

The folding phones that have been brought back for redevelopment have been improved and new players such as Motorola are entering the playing field. This will further blur the boundaries between a smartphone and a tablet. This new generation of phones is expected to ensure that we use digital content differently. This offers many possibilities, such as streaming films and live events such as concerts or competitions or typing an e-mail. Because foldable telephones offer more space to view content, these apps become a lot more attractive and diverse.

Wrapping up: 2020 the year of smart apps

If you look at the mobile statistics for the past year and the predictions for the coming year, we cannot ignore it, the attention is shifting further from desktops to mobile phones and apps. The boundaries between the devices are also becoming smaller.

The boundaries between tablets, smartphones, and computers are blurred by the acceptance of foldable and tablets that become an extension of the computer. The smartphone apps also change with the technical field. Smartphones are only really becoming smart with the implementations of the Internet of Things, 5G networks and cloud gaming.

What does this mean for companies?

In 2020, the key to success for companies when it comes to apps will be the provision of content where your audience wants it to be offered, and that is clearly the smartphone. This content must be offered as easily as possible, for example in the form of subscriptions.

As a company, it is certainly not too late, but it is advisable to go along with this mobile-first approach and, for example, to develop an app.

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