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Apr 27, 2021 High Fidelity
7 min read

5 Mobile App Development Trends to Watch in 2021

The very best mobile app developers keep a keen eye on the latest development trends. Why? By staying on top of the industry's most exciting breakthroughs, developers can gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, staying on top of the latest trends helps development teams to create applications that consumers actually want to use.

As a leader in real-time spatial audio technology, we're constantly monitoring for major advancements in mobile application development. Mobile app development trends are often defined by demand. For instance, in 2020, many mobile apps helped people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic by connecting them virtually. The number of downloads for Zoom, Google’s Meet, Microsoft’s Teams, and other video conferencing mobile apps went through the roof.

Let’s get right into the top mobile app development trends to watch in 2021 as you build next-generation apps...

The Top Mobile App Development Trends in 2021

In 2021, the pandemic is still here — it’s completely understandable for video conferencing, remote education, virtual events, and social audio apps to continue to dominate the mobile landscape.

One of the pillars of many of these mobile apps is audio. High Fidelity’s real-time Spatial Audio API provides an easy and quick way to integrate high quality, immersive audio within many of these apps. But before we get into that, let’s discuss other mobile app development trends.

1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

ML/AI continue to rank among the top mobile app development trends with popular apps like Replika, Cortana, and Google Assistant.

FaceApp rose in popularity last year. You probably remember your friends posting photos of what they would look like when they were younger or older, right?

Apple also released some amazing new developments in its machine learning model framework (Core ML 3 Framework) to help iOS developers embed AI into apps.

Here are some general examples of AI features that can be implemented into a mobile app:

  • Image recognition
  • Face detection
  • Text and image classification
  • Sentiment recognition and classification
  • Speech recognition
  • Predictive maintenance

Artificial intelligence can make apps smarter, and ultimately improve the performance at every level. AI will change the way apps are built from the backend development process to the frontend user experience.

2. Integrations With Wearables

According to Statista, the number of wearable connected devices is expected to reach 929 million this year.

Consider the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: Medical devices that track the level of oxygen in the blood got a significant boost in development. More and more people are using smartwatches, health and fitness accessories, etc. Having sensors on your wrist all the time opens up many opportunities for app developers to explore.

Recently, Apple unveiled that Apple Watch apps will no longer even require an iOS app, making it an independent digital device.

3. Chatbots

Chatbots are capable of learning, collecting data, and solving user-issues — without involving a human being. It’s one more step to the world’s digitization and automation… and we live in an economy of instant gratification.

More than 50 percent of buyers want more do-it-yourself (DIY) custom service tools to expedite making an online purchase. The perfect way to extend that sort of customer relationship management? Chatbots.

Also, incorporating chatbots in a website can help companies save a lot of money usually spent on customer care agents. Juniper Research estimates that chatbots will save $8 billion for businesses by 2022. 

Gartner projects that by 2022, 70 percent of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms daily.

4. Voice Search Optimization

It seems that the future of web development relies more on the voice and audio than text. Gartner research suggests that 32 percent of users prefer using hands-free technology — it eliminates the hassle of having to type search questions, and allows for multitasking.

More than 420 million voice assistants have been sold. 2021 will see an increase in the use of voice commands for smart and IoT devices — and not only will these devices be able to obey commands, but also offer personalized AI-based experiences and recognize different voices.

Brands that adopt voice search in their mobile apps will grow digital commerce revenue by 30 percent.

5. Spatial Audio

The trend of spatial audio has really taken off in the past year: Apple, Sony, Google — every major company is employing it in their products. Many popular apps officially support spatial audio.

Spatial audio means that the sounds and voices come from different directions in the mobile app, so that you can actually understand when multiple people are talking at the same time. It mimics the feeling and sound of a real life gathering.

Related reading: What is Spatial Audio?

And what’s a huge component in so many mobile apps? Audio. The backbone of good communication. Having seamless, natural conversations on apps with colleagues, friends, and family has never been more important. So many social audio apps, video conferencing software, virtual events platforms have been developed in the past year.

Unfortunately, we all know about the dreaded Zoom fatigue. What if you didn’t have the awkward “No, you go… No, you…” interactions when accidentally talking over one another, and instead mobile apps had spatial audio that sounded crystal clear? It would much more closely mimic real life conversations.

This is where integrating High Fidelity’s real-time Spatial Audio API software comes in — it’s a no brainer to stay on top of development trends.

Explore Spatial Audio API Now

Arielle Pardes writes, “While the pandemic perfectly teed up an audience for these new social [audio] networks, some analysts believe the plot was already set in motion. Podcast listenership has steadily risen in the last decade; a third of Americans have listened to one in the past month. Streaming music platforms, like Spotify and Apple Music, have also grown.”

Get Started with High Fidelity’s Spatial Audio in Your Mobile App

These mobile apps that connect us to others will only continue to utilize audio — it simply makes sense to integrate the highest quality spatial audio sooner rather than later.

It should be quick and easy for developers to incorporate spatial audio into their mobile applications, and that’s High Fidelity’s goal with our API. For instance, you could build an app that has voice chat like Clubhouse in a couple of hours. There is full developer control over user positioning, loudness, room attenuation, and other aspects of the audio environment.

Curious to learn more and check out our developer resources? We have a guides page here. Get started by creating your free developer account below.

Create Your Free Developer Account

Add Spatial Audio to your app, game, or website.

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Published by High Fidelity
April 27, 2021
High Fidelity

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