7 Web & Mobile App Development Trends to Watch in 2021

Updated on :September 08, 2023
By :Nishant Choudhary

Pandemic catalyzed digital adoption in 2020, forced legacy businesses to modernize themselves by adopting web, mobile, and cloud technologies.

Most of the small businesses are outsourcing mobile app development services. Some are building their in-house tech teams for web & mobile application development. A few are still exploring & evaluating if digital is a potential growth channel for their business. 

Irrespective of where you are in your digital journey, business leaders like yourself and your ninja developers can benefit by brushing up with top web & mobile app development trends in 2021.

In this insight, we have picked trends to expect in 2021 after spanning over the entire web and mobile app development cycle. From UI/UX designing to choosing the right technologies for development, automation of application testing to deployment in the cloud, and everything in-between.

7 Web & Mobile App Development Trends for 2021

  1. In-house vs. Outsourcing IT Services Trends 
  2. User Interface & User Experience (UI/UX) Trends
  3. Trending Web Development Technologies
  4. Trending Mobile App Development Technologies 
  5. Trending Cloud Platforms For Web & Mobile Application Development
  6. Agile Development Practices 2021
  7. AIML, AR/VR, Blockchain, ETL Pipelines, Analytics Trends 2021

Before touching on the aforementioned technologies & trends in detail, let’s quickly give a one-line intro to all the mentioned technologies so that we’re all on the same page.

Web Applications: Full-fledged websites hosted on a server and accessed via desktop, laptop, or mobile browsers. These are not installed on your device like software applications.

Mobile Apps: Applications installed locally in your mobile devices downloaded from Play Store, App Store, or other sources.

Cloud Services: Computation capabilities provided by third-party services and accessed via a web interface. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, etc.

Blockchain:  It’s a ledger tracking provenance of goods and transactions. It’s a decentralized and distributed ledger built on top of blocks (entries) that have complex processes to modify them.

ETL Data Pipelines & Analytics: Process of programmatically extracting, transforming, loading, processing, and analyzing data to get actionable insights.

AI/ML: Algorithms to enable computing machines to pick patterns (machine learning) and automate repeatable tasks or take intelligent decisions without human intervention, i.e., Artificial Intelligence.

AR/VR: Augmented reality displays software-generated objects/data/graphics on top of an existing real world view. With virtual reality, users experience a real-world akin simulated digital environment. 

Now let’s explore the major web and mobile app development trends in 2021.

In-house vs. Outsourcing App Development Trends 2021 

IT outsourcing is a USD 66Bn+ industry globally. As per a survey by Statista, a majority of companies, 46% to be specific, outsource IT services like web development & mobile app development, cloud solutions, BPO services, and software development, etc., because of the unavailability of in-house skills and resources.

Another big reason fuelling the IT outsourcing market is cost-efficiency. Companies save a good amount of money on IT projects by outsourcing their development requirements to countries like India, Ukraine, China, Brazil, etc. These are a great hub of IT professionals with industry-standard skills and practices. India, in particular, has emerged as home to top-notch developers and subsequently a top destination for software outsourcing projects at very affordable prices. 

As more enterprises go digital, adopt cloud, and embrace disruptive AI technologies, web and mobile app development outsourcing will continue to grow in the coming years. 

Furthermore, outsourcing IT projects frees up leadership to focus on the company’s core business, adds business agility and extra brains to accelerate innovation as well as growth.

In-house web and mobile app development are more suited to companies with big pockets (though they too outsource a good chunk of their projects). For small businesses, IT services outsourcing remains a good choice. 

Web & Mobile App User Interface & User Experience (UI/UX) Trends 2021

2020 forced companies to launch Progressive Web Applications and Mobile Apps. With voice making its way into the mainstream business, 2021 is expected to see a rise in the voice user interface. 

We already see major media houses and technology businesses like Economic Times or OLA launching voice interfaces to their apps. This year more e-commerce businesses and even social networks will start embracing voice UI/UX.

Apart from voice, the multi-theme experience is a rising UI/UX trend. The main agenda behind the design is to augment the product usability and drive more business growth. Integrating multi-themed features into your application is a step towards increasing engagement and user retention by delivering a personalized experience to the user and giving them more control over how they want to use your app.

3D elements, floating design elements, soft shadows, multi-layered design, bold texts, hand-drawn imperfect graphics, and abstract data visualization will continue to grip user attention and drive engagement. 

Trending Web Development Technologies for Building Scalable Applications in 2021

Javascript & Python have leveled up the battleground for businesses by making it relatively easy for anyone to get into a digital business. It is possible to build highly scalable web applications in the cloud using Javascript technologies and frameworks in a cost-effective manner. Experience, skills, and creativity still have a significant edge to design and build successful businesses on the web.

Javascript frameworks like NodeJs, AngularJs, VueJs, and libraries like ReactJS are great for building full-stack web applications. Python frameworks like Django and flask are equally preferred for building scalable, robust, and secure web applications.

Adoption of no-code development tools like WordPress, Webflow, Shopify, Bubble, Google Appsheets, and AWS honey-code is rising to build niche purpose small web applications.

Trending Mobile App Development Technologies to Build Robust Apps in 2021

Open-source technologies are a big reason behind the surge in the number of apps on the play store and the app store. The year 2020 was a roller-coaster for apps like Tik-Tok and games like PubG. Several other apps are launched after the initial success of these short-video driven social networks and multiplayer, high-graphic games. The network-monopoly factor worked for these apps.

As more and more businesses go online, and as the mobile hardware capabilities get better with time, we are all set to see more AR/VR integrated gaming apps and social platforms. TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are already leading this wave.

In the early days, separate apps were developed for android, iOS, and windows. Then there was an uptrend of hybrid apps, but they lacked in performance. 

Now, we have open-sourced, cross-platform mobile app development technologies like react-native and flutter to build native-like mobile apps. Flutter is highly popular amongst developers for mobile app development with 105k+ GitHub stars and so is react-native with 90k+ stars.

Like the web, there are no-code mobile app development solutions for android too! Appcelerator, build-fire, etc., are trending no-code app development platforms.

Trending Cloud Platforms For Web & Mobile Application Development in 2021

AWS - Amazon web services provide a suite of tech computation services and solutions at a highly affordable price to build highly scalable web and mobile applications in the cloud. EC2, DynamoDB, Lambda, CloudFront, S3, SNS, RDS, Amplify, etc., are some of the most popular AWS technologies to build highly scalable web and mobile applications. Amazon Sagemaker is an affordable option to build your AIML infrastructure in the cloud. 

AWS Azure is highly popular for enterprise applications, and the Google cloud platform’s firebase is a great choice for building mobile applications in the cloud.

While cloud adoption is increasing, it is already a USD 260Bn+ market, businesses must carefully choose IT outsourcing partners to develop and deploy apps in the cloud. This is highly recommended because a small security loophole can cause businesses to lose millions or, in the worst case, to shut operations permanently. 

Agile Development Trends For 2021

DevOps market is projected to reach USD 6.6 Bn+ by the year 2022. The waterfall model of development is becoming redundant and almost dead (still used in legacy systems). The agile approach to development is the new norm now.

Enterprises are building software in an agile, iterative manner. Using continuous integration and continuous delivery tools and technologies, web and mobile application development processes are fairly accelerated and automated.

DevSecOps and open-sourced CI/CD tools are trending practices in the software development world.

AIML, AR/VR, Blockchain, ETL Pipelines, Analytics Trends 2021

Web and mobile apps are not as simple as they used to be two years back. Now, these edge devices are imparted intelligent computation capabilities. Apps are integrated in real-time with real-world processes and things for augmenting existing processes and experiences. From healthcare to retail and from education to agriculture as well as transportation, all the industries are getting disrupted with intelligent IoT devices and AIML algorithms. 

Modern mobile apps are leveraging AR/VR to deliver convenience as well as agility and drive engagement and revenue in return. AR/VR is an excellent technology for disrupting healthcare above all other sectors.

Data & analytics took a big hit in 2020, but for all good, and it is all set to improvise and deliver even better business value in a more resilient way.

Wrapping Up!

Choosing a good IT services partner and building a secure, robust, and scalable web & mobile application could prove a gamechanger for any business in 2021. Let us know in the comments about major web and mobile trends you foresee in 2021.

Nishant Choudhary
Nishant Choudhary

Nishant Choudhary is a Tech Evangelist at Codewave Technologies. Helping business leaders leverage machine intelligence, data, analytics, and the right tech stack to build the right business solutions in the cloud. 

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