15 Trends to Dominate the App Economy in 2022

Updated on :October 15, 2023
By :Jennifer Warren

It would actually be an understatement to admit that apps are the center of our lives. On the contrary, our lives are totally, utterly bound up by an infinite number of apps that crowd our smartphones, so bound up that we can’t deny that these tiny little inventions do all the heavy lifting for us all through the day. Think about It! 

The moment we wake up, we absolutely, faithfully ensure that we browse most of the installed apps one by one. First is Whatsapp (I can almost guarantee that), next maybe Instagram, then we move on Facebook and then perhaps a grocery app, and on and on it goes. And, this phenomenon only intensified during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Not surprisingly, revenue generated from mobile apps is skyrocketing. Statista says that the global revenue from mobile apps is anticipated to reach a whopping $613 billion by 2025, up from $318 billion in 2020. 

This means, opportunities galore for mobile app development companies wishing to capitalize on this ubiquitous addiction of ours. Crucially, though, to develop apps that are more interactive, super helpful, and fun, the app developers need to account for old and new trends and turn them into features and enhancements to ensure the apps stay relevant and on top of the minds of users.       

Here take a look at some 15 trends, some evergreen, some new, that will dominate the app development sector in the foreseeable future. Certainly, app developers can use this guide as guardrails and experiment with some of these trends discussed below.     

#1. Automotive Apps for Improved Driving Experience 

Americans literally lead their lives on roads. So it is just a matter of time before these apps could become the hottest thing under the sun.

Did you know: 

  • For every 10 miles traveled, Americans use the car for 8.  
  • As per Federal Highway Administration, Americans drive an average of 14,300 miles per year. It’s projected that by 2025 the connected car market size would touch $166 billion.    

The point is that the automotive sector is highly lucrative for connected-car-app development or IoT apps.

Connected-car-app-development in 2022

So, there’s no denying, IOT-automotive apps will be a big thing in the future. Tesla is already leading the way with connected, autonomous vehicles. These IoT-driven automotive apps help automate maintenance, infotainment tasks, safety procedures, and diagnostics. With people spending so much of their time in their cars to manage their day-to-day chores, these apps are sure to make their lives much more manageable. 

Key Benefits of IoT-driven Automotive Apps

  • Real-time vehicle monitoring and breakdown prevention
  • Increased car efficiency and safety
  • Advanced navigation systems
  • Locate free parking spaces 
  • Spot pedestrians 
  • Avoid traffic jams 
  • AI-driven security, 
  • In-car entertainment systems
  • Accessible by physically impaired people 
  • Automatic route adjustments as per road infrastructure 
  • Saves commute time 

#2. Retail Apps for Improved Shopping Experience  

The retail apps powered by IoT and AI technologies are already taking the in-store shopping experience up by several notches. 

Did you know:  According to thinkwithgoogle.com

  • 63% of smartphone users prefer to shop from mobile sites or apps that offer them relevant recommendations on products they are keen on buying.
  • 51% of smartphone users prefer to shop/browse from a brand’s mobile app as they can get rewards or points.
  • 58% of smartphone users prefer shopping with mobile sites or apps that remember who they are and their past behavior.
  • 39% of smartphone users prefer to shop/browse a brand’s mobile app because it’s easier or faster to make a purchase.

In short, retail mobile apps have definitely got a stamp of approval from owners and shoppers alike. On the one hand, it’s helping businesses improve customer experience by accumulating relevant data and offering appropriate service/product recommendations to customers, on the other hand, the customers can help themselves with reviews, online payments, competitive prices, and more to make purchases. Needless to say, retail apps are revolutionizing the shopping experience for both sellers and buyers. 

Key Benefits of Retail Apps 

  • Run Loyalty Programs that offer reward points to customers for buying or referring your business  
  • Push Notification to update customers about price change and discount offers 
  • Mobile Payment Integration to make payments on the fly 
  • Integrate Analytics to collect customer data enabling retailers to make informed decisions and provide a personalized experience.  

 #3. 5G Technology for Faster App Downloads and Improved Gaming Experience  

5G technology is expected to alter the app development landscape totally. This year we might definitely see more app developers and development companies coalescing with 5G technology providers to bolster their app’s performance.  

Did you know:

  • According to a GSMA study, 5G will make up 15% of the global mobile industry by 2025, with almost 1.4 billion devices leveraging 5G. 
  • 5G will be 100 times faster than 4G. 

5G will transform the way people use apps. More importantly, it will also offer app developers a whole gamut of possibilities in exploring and building new platforms and crafting apps that provide faster, personalized user experiences. 

The technology will make apps efficient and dovetail with a range of technologies such as augmented and virtual reality in a good measure. Additionally, with high data speed and low latency, the technology would enable app developers to provide exceptional user experiences. For instance, app gamers will experience a more immersive and responsive experience as video and gaming apps require less buffering time. Plus, high network speed and the ability to manage more data would allow app gamers to download gaming packages over the network itself instead of Wi-Fi. 

Key Benefits of 5G Technology for Apps 

  • Consumers can download the content more quickly from the network itself 
  • Less delay/lag when requesting data from the network 
  • More data capacity as the network expands

#4. Wearable Devices for Detecting Covid-19 Symptoms and Improved Health Check-ups 

Wearable devices witnessed an unexpected boom during the Covid crises, thanks to remote work and significant interest in health monitoring. 

Did you know:

  • According to Statista global spending on wearable devices is expected to reach more than 90 billion dollars by 2022.
  • According to grandviewresearch the wrist-wear product segment is expected to reach USD 62.16 billion by 2028. 
  • Wearable Market value according to MDPI report. Wearable Sevices Market Value

With an increase in the use of wearables to self-track Covid-19 symptoms and consumer interest in personal health and wellness growing, especially during global lockdowns, the sector is witnessing an unprecedented boom. In fact, ear-worn devices such as headphones and smartwatches are seeing rapid growth as consumers are using this technology for remote work, health tracking, fitness activities, and more.

Remote workers are shopping for better headphones for video calling, and even generally, the sales of headphones are higher as consumers are purchasing them to use with their mobile devices. On the other hand, growth in the smartwatch category was partially triggered by new users entering the market. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years as new processor technologies and improved solid batteries that increase battery life are entering the markets. Not surprisingly, the Apple App Store is currently loaded with lots of independent apps for your Apple Watches. 

Further, sensor innovations and advances in miniaturization are the two other factors driving the growth of this market. Miniaturization means the wearables could be used discreetly, encouraging the elderly to use it as they might not like calling attention to their devices.    

smartwatches will find new users in 2022

To cut to the point, in 2022, mobile app developers will have to develop apps in keeping with wearable industry requirements. This means users might get to download thousands of apps for their wrists. 

Interestingly, we have just hit the ground running with wearables and mobile app integration. In the future, we could witness heavy progress in this category.  

Key Benefits of Wearable Apps  

  • Monitoring fitness levels 
  • Track Covid symptoms  
  • Tracking location with GPS 
  • Viewing text messages more quickly 
  • Devices are free and portable 

#5. Home Automation Apps for Improved Living  

Smart homes, powered by mobile apps and IoT,  are the future.  As consumers are warming up to the idea of owning multiple devices within their homes and as the global availability of products and services increase, the industry is all set to witness exponential growth.    

Did you know: 

  • According to researchgate,  the global smart home market size will reach a whopping 53.45 billion dollars by 2022. Global Smart Home Marketsize from 2016 to 2022
  • According to Swedish research firm Berg Insight, 179 million homes in Europe and North America will be smart by 2024.

The point is: The majority of the global households will now be run by various apps and IoT-connected appliances, starting from internet-connected light bulbs to cameras that would enable you to spy on pets from a distance. In fact, it’s being predicted that within a decade from now, we will need only voices to switch the lights on and off, thanks to total immersion in the Internet of Things (IoT) 

smart home devices to find more takers in the U.S. market

Backed by IoT components integrated with apps, these smart home devices are good at collecting and analyzing data using it to anticipate the owners' needs and offering them a helping hand in return. These apps are amazingly user-friendly and easy to use as the users are guided throughout when adding and configuring IoT devices. This means every family member can use and control the app and manage all home devices from one place.          

Key Benefits of Home Automation Apps

  • Convenience factor is massive
  • Maximizes home security
  • Remote control of home functions
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Improved appliance functionality

#6. Beacon Technology for Improved Brick-and-Mortar Store Experience    

Beacons should be on the radar of offline store marketers this year as the technology enables engaging with the customers on a one-to-one basis. The technology has been gaining ground because of the increase in the use of Bluetooth mobile devices.

Did you know: 

  • Statista says the beacon technology market will reach $56.6 billion by 2026. That’s ten times more value than the 2016 value of $519.6 million. Beacon Technology marketsize 2016 and 2026
  • Digital interactions influence 56 cents of every dollar spent at brick and mortar stores. Shoppers tend to look up product information (58%) and compare prices (54%) in-stores. 
  • The significant advantage of beacon technology is proximity marketing, as it helps enhance the customer experience within a mobile app. For instance, retail app savvy in-store customers using Bluetooth-enabled smartphones could be informed about sales and discounts for relevant products. Even coupons and rewards can be offered to encourage them to buy products physically. 

Key Benefits of Beacon Technology 

  • Boost marketing efforts
  • Cheaper to install 
  • Display ads and push notifications 
  • Great Indoor navigation tool pointing the user in the correct direction

#7.  Mobile Wallets for Easy Payments 

Payment through mobile wallets is picking up steam. And why not? Mobile wallet apps are easy to install, and sometimes they come as a built-in feature on your smartphones. The virtual wallet stores credit card, debit cards, coupons, and even reward updates. 

Did you know:  

  • The use of Apple Pay or Google Pay in North America is expected to double between 2020 and 2025, although Asia’s market size will be massive. 
  • China is leading from the front in terms of proximity mobile payments, thanks to the popularity of Alipay and Tenpay. Almost 81% of smartphone users have made proximity mobile payments in the second half of 2021.      
  • By 2022 $13.98 billion worth of transfers is expected through digital wallets like Apple Pay. 

Mobile wallets are considered best for making in-store payments as one doesn’t need to carry cash or physical credit cards. The most popular mobile wallets include Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal.

Key Benefits of Mobile Wallet Apps 

  • Convenient Payment 
  • Reduces fraud as the data is encrypted 
  • Shop online on the go
  • Reduces your wallet content 
  • Offer Rewards 

#8. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Apps with an Eye towards Metaverse  

AR and VR will be cornerstones of the Metaverse – the next magnum opus-theme that Big Tech has on its agenda. Though Facebook, rebranded as Meta, may take almost a  decade to bring their metaverse ( next iteration of the internet) project to fruition, the fact is in the foreseeable future metaverse will be a collection of spaces, games, and apps. Meta will be partnering with companies to add their apps and games to the Metaverse.     

Did you know: 

  • According to Statista, the global augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) markets are expected to reach 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
  • The global AR and VR application downloads are expected to touch 5.5 billion thresholds this year.
  • Facebook plans to create 10,000 jobs in Europe, focusing on metaverse AR and metaverse VR projects. The undertaking might consume about 30% of Facebook’s cash flow.
  • According to GlobalData researchers, AR technology will substitute smartphones as users’ primary connected devices.  

Apple's Mixed Reality Headset

If these weren’t enough, Apple’s augmented reality glasses or virtual reality goggles might see the light of the day this year.  Apple’s ultra-ambitious aim is to offer three things through this mixed reality headset: gaming, media consumption, and communication. The VR/AR solution would be easier to use, connected with the iPhone, and privacy-focused.

Key Benefits of AR and VR Apps

  • AR Preview Placement gives customers a real-time glimpse of a product, its size, and how it’ll appear in their homes.
  • Virtual showrooms will enable viewing products, characteristics, and costs just as in a physical store.
  • AR-driven in-store navigation will help customers tour around a huge shopping mall easily and locate the right product.
  • Virtual Try-On Solutions whereby AR-embedded mirrors help customers check out their desired clothes or shoes without trying them on physically.
  • VR for Houses and Apartments will enable potential buyers of houses to take a digital tour of the place. 
  • Interactive User Manuals for a virtual walkthrough of the product, in terms of setting it up, its features, and more.
  • Augmented Reality Filters will help clients visualize products and make more informed purchase decisions.
  • VR for In-Store Experience backed by 3D products helps customers tour the VR store and even ask a virtual staff member for support. 

#9. Artificial Intelligence for Creation of Data Munging Pipelines 

While we are still taking baby steps with artificial intelligence, the world is steadily waking up to the fact that AI is no longer just a regular, mundane tool. While data scientists at large companies are known to work independently and have their notebooks and manually filter datasets, and there’s no infrastructure or coordination within teams, 2022 might witness standardization and acceleration of the creation of data-munging pipelines. 

Also, talks around ethical AI and ethical data analytics will gain more momentum in academia and industry and are expected to make their way to the corridors of policy-makers and politicians. 

Did you know: 

  • According to ABI Research analysts, over 20 million active users will leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) for augmented reality usage in 2022.
  • Steady Progress is expected to happen in the area of AGI (artificial general intelligence) and ASI (artificial superintelligence)  

Prediction and automation are of great value for any organization. The AR and VR devices and AI and MI facilitate the automation and prediction of worker-facing systems and even backend systems. With machine vision for AI up and running, it’s expected to grow to capture visual data and improve data analytics and insights for platforms.  

 Key Benefits of AR for Data Munging 

  • Data analytics could be carried out by broader user groups than just data scientists.
  • AR allows users to see all data at once, allowing a holistic viewpoint of the data.
  • Faster cognitive processing of the information.
  • Uses human instinct to think and process data in multiple dimensions.
  • Data analysis becomes fun.

#10. Chatbots for Improved Customer Experience 

With companies' customer base increasing globally, AI-powered chatbots have emerged as a go-to tool for customer service for several companies. The chatbots integrated with different platforms such as SMS, email, and apps are economical and practical enough to tackle large customer queries in real-time. 

Did you know: 

  • Global chatbots market size is anticipated to be over $1.3 billion by 2024.
  • 47% of businesses will use chatbots for customer care, and 40% will deploy virtual assistants.

The biggest plus is that the bots are AI-powered, making their responses more human-like. Conversational AI tempered with human intelligence enables chatbots to understand accents, understand and respond to the sentiments with which instructions are given, and share tailored replies, thereby improving the overall experience and building customer loyalty.

Chatbots in 2022

Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology also improves the chatbot experience for businesses. And, before I forget, the rise of Conversational Commerce partially rests on Chatbot's shoulders.  

Key Benefits of Chatbots 

  • 24/7 customer support 
  • Personalized service 
  • Transparency in dealings 
  • AI integrated to offer accurate information 
  • Product guidance and recommendations 
  • Remind users of abandoned cart items

#11. On-demand apps for Instant Ordering 

The on-demand app economy is a money-minting economy. As these apps offer on-demand services, customers can opt for a service or product from anywhere in the world, even within the comfort of their homes, helping them save on their precious time. On-demand apps are currently in use for a wide range of industries, either directly or indirectly.

Did you know:

  • According to a recent report on-demand market, about 86.5 million people use on-demand apps in the U.S.  
  • As per the latest PWC report, the on-demand services app market value is projected to touch a massive $335 billion by 2025.
  • As per Harvard Business Review, the on-demand economy is attracting more than 22.4 million consumers annually and $57.6 billion in spending.

Key Benefits of On-demand Apps 

  • Instant ordering 
  • Real-time tracking of deliveries 
  • One-click cancellation
  • Expanded payment options
  • Push notifications

#12.  Mobile App Security for Improved Data Security 

In wake of the pandemic, the need for mobile apps has accelerated, and so has the scale of cyber threats. It has become easier for hackers to break their way into apps with government, medical and financial data, which could lead to severe damage to businesses and app users by putting their data and wellbeing at risk. 

Did you know: 

  • In the face of the pandemic, mobile devices have become a core part of running businesses, which has led to 97% of companies facing cyberattacks and mobile threats.
  • Mobile breaches in 2021 cost businesses billions in lost revenue. Sadly, these breaches will continue throughout 2022 due to insecure coding practices and a lack of adequate testing. 

The developers are meeting the growing requirement for mobile app protection by leveraging automated testing tools built for mobile. This will ensure that security issues are addressed during the development stages rather than during release or late in the development cycle.   

Key Benefits of App Security 

  • Minimum risk from both internal and third-party sources 
  • Maintains brand image by avoiding controversies 
  • Secure customer data 
  • Greater customer confidence 
  • Shields sensitive data from leaks.
  • Improves trust from stakeholders

#13. Cloud-computing Integration for Apps

Businesses would be doubling down on cloud technology this year. According to Forrester, the pandemic has filled cloud providers’ pockets and at the same time ushered in a radical transformation in traditional enterprise IT. Businesses will move towards modern application development and industry-specific clouds this year. 

  • Most CIOs now have at least 20% of their applications and data moved to the cloud, with 10% to 15% scheduled to move this year.
  • Containers provide a portable and agile way to deploy and manage virtual computing applications in the cloud. In 2021, 42% of developers said their organizations used containers, reported Lee Sustar, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. 
  • In 2022, 83% of enterprise workloads will be cloud-based. 

Cloud storage technology enhances the performance of mobile apps. Cloud makes it easier for apps to store data rather than storing information on the user's device and manage complex tasks on the cloud. More than anything, it’s a cost-effective solution.  

Key Benefits of Cloud Integrated Apps

  • Increase in operational efficiency and revenue
  • Higher competitive edge
  • Increase in flexibility and scalability
  • Improved internal communication.
  • Enhanced customer service, support, and retention

#14. Predictive Analytics for In-app Product Recommendations  

In 2022, predictive analytics is expected to be used for a wide range of mobile apps, especially eCommerce apps. The analytics can be used to identify user behavior patterns from the vast amounts of data that app entrepreneurs collect and use to make product recommendations and feature hot products in eCommerce apps.

Did you know:

According to Statista by 2022, the market is expected to reach nearly 11 billion dollars in annual revenue as an increasingly large number of businesses make use of predictive analytics techniques for everything from fraud detection to medical diagnosis.

Predictive analytics revenues worldwide from 2016 to 2022

For the unversed, predictive analytics is a branch of advanced analytics used for making future predictions and outcomes using historical data, statistical modeling, data mining techniques, and machine learning.   

In fact, some algorithms could figure out popularity indicators on eCommerce websites, social media platforms, and the internet based on which hot products can be chosen and featured. 

Key Benefits of Predictive Analytics 

  • Know customer likings beforehand 
  • Offer product recommendations and promotions 
  • Better Price Management 
  • Reduces instances of fraud 
  • Streamline supply chain management
  • Fix the best price that customers will readily pay for products   

#15. Apps for Foldable Devices and Large Screen Devices  

Though the popularity of foldable devices had fizzled out some years ago, it’s back with a bang to the extent that it’s predicted to go mainstream this year along with large screen devices. New foldable devices such as Motorola Razr, Huawei Mate X, and Samsung Galaxy Fold are already making their presence felt in the markets. These smartphones offer the flexibility to narrow or broaden the screen size as per user preference. For instance, making a phone call can be done with a device, but you might prefer to unfold the device for messaging or reading news on Google.  

Did you know: 

  • According to Statista, the global foldable phone shipments are expected to grow to 50.1 million units by 2022.

Given that these devices are back in the market, app development companies need to account for their app’s compatibility with these devices to ensure that apps seamlessly switch from one mode to the other without opening the app in either of the modes. Additional features such as resizability, multi-window ability, multi-resume, support for multiple screens, and all should be considered by app developers. 

Key Benefits of Foldable Devices 

  • Variety of designs 
  • Wider screen in less space 
  • Economical 
  • Innovative features 
  • Ingenious way of taking photos 
  • Better power and durability

GoodFirms Grab ‘N’ Go Gist 

All these technologies can be competent ambassadors of your app. So, see if you could experiment with a couple of these and convert them into features to ensure that your app stands out, stays competitive, and more than anything relevant to the users.       

Key Takeaways App Development Trends 2022

Jennifer Warren
Jennifer Warren

I am Jennifer Warren, a Content Crafter with GoodFirms, a research and review platform for mobile app development companies, digital marketing companies, among many others. I consider myself an opinionated writer with a big appetite for books, buzzwords, and boatloads of bouquets.

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