For an average smartphone user in India, it is fairly tough to imagine life without mobile applications. Putting a context to this, the first mobile applications were only designed in 1993 which were as basic as the calendar, calculator and the phonebook. Massive growth. Isn’t it?
In the beginning of the year App Annie report showcased that app downloads in India had grown by 165% and was second only to China in overall app downloads. India however topped in terms of spends on video streaming. The same report forecasts that by 2022, India will have 37.2 billion downloads a year, a growth rate of 207% – which makes it by far the fastest growing app market in the world.
A fair share of the growth of mobile applications has come courtesy their successful blending in our day-to-day lives. You want to give a fillip to your business, to your lifestyle, to your productivity, even to your love life? There is an app for it. As mobile apps get better and better, more companies want them, small shops and ventures and even individuals who wish to be more visible want them. Whatever the goals may be, the writing on the wall spells mobile apps.
With the smartphone revolution and the ‘Jiofication’ of the telecom and data providers, the mobile app industry is only set to soar higher. But what could be a few drivers of this growth?
User Experience Will Be At the Core of App Development
While some apps are meant to simplify complex issues, some are purely for entertainment and some are intended to increase productivity. However, with this flurry of apps being launched there would be a need for optimization. Google is working in that direction by setting out guidelines that require app developers to optimize their apps for the latest Android version. Similarly, Apple has also mentioned that outdated and abandoned apps will be removed from the App Store. On the whole, all these efforts will lead to a more refined and elevated user experience.
Data Security Would Be Prime Concern
Given the change in the ecosystem after the Facebook safety breach, no matter how useful is an application or how great the user interface is, people will only adopt it if it does not compromise with security in any way.
This understanding and urgency to offer enhanced security would urge and app developers to work on strict guidelines.
Internet of Things (IoT) Opens Endless Possibilities
The Internet of Things has been the buzzword in the technology space in India and globally for some time now. There’s been a splurge of smart phones and other devices which connect all our basic needs. The smart home solutions have thermostats, cameras, doorbells, alarm systems, locks, smoke alarm and the exciting smart personal assistants like Google Home, Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod.
Since smartphones now provide options like GPS and multiple connectivity options through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc. which are essential for IoT’s utilization, we are well on course to see the mobile app’s demand rise concurrently with the IoT’s explosion.
The potential of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Apps
AR and VR are pitted as futuristic technologies and they would play a key role in mobile app development in the country. Leading ecommerce retailers like Lenskart etc. are already putting the AR and VR technologies to use. The recent success of VR games such as Pokémon Go gave us a glimpse of how it can be integrated into the mobile ecosystem.
*The Author is Mr. Karam Malhotra, CEO SHAREit, India