What to expect in technology and app development this year? What will be the top technology trends in 2020? We gathered a few important highlights of 2019 and present predictions for 2020 technology trends.
2019 Summary: Technology and App Development Highlights
In 2019, there were a couple of important events as well as leading mobile app development and technology trends. We present the essential ones below.
HarmonyOS – Huawei’s OS Announced
In August, during HDC 2019, Huawei announced that they are creating their own Operating System for Huawei devices: HarmonyOS. As a consequence, we will have a third OS, in addition to iOS and Android. Developers and businesses need to prepare for changes.
Ionic 4 – Superpowered Cross-Platform Framework
Ionic is a popular cross-platform development framework. In 2019, version 4 was released along with Capacitor – the new native bridge, and it created a lot of buzz. Creators seriously improved the performance of Ionic apps. As a consequence, Ionic 4 became a perfect framework to build Progressive Web Apps.
Flutter – New Framework for Cross-Platform Development
Flutter is a new cross-platform framework developed by Google. It created a lot of buzz among developers, because it seems to solve major cross-platform development challenges. During 2019, its creators were improving and expanding the framework. We’ve analyzed it, and the framework resolves major cross-platform development challenges: those connected to performance and design.
Smart Wearables and Mobile Payments Becoming More Popular
Last year we talked about how people use their mobile phones; this year other smart devices are becoming casual. What is more, in 2019, more of us were paying with our smart devices like smartphones or smartwatches. People use Google Pay and Apple Pay more and more often.
Artificial Intelligence is already used in many apps and smart devices. Smartwatches became more than fitness trackers: they are also able to, for example, perform simple ECG. We have intelligent sleep trackers or air purifiers at our houses.
Minimum Awesome Experience Needed
Since there are a lot of apps in the app stores, a good idea is no longer enough to be noticed. Users have a specific type of expectations towards particular apps. What is more, businesses have to provide them with excellent UX and design. In 2019, it was no longer sufficient to create a simple MVP if our product is not innovative – we needed to reach our users with Minimum Awesome Product.
Augmented Reality in Apps
Augmented and Virtual Reality were growing in 2019. Many companies used these technologies to provide users with innovative products or services. For example, Ikea used AR in a mobile app to help people build their furniture. Nike used AR and AI to create an app that scans your feet and chooses the best shoe size.
Google LiveView – Maps with Augmented Reality
Google Maps enabled the beta version of a new on-foot navigation view – LiveView. It uses Augmented Reality and allows users to see the route in the real world. A small map is on the screen’s corner.
Stripe Payments in European Countries
This September, Stipe launched in eight more European countries. It’s excellent because Stripe is one of the best payment service providers in the world. They offer fast, secure and convenient in-app payments and excellent support for developers.
Top Technology Trends 2020: What Will Fuel the Technology World in 2020?
We’ve analyzed and summarized app development and top technology trends for 2020. Below, we present the most interesting ones.
Progressive Web Apps
PWAs are here a while, but 2020 will be the year of their expansion. Until recently, they were not supported by devices with iOS. During the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2019, Apple announced iOS 13 beta, which supports PWAs. Many experts say that Progressive Web Apps are the future of mobile app development. They are fast, reliable, able to work offline. These are the things a modern user needs.
Flutter is a framework for cross-platform app development that spread its wings in 2019, but it is expected to flourish in 2020. It seems that Flutter will be the most popular cross-platform framework in 2020 and over the next few years. In December 2019, Flutter organized the conference where they announced the release of Flutter 1.12, web support and HotUI, among others. We wrote a blog post summing up Flutter Interact conference. The year 2020 is going to be exciting in terms of this framework!
5G Data Networks
The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity will ensure incredibly high speeds of the internet and big data capacity. 2020 is likely to be the year when 5G networks will start to work more commonly. Mobile internet will become faster and more usable than home networks. What is more these changes will lead to advancements in the area of Artificial Intelligence, smart machinery and Internet of Things. Moreover, 5G will provide the backbone for smart cities, robots and autonomous vehicles. Every business should consider the implications of having that kind of internet anywhere we want. Most importantly, it will open enormous possibilities for innovators.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Thanks to 5G networks AI will finally be able to exploit its full potential thanks to shorter download and setup time. In 2020, the number of companies offering AI-as-a-service will grow. Currently, that kind of solution is too broad and expensive for smaller players. In 2020, tailored applications and services specialized for particular industries or tasks will emerge.
This technology is used to create transactions that are super-secure thanks to encryption and decentralizing the process. Mastercard, IBM and FedEx already supported it, but regular customers are still prejudiced. If these big companies continue their investments, 2020 can be the year when Blockchain will become more available and smaller players will adopt it. What is more, Facebook plans to launch its own blockchain-based cryptocurrency called Libra. As a consequence of growing popularity, Blockchain-related jobs is the second-fastest-growing category. For one blockchain developer, there are 14 job openings.
New Google Assistant
During Google I/O 2019, new Google Assistant was presented. It seems that it will completely change the way we perceive that kind of AI. New Assistant performs tasks directly on a smartphone, not in a cloud, and as a consequence, it processes the request 10 times faster. It’s also smarter and able to display results according to user data – Google made use of Machine Learning. What is more, the assistant will also be finally helpful during a car drive.
In 2019, many businesses used cloud technology to store and share data. In 2020, this trend will rise. Most importantly, cloud storage has a vast capacity, we can access files from any device and place we want, and the solution is secure. What is more, Cloud Technology becomes especially powerful in connection to the 5G network. It will allow businesses to spread their wings, offer new cloud-based applications and provide their clients with more reliable products or services.
Internet of Things
Everything becomes connected to the internet. People are getting used to the fact that they can operate their devices also when they are away from home. According to the Gartner report, by 2020, connected devices across all technologies will reach 20.6 billion.
Geolocation and Direct Marketing
To clarify, we are dealing with geolocation some time, but it will show its full potential in the next few years. Delivery apps have now geolocation built-in that shows where exactly is our order. Location tracking makes maps smarter and is also used in smart devices. For example, in health wearables for seniors. What is more, businesses also learn how to use it for marketing. They can send push notifications to users who are near their stores and encourage them with coupons to make a purchase. This trend will only grow in 2020 because geolocation and push notifications create a powerful direct marketing tool.
Personalization of User Experience
Personalization was already extremely popular in 2019, but it will be one of the top technology trends in 2020. It’s no longer enough to understand the behavior of our audience. Now we need to address individuals. We can see it, for example, in a content recommendation. Thanks to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence algorithms learn about user’s preferences and show matched content. We can already see it on Netflix, Spotify, Medium or Google. Consequently, modern businesses may need to adapt.
In 2019, we faced some serious privacy issues. More fragile data is collected and stored online and people become aware of that. Medical information and location history are only examples. In 2020, it should become normal that everyone has control over the privacy settings in any web or mobile app they use. Most importantly, businesses should prepare their current products and services for high privacy protection. What is more, it will be a must for any new products emerging on the market.
Since people use smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, smart TVs, PCs, and smart speakers, they want two things. Firstly, to have their apps available for almost every one of these devices. And secondly, to be able to synchronize the experience on them. What does it mean? For example, if someone watches a TV show on Netflix on his laptop, then, he wants to launch the app on a smart TV and pick up from where he left off. Companies should consider this trend because this option becomes something casual for users.
The range and volume of deep fake videos, fake accounts and misinformation are alarming. That is why, in 2020, every company should have a mission to raise awareness on that topic.
In consequence, more products stopping the spread of misinformation will undoubtedly emerge. Already in 2019, companies created many tools to identify misleading content, fake accounts, fake customer reviews. For example, Adobe recently announced the prototype of their service to spot manipulated images and videos. In 2020, we will have to work even more on that to make the internet secure again. Most importantly, every company needs to act more carefully to keep their users’ trust. It seems that in 2020 the world will become more connected. 5G data network may not be generally available yet, but it will surely start to change the image and capacities of the web. Businesses should also prepare their products for changes demanded by User Experience, privacy protection, and cross-device synchronization.