How Will iOS App Development Evolve in the Next 5 Years and Beyond
by Michael Kelley
iOS app development statistics indicate a consistent upward trend for the number of apps since the App Store was created back in 2008. From 800 in 2008, the total number of apps increased to about 2.2 million by the end of 2017. Apple is renowned for shaking things up by frequently introducing groundbreaking innovations. Each year brings a fresh development, motivating iOS app developers to adapt to the new changes. Some software updates or device redesigns require more fundamental changes, as was the case with the latest iOS 11 and the revamped iPhone X.
With these latest iOS app development trends in mind, what can we look forward to in the next five years? What is here to stay?
There are more and more things you can do with your smartphone. For example, instant payments with payment apps offer an unquestionable time-saving benefit. Apple Pay, the iOS digital online wallet capable of processing payments from an iPhone, as well as from the rest of Apple's iOS devices, makes it simple for users to process payments with contactless technology. Since it launched, the app has experienced constant growth. Early on, it was adopted by only 3 percent of retailers, but there was over 50 percent coverage as of last year. If we further consider the encouraging facts and figures about Apple Pay's position in the overall iOS app development trends for the next five years, we can expect more Apple Pay-friendly terminals, fewer failed transactions, as well as more countries and marketplaces accepting Apple Pay as a payment method.
In addition to artificial intelligence and IoT, augmented reality apps represent one of the most exciting new mobile app trends. With AR tools, iOS developers will have the opportunity to build apps and showcase a 3D world, as well as invent virtual reality apps that will bridge the gap between the digital world and the real world by providing a more immersive user experience. ARKit, iOS' augmented reality kit, can be used in combination with Amazon's Sumerian platform to build mixed reality apps.
HomeKit by Apple is essentially the Internet of Things concept applied to iOS apps. By building more apps with the HomeKit, iOS developers will bring us closer to the energy-efficient smart homes of the future. We will have more automated functionalities for home appliances and be able to connect them to the same communication network with Siri, Apple's intelligent mobile assistant. Such a system creates a larger number of touchpoints where mobile apps can be integrated to give commands and meet user needs on the go. Music, weather, transportation, travel, alerts and task reminders are just a few of the areas in which HomeKit will influence the next five years of iOS app development.
Building apps with intelligent features is made possible with Apple's Core ML (Core Machine Learning). Like it or not, we need the help provided by machine learning algorithms - they possess much better predictive capabilities than mere humans. iOS apps with predictive analytics built with the Core ML may be able to study and predict financial trends, give insights into stock market changes, estimate future real estate prices, manage your home budget or find the shortest possible way to a destination in specific traffic conditions. Also, face detection is already fundamentally changing the direction iOS app development will take, specifically in terms of security.
Cloud File Management
The Files app included in iOS 11 allows storage and management of cloud applications from a single location and a single dashboard. For instance, you can manage the GDrive or personal Dropbox photos and videos from the same place. With all of the above changes afoot, having one location to handle the data flow will help users manage the chronic problem of information overload.
Apple tends to be a fairly reliable crystal ball for the next big thing in our technological future. Every update to iOS continues to be a hot news topic, creating excitement among loyal fans. As the system continues to evolve, we can expect more popular iOS apps that integrate one or more of the above functionalities.