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Mobile Apps Development Trends in 2021

Apps stores are a highly competitive market that constantly grows in both annual money gross and the number of players entering the competition. Mobile apps development trends are helping the developers to understand the general direction the market moves. They also light the ways for their products to not get outdated.

It should be noted, however, that trends are not rules set in stone. More often than not it is better to stick with your vision of how your app should look and behave, than chase the new tech feature. 

Most importantly, there are no guarantees that trends will stick with the audience. For example, there were lots of predictions at the beginning of the 2010s that VR gaming would be huge, or even create the new videogame paradigm. So far it is niche at best. Not only because of technical difficulties or high price. But the nature of the interaction between person and device itself.

This article is divided into two parts. The “Technological trends” section features novelties and experimental technologies that are trying to get their niche in the app market.  “Worldwide Trends in Design” part tells about the practices to create the best user experience and how can they differentiate depending on the country’s market. 

Technological Trends

castle in smartphone

Augmented Reality

It’s no secret that Pokemon GO was a huge success. The main point of that is it mixes our perception of reality with the add-on of the app. However, it is far from being a one-of-a-kind app with the augmented reality feature. In fact, cooperative giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apps are all actively developing their tools as it helps to continuously scan and collect the data about the user`s physical environment. Or even to make a full 3d model of Earth.

Touchless Apps

The new generation of smartphones, like Galaxy Note 10, comes with the feature of camera gesture recognition. It allows users to control apps with a snap of a finger or waving in front of it. Touching the screen in order to use your smartphone is not required anymore.  Some applications are starting to implement this touchless control function into them.

Face Recognition

Face ID was a massive upgrade coming from Apple. It was a hugely popular feature. Snapchat turned that tech into entertainment and got a massive download boost. Microsoft and some other major players are going to introduce similar features to their products. 

However, there are some concerns regarding this technology as a whole. Some precedents make it clear that such technology can be used to constantly survey, oppress and discipline the population. And so, some of the companies, like IBM and Amazon are starting to distance themselves from that technology.  

Internet of Things

This term refers to the part of the Internet where people have no access to. Devices, however, can exchange information and interact via it. The application of that technology can be quite flexible. Depending on your needs you can, for example, build an app that gathers indicators from your motor pool, the location, temperature and humidity, overall condition, and sends it to the management system of your business. Or you can build a medical app that constantly monitors a patient’s condition via wearables and alerts the doctor if the person needs treatment. An extremely promising direction of technology. 

AI Assistants

Siri from Apple and Amazon’s Alexa are rapidly spreading all over devices. They provide help to the users via various means. Virtual AI can manage smart houses, find information on the web, work as a reminder or even perform various errands. They are not the only ones, however, various commercial companies build their own AI-powered assistants to work with their customer requests, provide technical support or answer their questions. Just like a normal person, but faster and it can word with massive amounts of requests simultaneously. HDFC bank`s EVA is a good example.

Keep in mind, though, that the more humane experience a user can expect the bigger the chance of failure. Even if they are more advanced than bots they still have a long way to overcome an uncanny valley. 

Worldwide Trends in Design

smartphone with world map in hand

Unlike trends in technology, apps design trends are rather subtle and debatable. Part of the reason for this is the huge range of cultural diversity in world countries. Ways to promote your app in, for example, Mexico and Japan can be drastically different. 

That being said, there are three general approaches in design that transpired in the most recent time. 


Quite a simple design, that comes from the targeting technology of marketing. Simply put, after analyzing the information gathered about the customer, your app acts to satisfy their needs. Social media apps suggest to them the people they might know. Music apps may recommend some tracks they might like based on what music they listened to before. Ecommerce apps advertise the goods your customer might want to buy. Studies confirm that most users prefer a personalized experience.


For the last two decades, the model of app design remained unchanged – “one app – one purpose”. However, in recent years, there is a surge in the global market to build superapps. Unlike the regular ones, it can have a massive amount of different functions installed. For example, it can be a social media plus video service plus food delivery plus billing tool plus whatever you need.  A promising example of that kind of app is Natural AI which aims to start a revolution in how people interact with devices. 

In fact, that trend comes from China where every major company has its own superapp, like Bilibili or Baidu. Over time they influenced the Asian market as a whole and superapps started to appear in other countries. Like Indonesian Gojek. And at the start of the 2020s that approach came into the English-speaking market. Will it gain success in the individualistic world? Let’s wait and see.

Video Interaction

Pandemic influenced people`s lives in more than one way. As for the app market, in 2020 overall income of video interaction apps has raised three to five times. But most importantly, the behavior pattern born from this catastrophe is already integrated with daily lives and going to stay even if the pandemic is over. Many people get the idea that some things can be done remotely without sacrificing efficiency.  It is much easier and safe to “visit” a doctor from home.

A lot of people reevaluate their approach to shopping. Video shopping allows small and medium-sized businesses to interact with customers directly. There are some excellent mobile apps in this niche, for example, DROPD, which integrates online shopping and streams of influencers from social media.


The market of mobile apps is a dynamic one. New approaches and technologies emerge every year. Sometimes they are the product of a long development and calculation, sometimes as an unpredictable response to people`s needs. It can be quite a powerful way to reach a quick success. 

But no matter what trends you use or how good your intuition works, what defines a good app with a future from the bad one is quality. No matter how you look at it the most common reason people uninstall the app or look for something else are crashes, freezes, bugs, and bad performance. There are bad practices that might seem like a good idea at first, but you should avoid them at all costs. Among them are push notifications, overloaded design, and lots of permissions required from users. Google has a recommendation article for android developers.

In the end, I wish you the best of luck in conquering adds market in the upcoming years.

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