Mobile Development Forecast for 2022: Trends, Programming Languages, Tools, and Domains
What developer skills will be the most valuable in the next two years? What technologies and apps will be trending? Read on to find answers to these and other questions.
Mobile app market overview and predictions
The mobile market may seem oversaturated, digital transformation for companies became an essential, as there are already over 5,000,000 apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store combined.
However, this market still continues to thrive, and that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Forecasts as far out as 2022 suggest that both the number of apps and the money people spend on them will keep growing.
AppAnnie has done comprehensive research on the mobile market and has predicted that this is where the market for mobile apps will be by 2022:
While there are reasonable concerns about the prospects of most apps to grow their audiences, mobile app downloads will still increase due to rising markets in India, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt, and other countries.
For example, the digital market in Southeast Asia is booming right now, with 350 million internet users, an increasing number of smartphone owners, and growing demand for mobile applications.
All this will surely reflect on the total mobile app market value. According to Market Research Future, by 2023 the mobile market will have grown to $165 billion, showing a 14% CAGR from 2016.
Even with chatbots and other mobile technologies that some claim will replace mobile applications, the global market will continue growing.
If you’re interested in our latest forecast for web development languages and frameworks, check out this article:
Top 5 programming languages of 2022 – 2023
To create truly modern and flexible apps, however, it’s important to go beyond these with relatively new programming languages that will be used in the future. These languages are more concise in comparison with the older ones and have worked out some inconsistencies and overly complex algorithms of previous languages.
Python is currently the fastest growing programming language on the mobile development market.
And it’s projected to grow even more next year:
What’s so great about Python?
Python is a powerful language that you can use for different purposes and in different domains such as:
- Mobile app development
- Web app development
- Game development
- Data science
- Machine learning
- Web scripting
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Python got rid of overly complex syntax, so it’s easy to learn it and read it as well. This helps new developers to quickly understand what’s going on inside a project. With Python, you can create any app for any platform.
Kotlin is a relatively young native Android language that will probably replace Java at some point. It’s a great language to create Android apps with in 2022, as it has so many possibilities that Java doesn’t. It also solves some problems that Java has.
The Kotlin developer community is rather small at the moment, and this can be a problem. But Kotlin is evolving fast. If you’re considering a programming language for your innovative project or startup, look at Kotlin.
Swift is the next-generation iOS language. Just like Kotlin, it’s still rather young and promising. In comparison with Objective-C, Swift offers more concise and clearer code. It requires fewer lines of code than Objective-C to complete the same task.
Swift is also more secure and easier to fix. Its compiler errors help to reduce the time needed for bug fixing. Moreover, Swift is actually an open-source project, and it’s evolving fast since anyone can contribute.
Its memory management system allows developers to focus on app logic instead of worrying about the memory of each object, as was the case in Objective-C.
The cherry on top is the dynamic Swift libraries. Whereas static libraries update only with major changes, dynamic libraries can receive separate pieces of code that improve them. This allows developers to keep applications up to date at any time.
Rust is a programming language created by Mozilla, and many believe it’s better and safer than C and C++. Its management tool allows Rust to stand out against other rising stars like Ruby and Python.
Rust is only just reaching maturity, but it’s becoming more and more popular.
What makes people learn it even though it’s difficult? Rust is safe, fast and universal: you can use it to build all kinds of applications for different platforms.
The programming language with the short name “R” isn’t very popular at the moment, but it has potential. It’s growing in popularity both in the US and internationally, and last year it became the least-hated language according to a Stack Overflow survey.
R is an open-source programming language that’s great for UIs. Visual representation of data is a must, and R is one of the best languages to create beautiful animations, graphs and other UI elements in your mobile app. It’s also used for statistical computing, which is why it’s useful for data science.
R works on different platforms and supports cross-platform development.
Top 8 technologies of 2022
The top mobile technologies haven’t changed much since 2020, and we predict that in the coming year developers and companies will continue to implement these technologies in their mobile apps:
1. Internet of Things
We’ve been hearing about the Internet of Things for several years already, but it hasn’t experienced mass adoption yet. The main reason for this is lack of standardization, but companies like Google are trying to solve this problem and offer a single solution: in Google’s case, Google IoT Core.
The whole market now has to try to create standards for IoT and make sure that devices are well-connected to smartphones and that this connection is secure.
IoT is a great technology of the future that will enable people to control many devices from their smartphones. IoT devices controlled by mobile apps can be used in:
- Smart homes
Basically, the Internet of Things is a network of objects that can connect to each other and to the Internet. These include everything from smartwatches to Tesla autonomous control systems and smart home.
When it comes to trends in applications, the Internet of Things is a revolutionary direction that has already begun to dictate new rules for developers. As more and more users begin to notice the appeal of the Internet of Things, mobile app developers need to create apps that work seamlessly on all types of devices.
In addition, the Internet of Things allows completely new kinds of applications to be created, giving developers the opportunity to be creative and experiment. So, consider IoT app development for your business.
2. Augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) is still hot. In 2022, even more mobile devices will appear that support AR and companies will start to use it more widely.
The augmented reality market is still young, but it promises massive growth.
In 2022, we’ll see lots of interesting uses for augmented reality in domains like:
- Building and construction
- Business communication
Augmented reality is becoming easier to develop each year with ARKit from Apple and ARCore from Google. We’ll see more of new tools for creating AR apps in the coming year for sure.
3. Mobile payments
Mobile payments are becoming more advanced, easier for users, and more secure. In 2022, more people will adopt contactless payments as more shops and supermarkets integrate them into their systems.
Adoption of mobile payments is extremely high in Asia. The chart below shows how likely people are to use mobile payments in 2020 by country.
As you can see, in China, Indonesia, and India, mobile payments attract the vast majority of people.
4. Artificial intelligence and cloud technology
Many companies will use artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies to deepen their interactions with customers with the help of chatbots and big data.
Chatbots on mobile will be able to answer basic inquiries and therefore save money for companies by reducing costs of customer support specialists. Moreover, chatbots will send all information to the cloud, where it can be accessed from any platform. This will help to achieve:
- Highly personalized offers for clients with different needs and interests, which will naturally increase conversion rates
- Truly omni-channel user experiences where a client can speak to support from different platforms and be recognized by the system at any stage of interaction
5. Wearable technology
Wearables are a trend each year, and 2022 won’t be an exception. Wearable technologies continue to thrive even though there are only a few manufacturers who have managed to stay profitable.
While Garmin, Jawbone, Fitbit, and other wearable giants are struggling to stay afloat, Apple successfully sells its Apple Watch.
All of the wearables companies we’ve mentioned are now shifting from producing fitness trackers to creating more full-featured devices like smartwatches. Other types of wearables, for example smartwear and smart glasses, aren’t so popular. Wrist wearables will continue to hold leading positions in 2022.
Mobile apps for smartwatches will be a trend in 2022 for sure.
6. Beacon Technology
A beacon technology used in an app can show its users where they can find their preferred products, their costs, and specifications.
Beacons use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signals. When a device enters a beacon’s zone, the app instantly gets this signal and offers appropriate notifications and instructions for the users.
This is where beacon is typically applied in 2022:
- Beacon in offline games
- Beacon-enabled mobile payments
- Beacon in travels and tourism
- Beacon in healthcare
The chatbot technology prevents the requirement of having human-to-human interaction in different fields.
According to the industry experts, people will make nearly 85% of interactions with businesses through chatbots by 2022.
The statistics show that bots will be better at providing relative services in 2020. As per Global Market Insights, the global market size for chatbots would be more than 1.34 billion USD by 2024.
8. Cross platform app development
Cross-platform development is the process of creating an application that runs on multiple platforms. This is done with tools like React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter, where the generated apps can be deployed to both Android and iOS.
While cross-platform development saves time and money, you risk sacrificing quality. It is difficult to customize an application that performs optimally on different platforms, and the application will need an extra layer of abstraction at startup, which will result in poor performance.
Startups can help reduce time and costs through cross-platform development. However, you should keep in mind that it can be more difficult to customize the application beyond what is allowed in the framework.
In 2022, the mobile trends of 2020 will only become bigger. AR, AI, wearables, omni-channel, and cloud technology will define the market leaders in the most popular domains for mobile development:
- Physical and mental health
The most popular programming languages for mobile in 2022 will be:
In 2022, mobile apps will become more intelligent and personalized as businesses need to use all the information they have about clients’ behavior, preferences, and even locations.
If you’re currently shortlisting mobile and web development experts for your current or future project, we’ll be glad if you add Mobindustry to your list. To find out more about our company and how we work with clients, visit this article.