Developing mobile apps is a tough career these days, whether you work for yourself or as part of a larger team or business. The Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store are both saturated with endless amounts of drivel, a large chunk of which is self-promoted by Chinese “click farms” which can often get a useless or dangerous app into the top ten in a matter of hours. How do you compete?
You might think it’s a cliché, but following the trends truly is the way to get ahead in almost every field of business and IT. Things that were impossible just a year or two ago are becoming commonplace thanks to 5G, smart assistants, wearable devices, and internet connected gadgets – more commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Let’s investigate some of the technologies which are teetering on the edge of becoming fully mainstream in 2022 – this is where you need to be looking if you want to get ahead of the curve:
Fifth Generation (5G) Connectivity
You really do have to wonder what goes through the heads of the people who slam 5G technology as being dangerous or somehow harmful to human health. 5G is nothing more than the next version of the worldwide mobile phone network – an upgraded version of the LTE technology that is also known as 4G.
The main reason for its development was to improve overall speed whilst also tackling the issue of our increasingly crowded airwaves – more and more spectrum is going to be required to accommodate the data needs of billions of smartphone users.
Thankfully, the global switch-off of analogue television has provided us with a lifeline here – a huge amount of new spectrum has become available, some of which has been allocated to 5G. 5G does use different frequencies to earlier mobile network technologies, but again, some of those frequencies were used for analogue television for decades without any negative effects on the worldwide population.
Now for the good stuff – 5G offers bandwidth an order of magnitude higher than pervious mobile networks, providing all sorts of new opportunities for mobile users. For example, live casino games such as blackjack and roulette are far smoother when playing at an online casino in PA, and gaming platforms such as Google Stadia and GeForce Now can finally be enjoyed as their creators intended with zero lag using a 5G handset.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
In the future, the 6th of July 2016 will be remembered as the date that Augmented Reality finally became a real technology. This was of course the release date of Pokemon Go, and whilst the servers for that game have now been shut down as of December 31st, 2021, the company behind the title, Niantic, believe their latest release could prove to be even more popular.
AR technology has improved dramatically over the past five years since the release of Pokemon Go, and Pikmin Bloom aims to take advantage of all these improvements including the multiple camera setup common to even mid-range smartphones in 2022, and the advanced Artificial Intelligence processing that manufacturers have incorporated into the latest handsets.
The beauty of this technology is that is that it leverages the hardware and software built into the devices already, and all developers must do is hook into the correct APIs to take advantage of the unbelievable power on offer. 2022 should be the year we start to see smaller studios coming up with high quality AR experiences, though full Virtual Reality is still struggling to gain a foothold with the wider population – it seems we may still be up to five years away from a VR technology that will have true mass-market appeal.
Fitness bands have been popular for more than a decade, so it was no surprise to see Apple integrating all of the features of products such as the FitBit range in their Apple Watch products. It seems that the wearable market – at least as far as wrist-mounted devices goes – will forever be synonymous with health-focused applications.
This is no bad thing – let’s be honest, most of us really should be doing more to take care of our health. App developers are continually coming up with more creative and innovative ways of using the technology embedded in these devices to provide useful data and statistics. Any app developer who finds a way to use the available technologies in innovative and creative ways is undoubtedly sitting on a goldmine.
What will be truly fascinating will be seeing what other types of wearables come out of Shenzhen during 2022 – there must be more possibilities than just wrist mounted technology, right?
These are just the three most important developments in mobile app technology that have been occurring recently, but there are countless more – government issued digital currencies, mega-apps that link together features that previously required ten different applications (think WhatsApp with cab support, food delivery, cloud storage, and e-mail) along with the dozens if not hundreds of new applications for neural-network based artificial intelligence.
One thing is for sure – 2022 is going to be an exciting time for all users of mobile devices.