App development trends 2020: leading technologies vs. actual user needs

Nov 29 2019
7 min
Ira Melnic
Marketing Specialist

Your web or mobile app - looking all stunning and trendy -  is running the podium on the App Fashion Week. Glittery UX/UI design is shining bright in the spotlights. Futuristic features are generating rounds of applause. Fancy that, your product to be up to date with the app development trends 2020!


As ridiculous as it may seem, this exercise of imagination has its purpose. The app market of 2019 was flooded with competition. There are 2,2 billion apps available in the App Store and 2,8 billion in Google Play. Is your app trendy enough to stand out from this tremendous crowd? In case it's your New Year’s Resolution, make sure your already existing or future app is up to the upcoming leading technologies. Top innovations like 5G or IoT are taking over people's attention. Be one of the entrepreneurs that adjusts their digital product to the app development trends 2020 and moves the spotlights to their business. And let's make your next version of your app not only functional but suitable to fit the top user needs in the next year.

     Mobile app usage is expected to generate $189 billion in revenue by 2020.

Building apps and practically breathing everything related to apps all day long since 2015 is about our company, Wolfpack Digital. Thus, we are capable of grasping the wind of change in the app development industry. Bear with us to uncover the top 5 leading app technologies of 2020. Take notes if you are an enterprise focused on leading the competition, a business owner shifting your business on the app, or a startup founder who is ambitious enough to want to launch a skyrocketing app. The top 5 user needs you must fulfill next year within your app so as to be successful will be revealed below.


Digital Wallet

That one trend that booms every year with a bigger echo is the "all in one device" mindset. Regardless of the digital security scandals over the year, users are getting more and more comfortable to entrust their everything to devices, including money. What does the cashless era mean for app development and especially for app owners? A digital wallet is one of the app development trends 2020 users will be looking for in almost any app that requires payment. Freedom of transferring money within a peer-to-peer mobile payment app is already climbing in the top of user preferences (you just have to follow the Paypal or Apple Pay Cash examples).

Also, contactless payment is not science fiction anymore, and not even so for baby boomers. Meanwhile, e-commerce apps are digging their own grave by relying on a sophisticated payment process. You don't have to be the next Revolut or N26. Still, trust us that a modern money management feature in your app will make a difference.


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IoT (Internet of Things)

The same "all in one device" mindset made IoT look attractive in most users’ eyes. It is still impossible to have a device like a smartphone literally doing it all: preparing the coffee, securing your building, monitoring air quality etc. But that one device can get all this information from other devices. This is what IoT is all about - wireless communication between devices and remote control. So, engage in a brainstorming session to identify devices your app might connect to. Take into consideration linking with them not only by the Internet but also by Bluetooth that has its game-changing advantages


5G services

Defined in 2018 and launched in 2019, 5G is expected to become one of the app development trends 2020. There are already 20 countries (including USA, UK, Russia, Germany, India, Australia) that made 5G available for common use and more are planning on launching it. There is no way back. Sooner or later, your target audience will force you to invest in updating your app to 5G. In 2020 you can still use 5G integration as more of a fancy asset rather than a must-have feature. Better security, a higher speed, a faster connection are like gold in the app development industry. And you can be the one to master this treasure.


Chatbots and AI

"Hi, Siri!" was trendy in 2011. In 2020 it is going to be "Hi, Siri, Brandon, Anna, Joey" or any other chatbot that will welcome and guide you in every other app. Last years, artificial intelligence was a giant buzzword and a brand new technology to experiment with. The upcoming chatbots will be the main focus of artificial intelligence implementation while building apps. Bots' popularity is due to them becoming more natural and intelligent, more and more able to sustain a decent conversation. No robot takeover is expected. But integrating bots will let you cover routine introductory conversations and focus employee efforts on more complex tasks.


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Let's welcome augmented reality and virtual reality in the list of app development trends 2020. AR/VR has been around from before 2019 and already exceeded all the expectations in the gaming industry. When referring to apps, AR/VR features may represent a useful trick to surprise users and offer an entertaining experience no matter the niche. The release of ARKit by Apple and ARCore by Google raised the bar for all app developers and business owners. Further in the article, you will discover the top industries where you should use AR/VR features in your app.


Leading Technologies vs. Actual User Needs

Even though we hooked you with that "vs." to read the article, there are no scandalous contradictions that might shock you. We are on your side and want to help you adjust your business idea to your target user needs so as to be able to dominate the app market. People are going digital. As a true member of the tech world make sure your innovation serves the top app user needs in 2020:


M-commerce Apps

Once upon a time, customers switched from walking around the store to shopping online. The new switch is happening in 2020, from E to M-commerce. More and more E-customers will prefer shopping on the go using smartphones. Obviously, it's more time-efficient. Moreover, app development trends 2020 like a digital wallet make it even easier to purchase. It lets avoiding lengthy payment processing and cash usage. Apart from that, IKEA integrated AR in their app, letting customers see how their future purchases will look like at their own place. We hope retail and e-commerce businesses are writing this down for their product development strategy in 2020.


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Banking and Fintech Apps

Money digitalization is an unstoppable phenomenon in the modern tech world. Thus, in 2020, the urge for money management will take over the app industry. Sometimes fishy at first glance, finance apps gain trust and demand. This is due to blockchain, a technology that lets app developers secure and encrypt the code. Many banks already have their app developers working and launching mobile banking apps. The upcoming year is the time to get top app builders to help you with your future fintech app or to help you integrate a modern feature with an existing one in your app. 


Health and Well-being Apps

Becoming more aware of self-care or having a constant lack of time for doctor appointments made many users make room for healthtech apps on their devices. The preferences vary from fitness apps all the way to a mindfulness app that helps you take care of your mental health. Also, consultancy apps are privileged due to chatbots and progress in AI. Examples can go on to the most surprising ones like Storyball. It is an app linked to a smart ball that together sends children to indoor and outdoor adventures. 

We must note that when it comes to healthcare, many body metrics have to be evaluated with specific devices (the most common one is a smartwatch). So do your homework on the IoT technology as it is one of the app development trends 2020. Or ping us if you want us to help you out with a top-notch healthtech IoT app idea and be sure we have the experience to build it (Storyball is such an example).


Social and Community Apps

People are social beings by nature and always will aim to group together and form communities. Technologies allow for the distance not to be a problem anymore. The need for social apps will grow along with people willing to join smaller communities with a more specific goal. So, besides titans like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, people have their eye for more niche social apps. TikTok attracts those looking for challenges and exposure. Meetup lets people migrate from digital to real interactions. Another social app that stole our hearts from the moment we heard about it is Ideacracy. It is a social media platform that lets people share and raise awareness over the biggest social issues. We loved the idea, and we have been helping with building it with hope for positive social change.


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App development trends 2020 will help you anchor the users in your new social media platform. VR/AR made it easy to entertain users with all kinds of stickers, animated additions, and gifs. Stay tuned for the augmented reality filters that will be able to create digital characters out of any human face in no time. That app feature will definitely break the social platforms market. Meantime 5G makes the connection smooth and flawless, which is so necessary for live streaming and file sharing. Another example would be Facebook that took over the hood with its new Facebook Pay feature. Now users can transfer money to each other via Messenger. Fancy that!


On-demand Apps (Uber Like) 

Is it just us or the 24h day seems to be getting shorter each year? In fact, people have less time to spend because of the enormous and still growing diversity of activities and responsibilities in their lives. Therefore, the urge for on-demand apps is about to skyrocket the market in 2020. There are more and more apps helping out with everything: groceries, taxi, plumber tasks, babysitting, medicine, donations, cooking, etc. Do you have an idea of how to help people save time by getting rid of routine tasks? That's a market opportunity for you to have your breakthrough. Bots and secure mobile payment will ensure your user will not leave the app without finishing the purchase.


Feel free to make your own recipe out of the app development trends 2020. Combine the technologies and match them with more than one industry. That's our giveaway to all business owners. Tech startups will definitely make their digital product pop on the app market this year if they choose to follow these app development trends 2020. For founders who have their product launched, isn’t this time of the year when annual reports are put together the perfect moment to reshape their business? Don't let the competition steal your thunder. 

Gone are those days when you had to know and do everything to get to glittering success. May I introduce you to the top app development team of Wolfpack Digital that will take ownership over the hard part of product definition, design development, testing, and launching. Get us as your strategic partner while aiming to achieve new milestones for your business in 2020! 

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