Innovations in design, technology, and app development have always brought new possibilities to mobile users. These developments are progressing all the time, and this is set to continue in 2021. Furthermore, with more affordable mobiles available than ever, more and more users will have access to these exciting new technologies.
Even though COVID-19 has taken its toll on many industries, it is also giving a boost to digital communications as online life and work are gaining more importance. It is not surprising that many of the upcoming trends are in response to the pandemic. Let’s look at some of the mobile trends set to roll out in 2021.
With 3G, net browsing on the mobile became easy. 4G increased the speed and made video streaming widespread on mobile devices by further widening the bandwidth. Now, 5G is the upcoming mobile revolution that’s going to make exciting new technologies accessible on your mobile device, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and cloud-based gaming.
AI can already be found on smartphones in the form of applications like Google Assistant and Siri. However, more applications and functions based on Artificial Intelligence are set to become a key part of mobile usage with the imminent adoption of 5G. An increase in voice application usage driven by touch-free practices in the wake of COVID-19 is also a strong catalyst for this development.
Using your smartphone for online shopping is not new. However, the coronavirus pandemic has given a boost to mobile shopping as either even shops remained closed, or people feared visiting them physically, especially during the initial months of the pandemic. The result was an increased number of orders using mobile phones, thanks to the countless online purchasing apps developed during this time.
According to one report, there was a 200 per cent increase in grocery app downloads during the early months of the pandemic. The trend is set to continue in 2021 as people who have picked up the habit of shopping online.
Social commerce could be considered an offshoot of mobile commerce. However, there are some subtle differences. While a significant part of mobile commerce is B2C, social commerce can have other possibilities. People market, sell and purchase things with the help of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
The trend is fast accelerating. It’s a peer to peer activity where individuals sell to other individuals with the help of social media. A range of new apps have sprouted that give impetus to concepts like drop-shipping and Facebook Marketplace.
People have been spending more times on video games since the start of the pandemic. This has been especially true with youngsters sitting at home as schools were closed and even adults who were away from the office. This trend will likely continue thanks to the possibilities of 5G, as it will boost emerging gaming modalities such as cloud-based gaming, augmented reality gaming, and Blockchain-based games.
‘From Home’ Apps
The coronavirus pandemic has confined many activities to the home. Work-from-Home, Study-from-Home, and Home-fitness are the buzzwords of today, with remote working and video conferencing apps increasingly in use. For students, numerous applications for online classes are on the rise. Another significant area is health and fitness apps, as fitness enthusiasts cannot get outdoors due to restrictions and gym closures. Though many will return to their previous routines after the virus subsides, others will continue with the trend as they find it more advantageous and convenient on many fronts, so in 2021 we are likely to see more of such apps.
Mobile-based Marketing and Ads
As people have started using their smartphones more for online purchases, mobile-targeted ads and marketing are also on the increase. The trend is going to expand in 2021 due to many factors. One major reason is the much-awaited 5G network which will make video-content marketing easy. The options for market research involving data concepts like Big Data on the go will also improve these possibilities.
COVID-19 has made touch-free interactions essential and these practices will be carried over into 2021. Access control based on biometrics is one vital area. Large establishments install expensive equipment for the purpose, while smaller operations can make use of mobile apps.
You can make a QR code scan using a mobile phone or even use facial or voice recognition apps to grant entry to a restricted area for authorised individuals. Many smartphone models already have facial recognition apps to unlock the phone and more dedicated identification apps will roll out soon.
The percentage of online searches made on mobile is going on increasing with every year, making the concept of mobile-first design more important than ever. This prioritizes mobile-friendly sites for SEO purposes and to provide an enhanced user experience. In 2015, Google announced the mobile-friendly algorithm, and it rolled out the mobile-first indexing this year. As it gives priority for a mobile website over PC websites on a Google search, more and more people are going to see an increase in mobile-friendly sites on their screens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on many industries. However, emerging technologies cannot afford to wait for anything or anyone on their relentless path of development. Moreover, the pandemic have inspired a number of the mobile trends we are set to see in 2021.