August 3, 2016
The last few years have been an exciting time in the development of mobile technology. It seems like every day there is something new happening to our phones and tablets to make the experience of using them better — and that trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
So what can we expect in the near future? Here are five mobile device technology trends to keep an eye on.
1. Changes in Device Sizes
For a while, it seemed like mobile devices were only going to continue to get smaller, until they were little more than earpieces. Then introduction of the iPhone caused devices to start getting larger again, until the release of the almost comically large iPhone 6 Plus and subsequent IPhone 6s Plus, which led to the term ‘phablet’ to describe the oversized devices. While some feared that mobile devices would only get bigger, it seems that the average device size is topping out around five to 5.2 inches, with phablets running no larger than 5.7 inches. However, there is some speculation that Apple will introduce a smaller device with a four-inch screen as a way to attract new customers to the brand who have been turned off by the larger devices. Should that happen, other device manufacturers are likely to follow suit with slightly smaller phones.
2. Web Performance
The mobile Web continues its steady climb to dominance, which is both a detriment to apps and a call for better Web performance on mobile devices. A 2015 Morgan Stanley report showed that more people use mobile web than apps and that most people are more likely to check out a website on their device before downloading an app. In addition, there is a significant loss of engagement among those users who do download apps; it seems a majority of people who actually download and install apps do not use them after the initial install and even delete the apps after signing on.
What this means for mobile devices is that users expect a high level of performance on their phones. Not only do Web designers need to take into account the wide range of devices that users may be accessing their sites on — from smartphones to tablets to wearables — but device manufacturers need to also consider Web performance in the design and development of their devices. Users want content to load as fast on mobile as it does on their other devices, so look for manufacturers to focus on improving the baud rate and other specifications on their products to better meet these demands.
3. Productivity Tools
Mobile devices have long been viewed as primarily content consumption tools, with limited usefulness for productivity. That is changing, thanks to the introduction of new tools like the iPad Pro and Surface Pro. Look for tablets to begin offering more productivity tools and features, such as multi-screen app capabilities, more advanced apps and increased battery life and storage capacity, making them more than just a tool for reading and watching videos.
4. Battery Life
If there is one thing that almost everyone complains about when it comes to their devices, it’s battery life. It always seems like the battery dies right when you need it the most, and as we do more on our devices all the time, battery life seems to suffer. Device developers are listening to the complaints about short-lived batteries and are looking for new solutions to increase battery life without adding to the size and weight of devices. Already, the typical battery life has increased by about 25 percent in the last five years, and it will only continue to get better. Look for more devices to offer expanded options for conserving battery life, as well as faster charging options as we move forward.
5. Improved Resolution
Finally, another trend to watch is the improved resolution on mobile device screens. Even the most inexpensive Smartphones are expected to have 720p resolution by the end of the year, while larger devices and tablets will be equipped with 2K or WQHD screens, with some even implementing 4K for the highest resolution.
The world of mobile device technology is constantly changing, with new technology and trends taking shape all the time. While many changes are subtle, they are significant, and point toward a better user experience overall.
Cher Zavala is a content co-ordinator who assists in contributing quality articles on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others.