Smartphones/Mobile Applications Technology Web Development

8 Mobile Development Trends to Expect in 2021

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Smartphones are taking on an ever-growing role in the lives of consumers. Your smartphone isn’t just a communications device, you use it to shop, manage your schedule and for entertainment. Beyond that, people are using their mobile devices for things like managing their finances and improving health and wellness. 

With smartphones becoming so integral to the everyday lives of so many people, things like iPhone app development are booming. Businesses see the potential of smartphone apps, and they are looking for ways to provide new services and increase profits. 

For businesses to have success in the modern mobile landscape, they have to stay up to date with the latest trends. In this post, we are going to look at the hottest app development trends to look out for in the coming year.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is not new, but 2021 is expected to be a big year for connected devices. This is in part because of the current roll-out of 5G networks. 

According to research from IDC, there were an estimated 10 million 5G connections in 2019. That number is expected to grow beyond one billion in 2023. With faster mobile networks, we will see IoT apps starting to push the limits of mobile technology.

At the current time, a lot of IoT is in smart home, business tech or simple wearables. As 5G networks continue to roll out, 5G is going to enable smart cities and apps that work with smart cars. This year is going to be a year for experimentation with IoT app technology.

Augmented Reality 

Augmented Reality (AR) is expected to have a big year in 2021. Developers have been experimenting with AR for a few years. Beyond entertainment, we have started to see use cases that include things like marketing, manufacturing, social media and healthcare. With mobile platforms like ARCore and ARKit continuing to improve, 2021 should be an exciting year for Augmented Reality.


Demand for wearable devices is on the rise. With things like smartwatches and fitness trackers becoming more common, there is going to be a growing trend in developing apps that work with wearable devices. This trend will not only affect the fitness and gadget sectors, but we should also expect to see an increased focus on developing apps and wearables that can support healthcare functions.

Beacon Technology

Beacon technology is going to play a major role in improving location-based experiences. With beacon technology, a business can use low-intensity Bluetooth to send signals to nearby smart devices. This could be used by healthcare facilities, hotels, restaurants, and event centers just to name a few of the businesses that might benefit. 

The beacon devices can be set up by a business and can transmit a signal with a unique identifier. When the signal is picked up by a device, it can then tell the device to carry out a range of functions. Common applications would be to mark the location of the business on a map or to deliver a custom advertising message to attract customers. With beacon technology in a mobile app, businesses can take location-based advertising to a new level.


Chatbots are another technology that has been around for a while. With that said, today’s chatbots have taken an evolutionary leap that makes them like an entirely new species when compared to the chatbots of just a few years ago. Along with that, they have become easier to develop and integrate in with mobile apps.

With chatbots being more capable and more accessible, we will see more businesses looking to integrate chatbots with their apps. These chatbots will handle things like customer service inquiries and they can be trained to act as a digital assistant to help customers find the products they want. Many brands will even start to use chatbots as a vital part of their marketing efforts.


Mobile ecommerce has been on the rise for some time. With 2020 being a year that saw huge gains in online shopping, more businesses are going to look to ecommerce app development as a necessity if they want to stay competitive.

2021 should be a year that sees incredible growth in the number of ecommerce businesses that are online. Along with that, traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are going to start looking to the value of having a mobile app for selling products and engaging with consumers.

Artificial Intelligence

We expect to see an increase in the uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in mobile applications. Instead of using simple rules to give the impression of intelligence, we are going to see a range of apps that are truly intelligent and independent. This will cover everything from better recommendation engines and more sophisticated advertising tools to apps that can provide better education services or accurate analysis for healthcare services and diagnostics.

On-Demand Apps

The on-demand economy has been a major trend for the last few years. That is expected to continue and grow during 2021. Consumers want products and services ready and available instantly, and app development is going to be one of the primary tools businesses use to deliver on the on-demand trend. 

While ridesharing services and food delivery tend to be two of the most common examples in the current economy, we are starting to see an expanding range of industries going on-demand. In the coming year, we will see more examples of things like home maintenance, auto repair, healthcare, pet care and more being offered through on-demand apps.

Every year sees big changes in the mobile app development industry. New technologies emerge or developers hit on new ideas that every business wants to follow. Regardless of how the trend came to be, businesses need to be aware of them if they want to stay competitive moving forward. You might not need to follow every trend, but if you miss one that is relevant to your industry, you could fall behind the competition. In the modern digital economy, being behind by even a few months can be a significant setback.

About the author


Rae Steinbach

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).