Every year new trends in technologies appear, replacing each other, and this process seems to be unstoppable. Since Android has been introduced several years ago, it made a revolution in mobile operating systems. Many things have changed since that time, but one remains the same – Google does its best to blow users’ minds.
This year is not an exception, so let’s discuss the latest Android development trends to understand what features to add to your Android app to make it stand out from the crowd.
Android Instant Apps
What is Instant App? This technology has been first introduced at Google I/O 2016 and currently, only the latest Android devices starting from 5.0 Lollipop are supporting Instant Apps.
Android users can now run apps instantly, without installation. Why do users like Instant Apps? Imagine the situation when you are out in town and you need to use a certain app, but you don’t have it installed on your device. Downloading an app using mobile data may be too long if the connection isn’t good enough but Instant Apps don’t require being installed on your device to work (only a small fragment of the app gets downloaded). Instant Apps can be easily opened by clicking on a link or just searching on the web.
So, here are the advantages of Instant App for you as a user:
- You are provided with quick access to Android apps without downloading the full-size app to the device.
- Instant App opens like a usual web page, so it requires less traffic than an entire app.
- Your Android device will have more free storage, instead of being full of various apps, you have used only once.
Now let’s discuss Android Instant Apps from the developers’ side.
Android Instants Apps require the same APIs and source code and don’t need a separate app version to be created. That means you develop one app and can reach twice more users: those, who will download it and those, who open it from web search (and might download it later if their experience was positive).
But what are the pitfalls of such apps for developers? It turned out that the users are less engaged in active use of Instant Apps and are not interested in new updates, as a result. When
It’s not necessary to download an app for using it, why should people do that? In this case, the excessive use of an Instant version of an app may lead to decreased revenues for the developers, as people tend to spend more on the familiar and frequently used apps. That’s why developing an Instant App would not fit every developer’s needs. But who will surely benefit from this new technology – is Google, owing to increased web searches. Nevertheless, the technology of Instant Apps has indisputable potential.
Here is Google’s guide on Android Instant Apps development (Support Android 8 Oreo).
Nowadays, when users possess several devices and change them almost every year, one of the most adorable features that keep us calm is cloud support. Just try to remember the last time you’ve bought a new smartphone and had to install all the apps on it from scratch. Remember the pleasant feeling when you’ve opened each app and all the information has been saved? Accessing the apps on multiple devices without losing any data is the main feature of cloud support.
Improvement of Android app security
Considering the amount of personal data that we store in our smartphones and other devices, developers have to secure the exchange of personal information over wi-fi networks. The growth of the mobile industry has also brought inevitable information threats and attacks. Just remember the cases when hackers kicked up the dust stealing the personal information of celebrities by hacking their Google and Apple accounts. Sometimes, breached app security can harm our hardware, wallet, or even our health. That’s why app developers are expected to implement stronger encryption of data and constant security updates to preserve privacy in mobile apps.
Beacons & Location-Based Services
Plenty of developers are interested in the use of location-based services to enhance users’ experience as they expect real-time information. The huge success of Pokemon Go has only proved the high demand for such apps and games. The location-based services(LBS) can be implemented in a variety of areas like indoor mapping, retail, marketing, navigation, tourism, payment portals, and more.
In addition, Google introduced the beacon platform that helps apps and devices to work smarter due to timely and contextual information. To simplify, beacons are used to define the precise location and contextual cues within apps and help users to navigate the world. How it works: when your device appears in the range of a beacon it gets the updated information about your current position and what’s around.
You can connect the physical beacons with your app the Beacon Dashboard.
Swift is known to be the language for iOS and macOS development, as it’s been introduced by Apple. But lately, Google announced the possibility of making Swift the first-class language for Android development. Google considers Swift to be the language for developing native apps for Android. Now, this role is played by Java. In late 2015, Apple opened the Swifts’ source code, which means that Google can freely use the language for Android development.
Using Swift might be very handy when developing apps for both iOS and Android platforms. The first reason is saving time for the development of two separate apps, and the second one is simplicity and no need to learn more programming languages.
The use of the internet of things technology grows so fast, that by 2025 an average smartphone user is expected to have at least 6 active connections. It’s been predicted that smart homes and smart offices are just the beginning of building “smart cities”. Google has already developed several own smart devices that can be easily connected to your smartphone like Google Home, Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam, and others.
Since IoT can not only simplify our home and work routine, it can also leverage your business.
Applications today are developed not only for smartphones but also for tablets, wearables, and smart devices. The variety of possible devices working on Android is constantly growing and as you must have noticed, apps are becoming smarter. So we keep tracking the trends and share them with you.