Artificial intelligence is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of mobile app trends in 2023. And as businesses chase after this new tech gold rush, many wonder what’s in store for the future of application development.

From AI and beyond, the landscape for mobile business apps is exciting. A lot is happening and it’s easy to get lost in the mix. To help you stay on track, we’ve rounded up the top 20 mobile app development trends you need to focus on for 2023.

1. Artificial Intelligence

AI is living up to its hype. As more businesses rush to add AI functionality to their applications, customers eagerly await the impact.

Despite access to user data, developers have long struggled to fully understand user behavior. Artificial intelligence (with Deep Learning and Machine Learning) changes that.

These technologies empower near-instant data analysis that can tailor personalization, improve customer experiences, spot fraud, enhance security, predict user behavior, and keep businesses competitive.  The list goes on.

AI can quickly access large amounts of data and help developers interpret it better. This means developers can more confidently create new features customers want while improving existing favorites. Either way, apps will better meet customer needs.

Businesses will also benefit from AI as they’ll be able to tap into those vast, unused data streams to make more informed decisions and better reach their customers.

2. Open AI in App Development

OpenAI is revolutionizing the way teams build apps. With access to their APIs, developers can automate repetitive tasks and do much more.

Some of the pre-trained AI models available through OpenAI’s APIs include:

  • GPT-3.5-turbo to carry out human-friendly interactions
  • text-davinci-003 for text completion and insertion
  • Whisper v2-large for multilingual translation and transcription
  • text-embedding-ada-002 to measure relationships between texts
  • code-davinci-002 to auto-complete lines of code or generate code blocks
  • DALL-E to create realistic images and art from a description
  • CLIP for detecting relevant text description of the given image

It’s also possible to train these models on larger datasets and evaluate user behavior. 

This’ll help organizations build personalized apps and offer relevant suggestions to users based on their past actions. 2024 Research

Other tools like GitHub’s Copilot are making the news (both positively and negatively). It helps radically improve developer productivity. At the same time, there’s a class action lawsuit against the platform for copyright violations. 

Either way, developers will be looking for ways to integrate AI into their applications.

From building personal assistants to language learning solutions with voice assistance, the opportunities with OpenAI’s API are seemingly endless.

3. Chatbot Improvements

Chatbots are commonplace. AI-enabled, intent-based chatbots can scale call center service agents while dramatically reducing operational costs.

These chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to understand human language and produce human-like responses to user queries. 

Before assisting with the request, the chatbot scans the customer’s (or patient’s) request. After, it finds historical information about that customer to identify the intent and responds with a personalized script to address the customer’s problem.

AI-powered chatbots also learn over time as they process more data, meaning their ability to process customer concerns improves. And they make it easier to analyze data to identify trends the business can use to make organizational changes.

Best of all, AI-driven chatbots can free up your team’s time significantly. 

Instead of handling low-level service tasks, your team can focus on offering better customer experiences.

4. Custom Enterprise Applications

Enterprises are moving away from turnkey solutions for their business challenges, instead opting for custom applications that empower their organizations.

Without custom solutions, many organizations must force their businesses into a mold

As a result, the application defines their business. It prevents them from building the workflows and processes to streamline operations. And it keeps them from adding the necessary features or collecting the data insights they need to better serve their customers.

With the rising to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and work-from-home culture, enterprises are looking for ways to stay secure while giving their teams and customers more of the features they need.

Supportive techs such as cloud automation and more affordable application development will empower developers with the tools they need to create scalable enterprise apps faster.

5. Low-Code and No-Code App Development

Low-code and no-code tools have been around for a while, but have been increasing in popularity since the pandemic. 

These tools use visual interfaces and prefabricated snippets of code to speed up application development. Users simply drag and drop what they need into existence. 

With these tools, business users with limited or no coding skills can build apps up to 10X faster.

Low-code and no-code aren’t limited to business users. Core developers can leverage these platforms to drastically decrease development time and reduce burnout.

Additionally, leading low-code providers are integrating AI into these tools to further speed up and improve the application development process. 

6. Citizen Development

Citizen developers are business users who develop digital solutions using low-code and no-code platforms. Instead of creating tickets to solve simple IT problems, they build what they need to do their jobs better.

Because they’re closer to the business problem, they create solutions that are tailored to their unique needs. Adoption rates are higher along with business impact.

With inflation, developer talent shortages, high turnover rates, and increasing demand for digital solutions, citizen development will help businesses stay competitive by reducing IT backlog. 

Currently, organizations like Microsoft, John Deere, Shell, and other major companies are leveraging citizen developers to build solutions.

Look for more organizations to adopt citizen developers as they look for ways to transform processes and stay competitive.

7. Declarative Programming

More developers will use declarative programming to build incredible UI faster and easier. 

The declarative syntax allows developers to apply complex concepts like animations into applications with fewer lines of code. Declarative programming instructs a program “what to do” instead of “how to do it.” 

Developers describe what the final state of the app UI should look like and the framework figures out how to create it.

Instead of creating references for widgets in the UI and applying logic to each one of them, declarative programming allows using variables and callbacks directly.

Changing these values trigger UI rebuilds, ensuring it’s always up-to-date.

While React Native and Flutter already follow a declarative approach, Jetpack Compose for Android and SwiftUI for iOS recently joined the declarative bandwagon. 

8. Predictive Analytics

Consumers generate immense data when using mobile apps. But, enterprises struggle to use most of that data. As a result, more companies will integrate predictive analytics in future apps to help them capitalize on that data.

Predictive analytics uses ML, AI, and data mining to build models that can predict preferences and consumer behaviors.

These insights help businesses provide highly personalized content to their customers.

For instance, companies like Amazon collect user data like search history, browsing history, and previous purchases made on their app to offer more relevant products.

9. Widespread 5G

Network interferences and latency can significantly impact an app’s performance when making important real-time decisions. 

This is why developers often try to keep their apps lightweight. They limit the number of features that would otherwise slow down the app.

But with access to 5G technology, developers now have the freedom to build mobile apps with advanced features.

With faster internet speed 5G technology can:

  • Improve the performance of AR/VR apps
  • Enable real-time data transfer for IoT applications
  • Support remote medical services and telemedicine applications
  • Enable apps that power smart transportation systems
  • Provide lag-free experience in gaming and entertainment apps

With 5G internet, future mobile business apps can be more robust, allowing developers to add more features, and better meet customer needs. 

10. Apps for Foldable Technology

Foldable apps are becoming increasingly popular. While traditional mobile apps work in portrait mode, foldable apps expand the screen size for more complex functionality.

This is great for business users who want more mobility without using a tablet. The expanded screen provides a larger workspace for various business activities like document management, note-taking, and better collaboration.

Developers must consider foldable devices when designing new apps as aspect ratios will change depending on the screen size. 

11. Offline Capabilities

Most apps require access to the internet to function. 

Without it, users are left manually processing data only to input it into systems when they have internet access. This creates extra steps, wasting time and money.

Offline capabilities allow users to use applications without access to the internet. This is a vital feature in industries like construction, where many job sites lack the necessary infrastructure to support online applications.

More developers will add offline capabilities to business applications as a way of increasing functionality for users.

12. Blockchain Technology

Past the “crypto craze,” businesses have been looking for ways to leverage the security features built into the blockchain as a way to reduce the growing number of cyberattacks on applications. 

Blockchain’s security comes from its decentralized system, leveraging advanced encryption and consensus for enhanced data security in app development. It also increases data transparency, making it particularly useful for finance and e-commerce apps.

Blockchains track every digital transaction and store that information in a sequential format as immutable blocks in a digital ledger. It’s both tamper-proof and transparent.

This peer-to-peer design also enables the development of smart contracts (contracts built into the blockchain) as a way of better tracking agreements and settling disputes. 

Still, the adoption of blockchain in the mobile app development industry is in its early stages. But you can expect to see more applications leveraging blockchain technology to remain secure.

13. Beacon Technology

Traditional marketing channels aren’t always effective. With the lack of marketing tools, brick-and-mortar stores fail at offering personalized experiences to customers.

Businesses can leverage beacons to engage customers that are nearby. 

Beacons are wireless transmitters (on Bluetooth) that can push notifications to apps on nearby mobile devices. This allows businesses to attract more nearby customers, increasing sales.

Whether it’s an attractive offer, a loyalty program, or a more personalized message based on the shopper’s buying behavior, businesses can personalize marketing messages for potential customers. 

The result is better customer satisfaction through tailored messaging.

As more retail brands look for ways to improve sales, more businesses will incorporate beacon technology at their physical locations. 

14. Wearables

Wearables are technology devices people wear. They collect data while providing features customers need. 

Whether it’s a smartwatch or smart glasses, businesses stand to gain a lot from adopting wearable technology in the workplace. Productivity improvements, safer work environments, and even better collaboration are all possible with wearables.

And with more businesses looking for ways to cut costs and improve employee productivity, companies are rushing to develop applications for wearable devices that support and enhance their user experience.

There will be an increased demand for applications that help businesses monitor, interpret, and make use of these new data streams.

15. IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) technology continues to proliferate workflows, resulting in a tsunami of data. In 2016, there were 18 zettabytes of data globally. By 2025, that will increase to 181 thanks, in part, to IoT. 

Their widespread popularity is leading to the development of more smart devices for end consumers. Brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Bosch, and Honeywell are developing their own IoT solutions.

But IoT isn’t restricted to smart homes. The technology’s applications in industrial sectors are far-reaching. 

From enabling efficient supply chains and smart manufacturing to connected health equipment, IoT is proving to be an effective solution.

New applications will tap into the vast IoT network. Simultaneously, businesses will need better ways of tracking and interpreting that data.

16. Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR)

In 2022, Accenture started using virtual reality for employee onboarding to improve the overall experience for new team members working remotely.

Nike has an app that uses AR and VR to allow users to scan their feet and get instant size recommendations. 

With IKEA’s Place app, smartphone users can take a virtual experience of how the furniture piece will look in their homes.

Businesses understand the value of AR and VR for both customer and employee use cases. And they’re testing out augmenting experiences using this tech. 

Look for more businesses to improve experiences with this tech. 

17. Instant Apps

Instant apps allow users to access content without installing the app. Instead, users need an internet connection and a URL. They click on a link and it takes them to a specific app function.

The app “hybrids” are modularized. You download the specific app function you need into your cache by clicking on the URL.

With more apps in the market, users are hesitant to add unnecessary apps to their mobile devices. With Instant Apps, businesses are reducing barriers for potential customers. They get immediate value while building familiarity with the brand.

While these apps are great for e-commerce and gaming apps, more businesses are considering them for customer-centric services.

18. Super Apps

Super apps are “one-stop-shop” apps that serve multiple purposes. They replace the need for users to rely on multiple apps to solve business problems. 

The benefit of super apps is their ease of access. Users can simply log into the main app and select the sub-application they want to use. Meanwhile, businesses can easily collect user data they can leverage to drive improvements. 

For example, WeChat (a popular Chinese app) combines instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment services all in a single app.

While these super apps are predominant in Asia, the West is following suit.

19. High FPS Support

Refresh rates on apps continue to get higher. 

While most smartphones can run apps around 30 – 60 frames per second (FPS), there are applications with higher run rates. For example, apps that run at 90 – 120 FPS are increasingly common.

Developers will continue to improve applications so that they run smoothly at higher frame rates, providing the best user experience possible.

20. Security Concerns

While cyber attacks on mobile apps are trending down, they will always be a concern. 

There were 2.2 million cyberattacks on mobile apps in December of 2022 alone. Meanwhile, most mobile apps work on source code with known vulnerabilities.

With more digital solutions, there are more chances of security breaches. App security will continue to be a priority. 

Encryption, blockchain, two-factor authentication, penetration testing, and even passwordless entry will be needed to safeguard applications and protect sensitive data.

App security will continue to be a pressing issue as we explore, test, and deploy new technologies in the future.

About the Author

Kevin Shuler is the CEO of Quandary Consulting Group, a team of low-code consultants specializing in business transformation and citizen development. They build custom applications, integrations, and automation that scale workflows.