Dec 21 - 3min readThe App DevelopmentBy Launchbase

When it gets to this time of year, we always like to have a little reflect on the past 12 months. Who has had a bit of a tough time, and who’s found 2017 a total breeze? Which trends have risen? Which have fallen? What can we look forward to in 2018?


2017 has been a fantastic year for mobile app development with many companies finally realising that a mobile app is now an essential part of their business – helping many brands to provide speedier customer service, increase sales and engage with their customers.


Mobile app development trends constantly change, but 2017 has seen a few specific styles of app start to dominate. Here’s the app development trends we’ve seen a lot of in the past year.


Augmented Reality


We predicted way back in April that augmented and virtual reality would continue to shape mobile app development throughout 2017, and they certainly have. With Pokémon GO and Snapchat arguably bringing augmented reality to the mainstream, app developers have been forced to adapt their practises to meet the demand for augmented reality style apps.


With the release of the iPhone X, augmented reality apps have become even more commonplace. Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore allows developers to embrace AR technologies and it’s something we’re really looking forward to getting stuck into in 2018. For more about designing and developing for augmented reality, check out this post.


Talent Platforms


This year, recruitment platforms have steadily risen as more agencies need an easy way for candidates to apply for jobs on the go. What used to be solely web-based has now taken to the App and Play Stores and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping in the coming year.


We’re seeing more in terms of specific niches, as well as plenty of platforms emerging for freelancers to showcase their skills.


Stress Busting Apps


It seems the world is finally taking note of mental health and, more specifically, the effects being constantly connected can have on our stress levels. So, rather ironically, stress busting apps have been on everyone’s radar in 2017.


Whether it’s apps that encourage mindfulness, guided meditations or your very own portable gratitude journal, apps that encourage us to get out of negative thinking patterns and appreciate life for what it is have boomed in 2017.


Similarly, apps that block other apps in order to increase our productivity have been extremely successful. We are aware of the total irony in requiring an app to stop you visiting other apps, but hey, anything that reduces our ever-increasing stress levels can only be a good thing.


We’re expecting this style of app to expand further in 2018, with virtual reality style relaxation apps becoming commonplace in corporate environments.


Online Banking Apps & Mobile Payments


Remember the last time you queued at your local bank? We certainly can’t. It’s now easier than ever to handle all your finances online, whether that’s using the app of your own bank, via Apple Pay, or using an online banking app like Monzo.


With anti-social opening hours and notoriously long lunchtime queues at banks, it was never going to be long before someone came up with a better idea. Monzo are currently leading the pack, having just received their banking licence, but there’s others not far behind. We’re sure this industry is only going to continue to grow, making it easier for anyone and everyone to manage their finances.


Technology For Good


You may remember a post we did about the technology being used for good in the world, and this is a theme that has continued to boom in the latter half of this year. With such a wealth of knowledge and incredible technologies readily available to us, we love the fact that it’s being used to help others.


In terms of app development, 2017 has seen us work with various charities to design and develop apps that help support the charity’s mission. One of our favourites is the wonderful London Village Network, which you can check out here but we’re certainly keen to continue doing our bit next year.


So, there you have it! The top trends that we have seen in mobile app development in 2017. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!


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