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So the year 2015 has come to an end. It has been another exciting year for mobile apps. A number of trends for mobile apps emerged this year. While some were carried forward from 2014, some will make way into 2016. Here’s a quick review of what created a buzz in the app development universe:

1. Wearable : The World is Tied to Your Wrist

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Wearables were predicted to go big at the end of 2014 and they did. The Apple watch, Google’s Motorola 360 were the most talked about but a hoard of wearables like Fitbit and Pebble time hit the market this year and took it by storm.

The trend is not dying anytime soon. Watch out for the the Google Glass 2 in 2016 , the commercial version of the premature beta version promises a lot more. In case you were wondering what apps does one use on these wearables, checkout these cool things that app makers are coming up with.

 2. Internet of Things on Mobile Apps

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Did you know that there are devices that can check and report movements and wellbeing of the elderly and track an infant’s sleeping pattern? Imagine a public dustbin that will send signals each time it needs emptying. Or if you could control the lighting and heating at your place with your mobile phone even while you are away.

Now stop imagining, because all these things are actually possible and existing as products or prototypes. The Internet of Things has come into being with sensors in the physical world, signals to connect them to the virtual world, and apps over mobile devices that will make them accessible.

2015 saw a number of new launches. It is only a question of acceptance from the users before we see them going commercial on a massive scale. At the Affle AppStudioz labs we made our first Application Remote this year and are eagerly awaiting the possibilities that come with IOT.

Estimates say that market will grow to become double the existing size by the year 2019. IOT is the next big thing.

3. The Year of The Hybrid Apps

The native v/s hybrid debate continued in 2015. The good news for HTML5 based cross platform apps was that both iOS 8 and Android 5.0 (Lollipop) added tweaks for HTML5 based applications  (WkWebview and webview independent of OS in Play store).

While the responsive design enabled by HTML5 is a plus, dressing them up as native apps is an issue because the performance is not always at the same level. Here are some amazing app UI frameworks that enable development in the hybrid fashion. Hybrid apps are here to stay as they are pocket friendly for the businesses.

  4. Big Data Aiding Mobile Apps

Apps that pull out relevant information using Big Data  isn’t a new thing but it paved its way into 2015, only to grow how it affects user engagement .

Things are going to become more interesting. Mobile apps can infuse big data to target the right customer base. Like an app that sends you information about discounts at the retailers proximate to your location or if your social media updates and shares mention freshly brewed beer, you’ll get a ping showing you the nearest breweries and reviews.

Big data magic was discovered in a big way in 2015 and will last.

5. Apps Over the Cloud

Data and response on the go is just what you want with mobile devices. Also with the wide variety in mobile devices (wearables and different mobile screens) it makes sense to use one code over a cloud platform and then make simple tweaks for various devices.

The cloud apps use JSON and HTML5 much like web apps. With trends changing in 2015 watch out for apps on the cloud in the coming years.

 6. Material Design for Apps

The flat design trend  was extended to Material design by Google in 2014 and this year Google manifested that design into Apps like Inbox. While minimalism is the keyword, material design allows a little shadow and depth to be added to graphics. Material design was adopted by apps such as Swiftkey and Simplenote.

On the downside, all apps have started looking the same but that’s a small price to pay for increased usability.

7. In App Video Ads and Ads for Revenue

An estimate by Venture Beat said that the the spending on mobile video ads would increase to $1.58 Bn by the end of 2014.

Digital mobile advertisements on a whole was estimated to be a $ 51 B industry and will go up to $ 105 B by 2019. The focus on video ads is likely to go up just as it did in the year 2015. In- App advertisements will also contribute to this expansion.Here’s a list of the in app video advertising networks in case you are looking to hop on to this bandwagon.

8. Navigation as an In App Feature

At Affle AppStudioz, a number of apps that we have made this year provide navigation as an in app feature. This trend is not specific to a geography or a certain kind of app. Cross App exchanges to support navigation are being infused into all apps to make navigation easier.

Here’s an example from our own labs –  Let’s, an app that allows you to scan for friends and acquaintances in proximate locations. The results are displayed on a 2D map.

These are the choicest of the trends that emerged in the year 2105. At Affle AppStudioz, we keep a close tab on the latest developments and will keep you updated on the emerging trends in the year to come.

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