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Ask The App Experts: Whats Next for the App Economy in 2017?

If its December, it means its time to both take a look backward at what we accomplished this year, and to prognosticate about what were going to be seeing in the new year. Weve had a terrific run in 2016 here at Neumob, and in the course of building our roster of customers, weve also partnered with numerous major players in the mobile app economy whom we can turn to for advice, guidance and idea generation.

I decided to ask a few of these partners and others with whom we work and/or admire for their views on the year in mobile apps to come. The question I asked was, “What is one prediction you have for how the app economy will evolve, grow or wither in 2017?. Heres what they had to say.

Vijay Chattha, Founder at VSC and

We are evolving from an era of app-athy to empathy. Apps are evolving beyond the apathy of developer frustration over saturation in each category to optimism over new areas such as chatbots that communicate to meet consumer needs, VR that helps people immerse themselves in other cultures, and health and medical apps that improve physical and mental conditions. 2017 will be an exciting year as apps get more empathy.

Sergey Lossev, Head of Product, Opera

Mobile apps will keep adopting conversational UIs more and more (i.e. chatbot UIs). We may even see the start of a follow-on trend in 2017, in which lots of high-end apps develop their own voice interfaces; think “Hey Siri” or Alexa-like features, but inside many apps. One day in the not-too-distant Android / iOS future, we will be able to speak to all of our apps directly with our voices.

Robert Kwok, CTO and Founder, Apteligent

In 2017, the hype will be all around virtual/augmented reality, drones, and IoT, but the revolutionary change will be a growing divide between companies that are effectively leveraging their data to create seamless customer experiences and those that aren’t.

Paul Kemp, host of The App Guy podcast

In 2017, I think creators, curators, and users will start moving in big numbers to decentralized business models. The year will mark the biggest upsurge in apps using the technology Blockchain. It’ll be a general backlash to the big tech powerhouses. The trend will be driven by a growing swell of discontentment among people regarding centralized apps such as Twitter (now big on censorship), Facebook (heavily manipulating its news feed algorithms), eBay (constantly changing its rules for sellers) or Reddit (shadow banning many of its users).

Shane Wey, CEO of MightySignal

As mobile is growing up, we’re going to see more “grown-up” activities. It’s already begun, but the needs of mobile companies are going to be less developer-oriented, and more enterprise. This means more appetite for things like data, automation, security, optimization and QA.

Emily Carrion, Head of Marketing at Apptentive

In 2017, more brands will ask for and act on customer feedback. The world is finally waking up to listening to their customers, and 2017 will be the year to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. We believe the most successful brands will proactively solicit feedback so they make product and business decisions based on customer data from a significant majority of their customers.

Alex Muramoto, Developer Advocate at Ionic

I think well see at least the first phase of support for service workers in WebKit/Safari, which will significantly increase experimentation with progressive web apps, especially amongst consumer-facing enterprises. This will be really interesting in two ways. Technologically, well see advancements in how developers provide native-like experiences, particularly around performance and offline usage of the web. On the business side, well see the beginnings of the incredible potential PWAs offer in enabling entire new paths, platforms, and services for monetizing those experiences outside the domain of the app store.

Jeff Kim, CEO of Neumob

We will see a new burst of next-gen mobile apps, as early innovations in Machine Learning, AR and VR start being utilized in apps.

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