The Top 12 Mobile Trends 2017 (And Beyond)

mobile trends 2017

What´s hot in the mobile world today? These are the twelve most prominent mobile trends 2017 and developments in mobile technology you don´t want to miss.

This study of mobile trends 2017 will provide some clues.

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Today, mobile use and application has dominated the digital lifestyle. According to an article in the Time Magazine that was published in December 2015, Americans look at their smartphones 8 billion times per day. 80 percent of mobile users will glance at their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. And a person who uses their phone sparingly, will check their mobile phone at least 46 times a day. What are people doing on their devises?

People want to stay connected and access products and services that they need locally, through their mobile devices anytime. They want to find what they need when they need it. Mobile technology is transforming all that.  The truth is that people have become addicted to their mobile phones. And this is not just for communication and fun, but also for other purposes such as shopping.

Americans glance at their mobile phones 8 billion times every day

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Online shops have become mobile-friendly. A great number of shopping Apps is available. Payments can be made directly from your smartphone or tablet. This is good news for consumers as they can now shop on the go wherever they are. According to a study conducted by Demandware, mobile shopping has quadrupled over the past three years and recently reached 45%

Apart from increased shopping and access to information on the internet through mobile – what else can consumers look forward to in 2017 and beyond? A lot.

These are the mobile trends 2017 that will define how consumers use their devices

1. Mobile Video

As a consumer, the issue is no longer about how to buy products and services online since you have already done that many times before. The audio-visual experience provided by mobile video is the closest you can get to  offline shopping in a store.  That's why before buying a product online, buyers will first look for videos showing how to use the product, how to assemble it and so on.

"I want to watch a “how-to” or "un-boxing" video on a product prior
to making my buying decision"

Video is one of the features that people consider most when they are going out to buy a mobile device. Cisco said that following mobile trends 2017,  video traffic will account for more than 50% of all mobile data traffic, and it will grow to close to double by the year 2020.

Mobile video is no longer about entertainment, although that still plays a big part, but it is about the provision of information. Today, people do not have to be connected to the internet all the time to enjoy the videos of their choice. For example, video network giant YouTube added an offline viewing feature for YouTube Red users, which allows the user to watch videos even when there is no internet connection.


2. Push Notification

A push notification is pop up or alert that shows on your screen even if the corresponding app is not in use.
Since the user opts for these messages during installation, they get them frequently. Many people have made decisions to buy things based on a push message that they got randomly.

One unique thing with a push notification is that even if the device is not currently in use, the messages will still popup anyway. It is the newest mobile trends 2017 of spreading word to as many people as possible. For example, when there is an urgent issue that needs to be communicated, push notification is the best platform to inform consumers. Additionally, the technology allows businesses to use the geo-fenced services to extend promotions to clients especially when they are near the business stores.

push notification is a mobile trends 2017

With technologies like mobile geo-fencing, consumers can be assured that they will only get the advertisements, special offers and information from stores that are closest to them.

Geo-fencing is very specific since the location is set geographically, that is, a latitude-longitude setting and then all the smartphones in that specific location are tagged. This means that if you live in a neighborhood that is warm throughout the year, you will never be targeted with information that is meant for people from a cold region. And that is not all! Companies like Copley Advertising go a step further than that, since they also set the gender and age such that only people in the classified bracket get information meant for them.

Now, here is the interesting thing... when you have been tagged and you leave the geo-fenced location, you will still see the information, special offer or ad for 30 days. Having realized the power of geo-fencing, many companies offer these services. They include ThumbVista, BlueDot Innovation, Esri Geotrigger and others.

3. The End of Desktop

In this era where business has gone online, consumers want to be engaged at a personal level and things do not become more personal than on smartphones and other mobile devices. Consumers do not want to be bombarded with conventional sales calls. Rather, they are looking for specific information and solutions to their problems. The bulkiness of the desktop computer can now only be confined to the desk. In simpler terms, look at the mobile moment as an offer of help when you just need it.

Even from technology companies, there has been pointers to the looming end of the desktop computer becoming a victim of the mobile trends 2017. For example, The Telegraph reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that the desktop might be facing an inevitable end, considering that today, we have devices like tablets with detachable keyboards, wireless mouses and so on.

With a device like the iPad Pro, who really needs a laptop or a desktop PC? Although not just yet, these bulky computers will be phased out in less than a decade.

How often do you use your desktop computer, not counting the official working days at the office? Now, compare that with the number of times that you use your smartphone or tablet.


4. Smartphone App Development

The smartphone is the current big thing and it will continue to be for generations to come. Smartphones are powered by apps, and the more you can have in yours the better.

With the advent of cloud technology, apps are developed everyday and then stored on cloud, where consumers can access them free of charge or for a fee. With billions of smartphones in use today, we can only expect round the clock app development.

As technology advances, so will there be an increase in the demand of the smartphone apps. An example is the rise in the demand for Android apps. Statistics showed a 65% rise in 2015. What can we expect from mobile trends 2017 in app development?

The demand will definitely increase. Consumers can now access information, products, services and much more easily, at the tap of a finger. We have seen some very popular apps that consumers have found very helpful.  These are the top 12 apps for 2017 in America:

These are the top 12 apps for 2017 in America:

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  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Facebook Messenger
  4. Google Search
  5. Google Play
  6. Google Maps
  7. Pandora Radio
  8. Gmail
  9. Instagram
  10. iTunes Radio
  11. Apple Maps
  12. Yahoo Stocks
mobile apps development

Amazon Mobile, Twitter, Pinterest, The Weather Channel, Snapchat, Google+ Spotify, Walmart and Yahoo Mail closely follows these.

While these mobile app favorites have not changed a lot since 2016, the year 2017 has brought about some fastest growing app categories. The topmost one is the personalization apps category. This includes apps like App Locker, APUS Launcher, 1,000,000 Wallpapers, My Computer and many more for Android.

The news and magazines app category is the second fastest growing app group for 2017, followed by Utilities and Productivity app category, Lifestyle and Shopping, Travel and Navigation, Sports, Health and Fitness, Messaging and Social, Music, Media and entertainment app categories in that order.

From this alone, you can see that these app categories are popular according to what consumers need most. Thus, following mobile trends 2017 and beyond, app developers are most likely to focus their attention on these categories.


5. Voice Interface and Recognition

Consumers want convenience. They want to be able to do things easily too. For example, who doesn’t love the idea of using their voice to text, find directions on the mobile GPS, write emails, find hotels, ATMs and so on? One of the predominant mobile trends 2017 is Voice recognition software. It's not exactly new, although it only became widespread in 2016.

For example, Google and Bing are very good for voice mobile searches on Android and Windows devices while Vlingo works very well on iOS devices. Other popular voice recognition apps are Siri, DriveSafe.lyPro and ChaCha Answers for android, to name but just a few of them.

Vlingo can virtually do everything that you may need to do. For example, it can update your Facebook status, send a text message and search the web for you. Just say it and Vlingo does it.
It works on Windows, Android, Blackberry and iOS technologies, which virtually means that it can work on any smartphone. Is it free? There are free and premium versions. The latter will cost differently depending on the platform where you are going to use it.

Siri is a traveler’s app that works on iOS devices. This one will locate restaurants, book a cab, locate a theater ticket and make reservations for you. No need to type, just speak it and Siri will find it for you.

Vlingo-Tap-and-Speak technology

6. Mobile Accessories

Today, technology consumers are looking for ways to enhance their user experience and protect their devices. A great number of accessories is available for that purpose. Cases, screen protectors, holders, selfie sticks, power banks and chargers are common household items. Most of them doing a good job to keep your device charged, in a comfortable position and protected. 

Charging Stands and Docks Set The Benchmark For Mobile Trends 2017

Especially for users with more than one device, charging stations help clearing the cable mess and keep your devices at a comfortable viewing angle.  

Owning an Apple Watch and an iPhone is one very common combination. Rather than having two gadgets and two cables lying around and falling off the counter, users can organize their desktop in style using a duo charging dock like the XStand.  

Charging stands are available in many different shapes and forms, mostly made of aluminum, plastic or wood. There are desktop versions and car holder version that allow you to place your phone on the dashboard or attach it to air vent blades or wind shield.

XStand charging stand

Tablet Stands and Holders

Holding you tablet can be a hassle. Especially when you need both your hands for cooking or exercising following instructions on your iPad. Or if you simply want to relax and watch a movie on the sofa.

A great variety of tablet holders is now available to do the job. In the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, on the sofa or in the car. Most products fall into two categories:  desktop tablet holders and floor stands.

Floor stands often come with a music-stand-like foot or gooseneck legs, like the FourFlexx

More Trending Accessories

You might also want to take a look at these gadgets in order to upgrade your mobile lifestyle:

  • Waterproof iPhone cases – rain and pools can´t harm your phone anymore
  • Camera clip lenses – ads fisheye and macro ability to your inbuilt camera
  • Wireless charging pads – cordless charging
  • Bluetooth earbuds – great for running
  • VR headsets – turn your phone into a Virtual Reality Device

7. Mobile Payments

Being able to pay a smartphone is one of the game changing mobile trends 2017. Consumers no longer have to carry cash with them whenever they go shopping. There are so many mobile payment options. Here is a quick overview of mobile payment providers for you to consider:

Google Wallet

Google Wallet is one of the most popular mobile payment systems. Your credit card account is linked to your Google account and you just wave the smartphone on the NFC (Near Field Communication) machine where the amount is automatically calculated and deducted.

PayPal

The PayPal app allows you to send money by using the recipients email address or phone number. In order to access the funds, the recipient needs a PayPal  account (which can easily be opened). Works for both Android and iOS phones. 

Venmo Pay

Venmo Pay

Venmo

The Venmo app enables money transfer from one person to another, provided they both have to have Venmo app on their phones. It works just as simply as PayPal and is compatible with Blackberry iOS and Android devices.

Apple Pay

Making payments not only using the latest iPhone but also with your Apple Watch is the perk of Apple Pay. This payment option is compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE and any one that came later.
Since the Apple Pay app comes installed in the aforementioned gadgets, you just need to set your credit card details. And it is very easy. Just go to Wallet and Apple Pay and then add your credit card details. 


8. Snapchat

When this video and photo-messaging app hit the market in 2011, it went viral. No advertising dollar was spent.  And now it's one of the biggest social sharing platforms out there. Clearly a mobile trend 2017. 

Many other apps send and receive videos and pictures, including Instagram. So what makes this one special?
The photos and videos will only last a minute and then they will vanish. Nothing is stored. No photo albums are accumulated. Snapchat invented a new way of spontaneous, visual communication. Storage-friendly and privacy protecting.

Snapchat Filters

Snapchat Filters

The most popular feature in Snapchat is the filter option. It allows users to add dog snouts, bunny ears and many other objets to their faces in a real-time video stream. The results are somewhere between hilarious and scary. But definitely amusing.

Who is the target group for this app? It can be used by anyone, but it mostly crazily popular with teenagers and young adults. By Q1 2017, more than 160 million people used Snapchat every month. You can now imagine just how much this number has grown by now, and the number of videos viewed on Snapchat every day is more than 10 billion. If you want to join the Snapchat community, download the app here.


9. The Year of VR

Virtual reality allows one to use the current computer technology to interact with the world of 3D

VR is a system of immersing the user into the experience so that they are not just spectators, but feel more like characters. There are items that have had the most interest in the world of virtual reality. Among them are VR smartphone maps, tech support, virtual movies and VR headsets especially for sports. Just to mention a few of the VR mobile trends 2016 and 2017.

Google Cardboard

In the market today, there are many virtual reality devices. The most popular one is the Google Cardboard. Maybe because it is very affordable - around $15 only! The cardboard is actually a piece of cardboard that you fold into a compatible size. It comes with 45mm lenses for both eyes.
Since you will buy yours pre-folded, you can just slip the phone into the front viewer (in front of the lenses) and hold it into place using Velcro straps and then you run the smartphone app that you had already pre-downloaded to your device.

What is needed to enjoy VR here is to just set the phone in such a way that its screen interacts with the lenses, then hold the cardboard viewer in front of your eyes and have the experience of a lifetime.

Google cardboard

Microsoft Hololens

Microsoft hololens

The second VR hardware that is taking the world by storm is the wearable goggles called Microsoft Hololens. These goggles are actually cool and the first glance, people will think that you are wearing normal glasses. However, they have a camera that sees things like furniture as you move around the room so that you can avoid falling over them.

The Hololens splashes images onto the walls, everywhere that you direct your focus, bringing you inside a 3D world that you have never experienced before. And only the person wearing these goggles will see the 3D projections on walls, on air and on other surfaces.

Here is a Hololens demo from TedTalk:


10. Wearable Electronics

Technology has led to the production of various sensors and electronics worn on the human body or in clothes.

One of the latest developments in this area emerged from a cooperation between Microsoft and MIT Media Lab. The Duoskin is a temporary tattoo made of gold leafs. It's  touch-sensitive and can control the cursor on your smartphone via NFC. It recognizes and transmits touch-gestures and body temperature. 

duoskin

DuoSkin

Muse Brain Wave Detecting Headband

Muse Headband

Muse Headband

Muse is a wireless headband has been arounf for a while but we still see the potential for it to be one of the mobile trends 2017. It uses 7 finely calibrated sensors to detect and measure the activity of your brain. This activity is translated into real-time feedback on your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth. You are supplied with a rich, real-time audiovisual experience, and learn to stay calm and better manage stress.
This brain fitness tool helps you do more with your mind and more with your life by helping you learn to manage stress, stay calm, and stay focused. Improve your physical, emotional, and cognitive health. See and feel improvements in your mental state in areas such as focus, composure, productivity, motivation, and emotional intelligence. The  Muse headband is available on Amazon.

Wearables that are applied on the skin are not for smartphone use only. Some are also used to sense changes in heart rate, breathing patterns, blood pressure, temperature and other important parameters. 


11. Shopping on Mobile Devices

mobile shopping trends 2016

image by dazeinfo.com

M (Mobile)-commerce is one of the most significant mobile trends 2017

Pertaining to a study conducted by Accenture, 48% of all american shoppers consider using their mobile devices to make a purchase - 6% more than in 2015. 40% use their smartphone at least for browsing and comparing goods and prices.
Mobile shopping has matures significantly during the last few years from “odd” to “normal”. The significant factors being mobile-optimized websites, shopping apps and faster phones with bigger screens.
From a global perspective, the US is lagging behind in this development. In reference to eMarketer, mobile e-commerce sales in China have reached a record high of US$911 billion in 2016 and are expected to reach US$1,208 billion in 2017. The figures for the US are: US$384 billion in 2016 and US$430billion in 2017.


12. Wireless Charging

Many improvement have been made in the technology of wireless charging. The availability of charging pads and stands has increased dramatically. Although it's not an entirely wireless system. The difference is that rather than the traditional plugging of the phone to a socket to charge, one can now just pop the smartphone to a charging pad and after some time, with the battery fully charged.

Not all smartphones have in-built receivers which are needed for wireless or QI-charging. Here is a list of QI-ready smartphones.  
The Apple iPhone is not on that list - it is not equipped with the wireless charging receiver needed. Which is a bit odd since the Apple Watch very well does use wireless charging. 
But no worries - if your smartphone is not on the list of QI charging ready models, you might still be able to upgrade it. Most phones can be equipped with a after-market receiver which is applied as a pad at the back of the phone, a replacement back or case in order to  enable wireless charging .

Wireless QI charging

QI Charging Ready iPhone

Enable QI charging with external receiver for iPhone

QI Transmitter

We covered the topic in much more detail in the wireless charging guide post here.

Leading Brand: Samsung

Samsung is one of the leading brands that have made the wireless power charging model a standard feature in most of their high-end smartphones. The latest Galaxy S6/Edge is proof of the same.

There is a rumor about the iPhone maybe also going the wireless charging way, most likely in 2017. One factor will be if Apple acquires the WattUP technology from Energous. This technology would allow charging at a distance of up to 15 feet from the transmitter and could be incorporated in future iPhone models. 


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