mobile app developmentMobile app development will look very different in the near future if the predictions that Forrester Research has made for mobile development in 2015 are accurate.

No longer will simply building apps be enough. Instead, the report warns mobile developers that they’ll need to meet new market demands from consumers who will want, “more contextually relevant micro-moments delivered across families of devices that are personalized to anticipate unique customer needs.” According to Forrester Research, these changes, “will allow developers to continue to produce amazing innovation at a continually faster rate.”

Let’s take a look at the eight predictions from Forrester:

  • Standalone apps will become less popular.
  • Hardware-driven innovation will open the doors to new opportunities.
  • Mobile competition will move to accessories (e.g., wearables) and ecosystems (e.g., Apple vs. Android) where consumers will choose one ecosystem for all of their mobile needs.
  • Building base app functionality will give way to composition in front-end mobile experiences.
  • Physical and digital integration will speed up.
  • Mobile will move to high-def.
  • API design tools and virtualization will be standard tools for development teams.
  • Low-code platforms will pick up steam but won’t move to mainstream yet.

One of the most interesting parts of Forrester’s predictions for mobile development in 2015 is its focus on these personalized and real-time “micro-moments” that Forrester predicts will become the mainstay of mobile user experiences. For a complete explanation of micro-moments, take a look at John Hammond’s article on the Forrester blog where he explains how consumer engagement is shifting to micro-moments. He wrote:

“We’re seeing customer engagement opportunities shift to favor “micro-moments” — brief interactions where developers can get customers’ attention — and anticipate their needs. Instead of customers intentionally using apps a few times a day, developers need to think about how they engage customers in 5-10 second interactions many times a day. As a result, development focus shifts to favor notifications, widgets, and cross-device interactions, all of which are better supported in iOS 8 with new APIs. In a sense, the golden age of the self contained app is over, but developers still need to adjust.”

From a marketing perspective, the strategic shift to personalization and real-time consumer engagement has been a priority for some time, so it’s not surprising that mobile development will need to provide ways for companies, brands, publishers, and other app providers to make that personalization and real-time engagement happen. In that respect, the Forrester predictions related to mobile development focusing on micro-moments in 2015 matches shifting business and marketing strategies.

What do you think? Are self-contained apps a dying breed as Hammond suggests? Are micro-moments the new priority as Forrester predicts? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about the future of mobile app development.

Image: Brandon Carson licensed CC BY 2.0