2020 was a milestone year that brought many unforeseen changes in the tech world. The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered our way of living pushing consumers to cyberspace. As customer behaviors evolved, many businesses find a hard time adapting to these trends.

To keep up with the changing times, businesses must move quickly, explore new trends, and maximize new technologies. This is most evident in the mobile apps market.

According to Statista, there are around 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide and is forecasted to grow further in the future. Indeed, mobile devices have become ubiquitous and a necessity these days. Zenith’s latest Media Consumption Forecast expects global consumers to spend around 8 hours on mobile devices, making mobile apps an essential tool for brands and businesses.

However, in a rapidly evolving app industry, it is not enough for a business to launch a mobile application. Keeping abreast with emerging trends and innovations is essential to optimum success. Below we take a look at the current trends in mobile app development likely to dominate 2021.


As 5G technology unrolls, it will greatly impact mobile software development. Around 1.1 billion 5G networks are expected to be unveiled by 2025.

The record-setting speed of the 5G network will have a tremendous impact on the way mobile apps are utilized and designed. For example, 5G users report that download speeds are several times faster than existing networks. With the network’s incredible connection speed, mobile apps are expected to be packed with more robust functionalities and features. According to developers of custom apps by Entrance, future mobile apps can be equipped with more robust technologies in anticipation of the 5G network.

Foldable Device-Compatible Apps

Foldable OLED display is a buzzword in 2020. Major smartphone brands have started releasing units equipped with this technology with major roll out in the near future. Its emergence necessitates mobile apps to be compatible with the operating system. Recently, many popular apps such as Twitter, Microsoft Office, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, and Spotify have been optimized for foldable devices. Building apps that run seamlessly on foldable phones is a challenging trend this 2021.

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Wearable App Integration

Over the recent years, we’ve seen a surge in the adoption rate for wearable devices. By 2022, wearable devices are forecasted to reach more than 1 billion. Alongside its meteoric rise, app developers and businesses must ensure the compatibility of their mobile apps with wearable devices. Providing an excellent digital experience and a seamless connection across different gadgets gives you a distinct edge over other apps.


Another trend to dominate 2021 is chatbots. These AI-powered custom service tools ensure real-time user assistance to expedite online transactions and facilitate better UI/UX services. This technology creates a perfect way to boost customer relationship management.

This emerging trend will start from being fairly rudimentary to an advanced level. As of date, only a few mobile apps are integrated with chatbots. But as users begin to appreciate the real-time and accurate answers of chatbots, integrating this technology to mobile apps can be a game-changer.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

For quite some time now, AI and ML have been trending topics across the tech world. And it’s also apparent in mobile apps development. The continuing research in AI and ML reveals incredible possibilities that can bring about amazing developments and changes in mobile apps. These include virtual assistant solutions, business automation, advanced search engines, automatic user preference identification, and many other promising developments. More importantly, the adoption of AI and ML in mobile apps can greatly help the mobile sector perform better.

Instant App Development

This emerging trend is something to watch out for this 2021. Unlike conventional mobile apps, instant apps run directly from the Internet and do not require installation. Users can quickly access and use the app without spending any device internal storage or mobile resources.

Since it is instantly available to users, it increases the chances of the target action to be completed by user. Likewise, since instant apps require very minimal resources, they are more accessible for consumers. But the downside is that they need a stable connection. With 5G technology ensuring more stable connectivity, it’s just about some time for this trend to become the new norm.

Mobile-First Leisure

Last year, lockdowns kept most people at home. This has dramatically changed the way we shop and engage in leisure activities. Quite evidently, the gaming industry has soared with the global mobile games segment growing by 13.3% in 2020. Entertainment apps, particularly TV streaming apps and mobile games, have seen increased popularity. Brands are seeing an opportunity in the mobile entertainment segment.


The mobile app development sector is rapidly evolving. New trends and innovations crop up every year. As such, it is imperative for developers, businesses, and brands to adapt to these changes. Building an app that runs on a five-year-old technology is futile. Keep abreast with the latest and emerging trends to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.