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Five million….

That is how many apps there are in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store combined. This hefty figure is a clear sign that app development is a major industry. However, though app development is indeed important, it is ever changing. And, if you want to be a major player in the app development world, you must identify and ride the correct trends. Below are the three most important trends in app development for the near future.

1. App Development Will Become a HUGE Industry

App use will continue to sharply grow this year and beyond for two main reasons. First off, the smartphone market itself is still not yet saturated. According to Statista, there are currently 2.32 billion smartphone users in the world, which pencils out to less than one out of every three people on the globe. This figure ought to increase to 2.87 billion by 2020. There remains plenty of room for growth in the worldwide smartphone market.

The second reason that app development will become even more of a gorilla is that more companies, other organizations, and actual app development businesses are building apps that people want. Business 2 Community recently reported that global mobile app annual revenue in 2014 was $35 billion, $45 billion the next year, $58 billion in 2016, and will be $77 billion by the close of this year. Yeah, that is a 120% increase in revenue in just four short years.

2. Software Will No Longer Be Eating the World (Kind of)

Though it was just six years ago that uber-investor and stud software engineer Marc Andreessen famously said, “Software is eating the world,” the era of software dominating the globe is coming to an end as more and more industries come to rely on app development rather than traditional software development.

But, the pathway from software to app development is not just one directional. As apps become more powerful and, therefore, more difficult to design and build, the more that app development will mirror software. This of course means that while there will be fewer official software programmers in the world, there will conversely be more app developers with software engineering skills in security, data science, and cloud operations. And, unfortunately for some app developers, for most of us, these are skills that are awfully difficult to self teach.

3. Security, Security, Security

The Graduate, a movie that I absolutely love though it was made many years before I was born, has a famous line when an older, successful gentleman says to a young man, played by Dustin Hoffman,

who was just graduating from college, “I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics. Think about.”

Well, when it comes to app development in 2017, I want to say one phrase to you. Just one phrase. App development security. There’s a great future in security in app development. Think about it.

App development that ignores security will fail. Every other day we hear new headlines about websites, emails, and apps being hacked. Folks are legitimately worried about losing their Personally Identifiable Information, Protected Health Information, email access information, financial information, personal photos and videos and so much more.

Those app developers who are able design and build apps that are secure yet also user-friendly and beautiful will be the leaders of the app development industry moving forward.

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Florent Bertiaux

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