Not quite obvious trends in the app market, how to prepare for them, mobile developer?

Alex Alex 16 December 2022 Follow
Not quite obvious trends in the app market, how to prepare for them, mobile developer?

When a platform dies, vacancies become scarce and you have a couple of years to think where to go. At some point, I started to analyze in advance where the platform I make my money on will go. Mobile apps are a growing market. Nowadays, the custom software application development changes its direction very often, but the trends remain similar. 

Regulators are now forcing app stores to add third-party payment services, which creates a good prospect for the industry. I have been teaching iOS development for 8 years, and in my later authoring courses I already manage to predict the market for several years ahead and prepare students in advance for the technology stack that will be in demand in the future.  

I want to not just talk about trends, but to analyze which tech stack will be important in the first stages of niche development.

1. VR

Many programmers I interviewed believe that AR will bring more profit - this is a delusion. In 10 years of developing this niche, it has become obvious that monetizing AR is much harder than VR (think of the Google Glass story). And there is already money in VR, and in 2021 VR games earned about $8 billion, by 2024 this figure should reach $20 billion.

What about hardware for VR?

Today it is obvious that VR via Cardboard SDK (and its counterparts using a smartphone) is not widespread, and that market will be occupied by helmets with built-in screens. Today the leaders are Facebook's Oculus with 60% of the market, HTC Vive and Valve Index with 15% of the market each, and a few others like Pimax. 


2. LiDAR and AR.

The iOS LiDAR applications market alone is predicted to be worth $2-3 billion (2% of all app revenues) as early as 2024, AR applications, which will include LiDAR/ToF, - $12 billion (will grow to 5% of mobile app revenues). AR will revolve around space-scanning apps; there are already openings for iOS developers in such startups. And for this type of app, it is not necessary to have a LiDAR sensor, the depth can be measured with a ToF sensor and camera or with ML by photo using FCRN Depth Estimation.

3. Automations.

I see almost no articles by mobile programmers on this topic, it's as if they haven't noticed the appearance of the desktop counterpart of automation in Shortcuts and Automation, on Android there is the less popular Google Action Blocks. Automations are among the Productivity Apps, which account for 6% of mobile app revenue share now and will take 9-10% by 2024. Automation is growing in popularity, so some IT professionals are already partially or fully automating their work routine and claiming to get paid for nothing. 

Another reason for the growing popularity of automation is the increasing penetration of robots and smart devices into users' lives, usually a smart home app allows you to create some automated script without code, hence users start to want the same functionality in other apps.

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