From mobile payments to voice-enabled apps, 2016 was a year that saw mobile technology develop fast. With competition fierce in the world of mobile, mobile tech companies are keeping their pedals to the metal in a bid to deliver new technologies that enhance the user experience.
So what are our smartphone’s going to be capable of by the end of this year? We take a look at some of the key mobile tech trends to watch for in 2017.
Rapidly becoming the primary platform in Asia, most notably China, it’s only a matter of time before social commerce takes off globally. Social commerce is the use of social networks in the context of e-commerce transactions - think buying while texting on platforms like WeChat and Facebook Messenger. Social commerce encourages social interaction and user contributions to assist the online buying and selling of products and services. In future, social networks will become the new online marketplaces, with consumers looking to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for their next online purchase.
We’re likely to see increased adoption of AI-based voice enabled apps and bots. With Amazon Echo already taking off and Google investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence development, we’re due to see a growth in apps and products that give consumers the feeling that they have their own voice-responsive assistant on hand to help them find the goods and services that they want.
Google’s Android 8
Google are set to launch a new version of Android 8 at Google I/O in May. Turning Firebase into its unified platform for mobile developers last year, it’s also sure to push further mobile services offered via Firebase. A sure sign that the future is mobile, Google’s also prioritising mobile-friendly sites in its search results.
From 10th of January 2017 Google is placing its emphasis on ‘Mobile-First Indexing.’ That means sites that look great on your mobile but slap a great big advert in front of all the content can expect to see their site slip down Google’s rankings. It’s also encouraging businesses to use its AMP format to generate 'Rich Cards', basically search results that include previews of relevant content right there in the results page.
In 2017, Bluetooth will become stronger than ever. Bluetooth 5 is due to launch and it’s set to improve data-sharing abilities and reach through solid walls. Look out for premium devices adopting Bluetooth 5 support by the end of the year, enabling higher quality data to be transferred with ease.
One of the biggest mobile tech trends to watch for is actually nothing new. Virtual reality has been in the pipeline for decades. The problem it’s suffered from in the past is the ‘uncanny valley.’ This is the uneasy feeling people experience while watching VR - a feeling that what they’re viewing appears too perfect to be real. 2017’s VR, augmented reality and mixed reality products are set to change all that, blending digital projections and reality so seamlessly that you won’t know the difference. It remains to be seen, however, how comfortable consumers will feel wearing VR, AR or MR kit.
IoT - the Internet of Things
2017’s the year the much talked about IoT really kicks off. As companies begin to line up their first generation of IoT products for market this year, your mobile devices will soon be able to give you instant access to data on every part of your life, even while you’re on the move.
Keep an eye out for these hot trends as the year unfolds - they may help you create a stronger, more compelling mobile marketing campaign. If you haven't jumped on board the mobile train, sign up and get started with the most cost effective marketing tool there is!