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The mobile app development industry is constantly evolving, and the iOS platform is no exception. As we’re already in 2023, keeping an eye on iOS app development trends and technologies shaping the industry is essential.
According to recent statistics, the global mobile app market has reached a staggering $240 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 13.4%. With such a large market, experienced iOS developers must stay ahead of the curve and implement the most cutting-edge development practices.
In this blog, we’ll explore the top iOS app development trends set to dominate in 2023, providing developers with the insights they need to create truly innovative and engaging mobile apps.
Top iOS App Development Trends In 2023
AI And Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are rapidly becoming major trends in iOS app development.
AI has become more accessible and affordable for developers. This makes it possible to include advanced features such as personal assistants and image recognition in iOS apps.
In 2023, we’ll see more AI-based applications being developed for the enterprise market. Machine learning and edge computing, as well as deep learning techniques such as generative adversarial networks (GANs), will power these applications.
The Core ML framework by Apple plays a crucial role in this industry. It enables developers to integrate machine learning models into iOS applications seamlessly. This framework enables developers to add features such as image recognition and natural language processing. These features can help improve the user experience.
For example, an app using Core ML for image recognition could automatically categorize images based on the objects within them. This way, users can easily find what they need. Additionally, natural language processing can enhance voice recognition and respond to voice commands, making the app more intuitive and user-friendly.
Internet of Things (IoT) Integration
IoT, or the “Internet of Things,” refers to the increasing prevalence of electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity in physical devices, vehicles, and other items.
The integration enables these objects to communicate and transfer data. It allows for greater integration of the physical world into computer systems through the existing network infrastructure.
With IoT, users have the ability to remotely control their smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, and security systems, through their iOS devices.
IoT integration within apps allows for increased automation. Users can set schedules, routines, and notifications for their smart devices, making their daily routines more streamlined and efficient.
In 2022, there was an 18% increase in the number of connected IoT devices, bringing the total to approximately 14.4 billion.
With billions of people using this many connected devices around the globe, it only makes sense for expert iOS developers to incorporate them into their apps to provide a better user experience overall.
Two technologies that you can use to create more engaging iOS apps include Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). In the next few years, we’ll see more companies integrate these technologies into their apps, making them more attractive to users.
iOS developers can use AR/VR to create apps in various industries, such as:
- Gaming: Developers can create interactive and engaging games.
- Education: Developers can create educational apps that simulate real-world experiences, allowing students to learn through exploration and interaction.
- Healthcare: Medical apps to assist doctors in diagnosing and treating patients.
- Retail: Developers can create retail apps that allow customers to try on clothes virtually, visualize furniture in their homes, etc.
- Travel and Tourism: Developers can create custom travel mobile apps that allow users to experience destinations virtually before they travel.
Apple has made a substantial impact on this trend through its innovations. It introduced:
- ARKit, a framework for building AR apps for iOS devices. ARKit provides developers with tools for creating 3D models, lighting, and physics simulations. Developers can use ARKit to create AR experiences for users.
- RealityKit, a high-level framework for implementing 3-D simulations and rendering. RealityKit seamlessly integrates virtual content with the real world. It incorporates realistic elements such as physically based materials, reflections of the environment, camera noise, motion blur, and more. This results in virtual content appearing almost indistinguishable from reality.
- Metal API, a low-level, cross-platform 3D graphics and compute API for Apple’s platforms. It provides maximum performance, flexibility, and ease of use. Developers can use Metal API tools to create immersive, high-performance games and other graphics-intensive applications.
The popularity of smartwatches and other wearable devices is rapidly growing. Wearable technology is on track for a sizable growth rate of 14.6% CAGR between 2023 and 2030. As a result, the development of wearable apps is becoming a key trend in iOS app development.
They may run on smartwatches, fitness trackers, or wearable devices. Wearables are becoming increasingly popular in the market, with the Apple Watch being one of the best-known products.
You can use wearable apps for various tasks, such as tracking fitness, checking the weather, or receiving notifications. These apps can provide users with quick and convenient access to important information and functions.
However, the development of wearable apps presents certain difficulties. Developers must take into consideration the following for the wearable app development:
- The limited screen space
- Battery life of wearable devices
- The need for easy navigation and fast performance
In addition, developers must design wearable apps with security in mind, as they will have access to sensitive personal data.
Amid all challenges, wearable technology can greatly improve users’ lives. They can provide users with quick and convenient access to important information and functions.
Mobile wallets are one of the most recently adopted iOS app development trends. A mobile wallet, also known as a digital wallet, is an application that allows users to store credit, debit, loyalty, and rewards cards all in one place.
Rise of mobile-first countries like India and China fueled the growth of mobile wallets. They have adopted this technology early on due to their high smartphone penetration rate and many unbanked customers.
Juniperr research suggests that, by 2026, mobile wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion global users. This represents a market potential of over half of the global population, demonstrating its significant potential.
The most popular mobile wallet services are PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay.
Mobile wallet apps also have helpful features like loyalty programs and gift cards. As a result, they help businesses generate more sales from their existing customers by increasing retention rates and customer satisfaction levels.
Chatbots are the new trend in app development. Many companies use chatbots to increase their customer retention rate and sales. Online businesses use chatbots as virtual assistants to help customers with their queries. Additionally, chatbots provide them with information about the product or service they need.
A recent HubSpot article on AI found that 40% of consumers prefer to interact with businesses through chatbots and customer support as long as their inquiries are promptly addressed with no delay in response.
As a result, businesses have invested heavily in chatbots as an alternative way to interact with customers. And it’s not surprising: Chatbots allow companies to save time and money by cutting out human interaction altogether.
Several factors, including the growing popularity of messaging apps and the shift toward mobile devices as our primary computing platform, have driven the rise of chatbots.
As chatbots become more sophisticated, they will offer greater value to users and businesses. They have various applications, including customer service, sales and marketing, research, content creation, and others. Today, health care, financial services, and education applications are increasingly relying on chatbots.
iBeacon is a small, low-cost device that uses Bluetooth LE to send signals to mobile devices. Apple’s iOS apps can use iBeacon to detect the location of devices and send notifications to those devices.
The technology has existed since 2013, but its widespread use has become prevalent only recently. Many retailers use the technology to provide location-aware notifications and promotions to customers who walk into their stores.
You can generally use IBeacons to:
- Provide updates to travelers regarding flight delays at airports.
- Send push notifications to customers who have opted-in to receive them.
- Allow users to track their location inside a building.
Apple recently released an SDK that allows iOS developers to integrate iBeacons into their apps without writing any code. Users can opt out of receiving notifications from specific apps if they want. So, it’s likely that iBeacon will become more intrusive than some critics fear it might be.
Developers are increasingly utilizing the cloud as a platform to develop applications and services. This trend is expected to continue in 2023 as more businesses recognize the benefits of cloud technology.
Some widely used cloud-based apps available in the Apple Store are Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office 365.
Cloud integration is an essential part of any iOS application. It can solve different problems, such as:
- Sharing files between users
- Improved security
- Sending data to the backend
- Retrieving information stored in a database at a later time
- Disaster recovery
Apple developed Cloudkit as a comprehensive cloud platform for developing, organizing, and managing powerful cloud apps. It includes a suite of APIs that enable developers to create apps that can store data on Apple’s servers and sync it across all user devices. Some of its features include:
- Automatic syncing
- Encrypted data
- Protected Privacy
Cloud integration will take the front seat as developers continue exploring ways to make their apps smarter and more efficient with less work.
Security has become the most important aspect to consider when developing an iOS application. A recent study by Acronis Cyber Protection Operation Center shows that the average cost of a data breach is set to surpass $5 million in 2023.
With so much at stake, iOS app developers must build security into their apps from the ground up by following best practices like:
- Ensuring data encryption while in transit and at rest
- Using two-factor authentication to limit access to sensitive information
- Requiring users to set strong passwords and change them frequently
To secure iOS mobile apps, developers can use various security measures such as hashing, obfuscation, encryption, and key storage encryption.
For the same purpose, Apple launched AppTransportSecurity (ATS), which developers can integrate into iOS apps to enhance security and protect privacy and data integrity in connections between the app and web services.
High-level security will become more important in the coming years. It’s because cybercriminals continue to find new ways of infiltrating mobile devices and stealing confidential information.
Swift is an open-source programming language developed by Apple that is both powerful and easy to use. It is specifically designed for app development on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
Swift 5.7.1 is the latest version of the Swift programming language, which was introduced in November 2022.
The new version will bring new features and improvements that will make the language more efficient and user-friendly.
The impact of Swift 6 on iOS app development will be significant. It’ll enable developers to write code faster, safer, and more efficiently. The new version may include improved performance and syntax, along with debugging and testing tools. This will allow developers to create high-quality and reliable apps more quickly and easily.
Businesses are advised to hire iOS developers who can focus on writing logical code of high quality. They must have comfort in using consistent APIs and modules, straightforward syntax, and other factors for compatibility.
With Swift 6, iOS app development will become even more accessible to a wider range of developers, allowing more innovative and diverse apps to be developed.
SwiftUI is a modern and declarative framework for building user interfaces for Apple platforms. Apple introduced it in 2019. They designed SwiftUI to make it easier and faster for developers to create great-looking and responsive user interfaces.
SwiftUI allows developers to write less code by taking care of much of the layout and presentation of content. The framework provides a simple and consistent syntax for building user interfaces, making it easier for developers to understand and use.
SwiftUI’s declarative approach also makes it easier to predict and debug the layout of the user interface. This makes it a great tool for building both complex and dynamic user interfaces as well as straightforward ones.
With SwiftUI, developers can take advantage of the latest advancements in Apple’s platform technologies and create truly native apps for Apple’s devices. SwiftUI is a game changer for iOS app development and is set to be one of the key iOS app development trends in 2023.
The release of iOS 17 should be imminent, following Apple’s typical pattern for introducing new iOS versions. There are already rumors about the features it will bring. You can expect an improved user experience, heightened security, and privacy, a better App Store, and added customization options for Apple devices.
GSMArena reports that the iOS 17 update is expected to launch in September, coinciding with the release of the iPhone 15 series. The update will prioritize enhancing stability and efficiency, as well as supporting Apple’s Reality Pro AR/VR headset.
The report also states that the Music app in iOS 17 will undergo changes. The upcoming operating system will be compatible with six devices featuring the Dynamic Island feature, including the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. All four rumoured models of the iPhone 15 are also expected to have the Dynamic Island feature.
Apple Pay enables users to make payments and complete transactions through their Apple devices as a mobile payment and digital wallet solution. With Apple Pay, users can pay for goods and services at participating stores. They can make online purchases, send and receive money from friends and family, and more.
The benefits of using Apple Pay for users include:
- Increased security, as payments made with Apple Pay are more secure than traditional card transactions.
- Users do not have to physically swipe or hand over their card, reducing the risk of fraud and identity theft.
- Apple Pay offers a more seamless and convenient payment experience as it negates the requirement of carrying physical cards.
The use of Apple Pay has seen a considerable surge in recent years. It is expected to continue as more consumers adopt mobile payments for their convenience and security. As a result, it’s predicted that Apple Pay integration in the iOS apps will continue to rise in the coming years, further cementing its position as a leading mobile payment solution.
Greater Focus On UI/UX
In the world of iOS app development, there is a growing focus on UI/UX, or user interface and user experience design. This involves designing app interfaces that are intuitive, seamless, and visually appealing, making it easy for users to navigate and use the app.
Businesses are realizing that they need to provide a great user experience if they want their customers to return again and again.
Developers use innovative design elements, such as 3D graphics, augmented reality, and personalized recommendations, to create truly unique and engaging user experiences. These design components improve the aesthetic appeal of the app. Also, they increase app’s functionality, making it more accessible and user-friendly for users to access the necessary features.
The goal of UI/UX design is to create an app that looks good and provides a smooth and enjoyable experience for the user. By doing so, developers can increase user engagement and satisfaction and improve app performance and popularity.
The demand for camera-focused apps has skyrocketed in recent years. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to remote work and online communication, the shift saw a massive rise.
With more people spending time at home and relying on technology to stay connected, the demand for apps that leverage the camera for various purposes has increased.
One area where this trend is particularly noticeable is the development of video conferencing apps. They have become essential tools for remote communication and collaboration. Video apps allow users to participate in virtual meetings, presentations, and discussions from anywhere in the world, using their smartphone or tablet cameras.
Social media is another area where camera-focused apps are gaining popularity. Social apps with features like TikTok, Reels, and others have become increasingly popular. It’s because users look for new and creative ways to share their lives and connect with friends and family. These apps leverage the camera to enable users to create short video clips that they can share with a wider audience.
Super apps are all-in-one platforms that offer users a wide range of services, including messaging, transportation, payment processing, and more. They offer a centralized and convenient platform for users to access multiple services, eliminating the need to switch between various apps or websites.
Super apps have become increasingly popular in Asian markets, such as China and India. They have gained massive user bases and become essential tools for daily life in these countries. Some of these regions’ most popular super apps include WeChat and Alipay in China and Paytm in India.
The concept of “super apps” is expected to gain traction in other regions as well. Users are seeking out more convenient and integrated ways to access the services they need. This trend presents new opportunities for mobile app developers, who can create “super apps” that bring together a wide range of services and offer an integrated experience for users.
By leveraging the latest technologies and innovative designs, developers can develop super apps that are easy to use, highly functional, and visually appealing.
Some of the key benefits of super apps include:
- Increased efficiency
- Improved user experience
- Enhanced security
- All-in-one platform for services
By providing users with a centralized platform for multiple services, super apps can help simplify their lives and reduce the time and effort required to access the services they need. Additionally, super apps can help protect users’ personal and financial information by offering a secure platform for transactions and data storage.
Mobile commerce involves buying and selling goods and services through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. With the rise of e-commerce and the increasing adoption of mobile devices, there is a growing demand for apps that facilitate mobile commerce transactions.
Mobile commerce apps offer features that make it easy and convenient for users to buy and sell goods and services. These features include mobile payments, in-app purchasing, and personalized recommendations.
By leveraging the latest technologies, such as secure mobile payment systems and AI-powered recommendations, mobile commerce apps can provide users with a seamless and efficient shopping experience.
Mobile commerce apps offer numerous benefits. For example, they provide users with a convenient way to shop on the go without visiting physical stores or websites. Additionally, by using mobile devices to make purchases, users can take advantage of personalized recommendations based on their browsing and purchasing history. These features help users find the products they are looking for.
The trend toward mobile commerce is expected to grow as e-commerce expands and more consumers adopt mobile devices as their primary shopping means.
Developers who can create innovative and user-friendly mobile commerce apps will be well-positioned to take advantage of this growing trend and offer new and exciting experiences to users.
On-demand apps are a growing trend in the mobile app development world, allowing users to request and receive services in real time. They provide a broad range of services, such as ride-hailing, food delivery, and home services. With these apps, users can quickly access the services they need with just a few taps on their mobile devices, making their lives more convenient and adaptable.
On-demand apps have 2 key benefits:
- Convenience- Users can order food, book a ride, or request a home service through these apps. They can also track their orders and receive real-time updates on the status of their requests.
- Flexibility- Users can access services anytime, whether they need a ride to the airport at 3 am or a meal delivered to their door. This flexibility is a big draw for many users, allowing them to fit their needs into their busy schedules.
As the trend towards on-demand services continues to grow, it is expected that more and more app developers will create new and innovative On-demand apps to meet users’ needs. With the increasing demand for convenient and flexible services, on-demand apps are set to become an important part of the mobile app landscape in the coming years.
Gamification is the trend of incorporating game design elements into non-game contexts to increase user engagement and retention. This trend has gained popularity in recent years, particularly in the realm of mobile apps. Gamification can take many forms, such as:
- Adding rewards and challenges to fitness apps
- Incorporating leaderboards and point systems into productivity apps
- Using streaks and daily goals to motivate users and much more
The goal of gamification is to make a task more enjoyable and engaging by making it feel like a game. By adding elements like rewards, points, and challenges, gamification can increase user engagement and motivate users to continue using an app. This can lead to increased user retention and more active engagement, positively impacting an app’s overall success.
For mobile app developers, gamification offers a unique opportunity to create more engaging and entertaining apps that keep users coming back for more.
CRED is an excellent example of gamification in the mobile app industry. It is an Indian fintech company that offers a rewards program for users who pay their credit card bills on time. The app uses gamification elements such as coins, rewards, coupons, and discounts through games to motivate users to keep paying their bills on time.
This gamification-based approach has successfully engaged users and kept them motivated to use the mobile app. The app has over 7 million users, and the gamification elements have helped to increase user engagement and retention.
Dark Mode is a widely embraced trend that can be utilized in various forms. It involves not just darkening the entire app, but also strategically using the appropriate amount of light.
The dark mode isn’t just about making something look good on the screen. It’s also about performance and energy consumption. The dark mode is easier on the eyes, especially in low-light environments. It can also help extend the battery life of mobile devices, which is especially important for users who are constantly on the go.
Many popular iOS apps now support dark mode, including:
- Apple’s own apps, such as maps, iMessage, and photos
- Social media apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Productivity apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams
- News and reading apps like Apple News and Kindle
- E-commerce apps like Amazon Alexa and eBay
This list is not exhaustive, but it gives a good idea of the wide range of apps that now support dark mode. With the growing popularity of dark mode, many more apps will likely incorporate this feature.
Siri Shortcuts is a powerful feature in iOS that allows users to automate tasks and perform specific actions within an app using voice commands. For example, you can quickly create a Siri shortcut to order your favorite food from a delivery app or start a workout session in your fitness app.
Developers can integrate Siri Shortcuts into their apps to provide users with a convenient and hands-free way to interact with their apps. The feature uses natural language processing to understand the user’s intent so that users can easily create and execute shortcuts.
Siri Shortcuts can also be combined with other features in iOS, such as notifications and the widget panel, to provide users with an even more seamless experience. With the growing demand for voice-activated technology, Siri Shortcuts has the potential to improve user experiences within iOS apps.
Swift Package Manager
Swift Package Manager is a tool for managing dependencies and sharing code between Swift projects. It provides a centralized way for developers to access and use code libraries, making it easier to maintain consistency and reduce the amount of redundant code across projects.
With the Swift Package Manager, developers can search for and import packages, manage dependencies, and easily update or remove packages when needed. The manager also allows developers to share their code by creating packages and publishing them on a repository.
This tool helps to streamline the iOS development process and improve collaboration between developers, making it easier to manage complex projects and accelerating the release of new features and updates. Additionally, the Swift Package Manager is integrated into Xcode, providing developers with a seamless and user-friendly experience.
iPadOS is a tailored operating system created specifically for the Apple iPad device. It offers a range of unique features and capabilities optimized for the iPad’s larger screen size that helps create custom mobile apps.
Here’s a breakdown of what iPadOS 16.3 brings in 2023:
- A new security feature, Security Keys for Apple ID, that enhances the security of your iPad. You can use a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication process on new devices to further protect your account.
- This update also offers support for the second-generation HomePod, resolves a problem with missing strokes in Freeform, and fixes an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests.
Developers can take advantage of new and existing features to create iPad apps that offer users a more immersive and interactive experience. For example, the drag-and-drop feature allows users to easily move and transfer files, images, and text between apps. At the same time, the split view and slide-over enable users to multitask and access multiple apps simultaneously.
iPadOS also supports advanced technologies such as ARKit, Core ML, and Metal, which enable developers to build cutting-edge apps that incorporate augmented reality, machine learning, and high-performance graphics.
By designing apps specifically for iPadOS, developers can create more engaging and productive experiences for users while also taking advantage of the unique capabilities of the iPad.
Swift Playgrounds is a powerful tool that helps developers learn the basics of Swift and iOS app development.
This educational tool provides a fun and interactive environment where developers can experiment with code and see the results in real time. It’s designed to help developers learn the basics of Swift programming and how to create iOS apps, making it a great resource for anyone interested in app development.
Playgrounds are a great way to get started with Swift because they allow you to make changes without worrying about messing up your code. It is possible to share your code with others, allowing them to observe its functionality.
Additionally, Swift Playgrounds includes interactive tutorials, games, and challenges that help reinforce the concepts and skills learned in each lesson.
5G networks boast significantly faster speeds and decreased latency compared to prior generations of mobile networks. This increased speed and performance open up new possibilities for iOS app development, allowing developers to create more advanced and interactive apps.
With the widespread adoption of 5G technology, there is an increasing demand for optimized apps to take advantage of the faster speeds and lower latency that 5G networks provide. This means developing apps that can handle increased amounts of data and support real-time interactions, leading to improved user experiences and increased efficiency.
Whether streaming high-quality video content, conducting video calls with minimal lag, or providing real-time updates, 5G support is a crucial aspect of app development in the 5G era.
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Staying informed about the latest iOS app development trends and technologies is essential in an industry that is constantly evolving.
In 2023, the iOS app development trends discussed in this blog, such as AI, Swift, iOS 17, and the Internet of Things, are set to revolutionize how businesses approach mobile app development.
By leveraging these trends, businesses can improve the user experience and create innovative and efficient mobile apps that can drive growth and success. With the help of a top iOS app development company, you can stay ahead of the curve and create apps that stand out in a competitive market.
It’s an exciting time for the iOS app development industry. We expect to see many more advancements and breakthroughs soon.
What's the future of iOS development?
Yes, iOS development has a future. The popularity of Apple devices, especially iPhones, has been consistently increasing and is expected to grow. The App Store also remains a lucrative platform for developers to create and distribute apps with billions of dollars involved. Furthermore, Apple continues to invest in new technologies and platforms, such as ARKit and SwiftUI. They provide opportunities for developers to create innovative and cutting-edge apps.
What is the latest in iOS development?
For 2023, iOS app developers should concentrate on Core Machine Learning, AI, and IoT. There’s also an emphasis on up-to-date technologies like iBeacon and AR.
Which is best for iOS app development?
Apple’s official programming language, Swift, and the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Xcode. Apple designed both tools specifically for iOS app development. They provide a range of features and resources for building high-quality, user-friendly apps for the Apple ecosystem. Additionally, using Swift and Xcode helps ensure your app will work well with the latest iOS versions.
What is the highest update for iOS?
The latest version of iOS is 16.3, which includes several important updates and new features. One of the most notable new features in iOS 16.3 is the integration of security keys into Apple ID. Users can now use a security key as an additional layer of protection when logging into their Apple ID account.
Which iOS are no longer supported?
Apple has ended support for several iOS devices launched before 2016, including the iPhone 6, the iPhone SE, and the iPhone 7. This means that these devices will no longer receive updates or security patches from Apple. Also, users will no longer be able to download the latest iOS software or apps from the App Store.