The year 2015 is distinguished by multiple innovations and events in the app sphere. The two leading platforms, iOS and Google Play, have shown consolidation in the download and income streams. Google Play remains a leader in downloads, thus leaving iOS the main position in revenue shares. What new trends should we expect from the 2016, and how those in the mobile app testing services industry can prepare?

1. Introducing deep linking for easy app searching

Application searching is expected to become easier and behave more like web with the help of Google Now on Tap app. This could be achieved due to the introduction of deep linking, which is likely to decrease navigation drawbacks and simplify content discovery within apps. Google Now on Tap can make Android even more attractive for developers and enhance users’ engagement with apps.

2. New income stream for eSports

From 1999 to 2009, a large interest in rare live events burst due to the development of digital music. A similar interest for mobile gaming events is observed in the eSports industry. The year 2016 is supposed to increase a demand for competitive mobile gaming events thus helping game publishers gain new revenues as sponsorship and broadcast rights.

3. Implementing multiple services for messaging apps

Messaging apps are extremely popular and much more frequently used in Asia comparing with the West market. Amid combining messaging apps with other services like game or offline payments, the Facebook Messenger platform will attempt to change its strategy in 2016 to enhance the usage of messaging app and gain a leading position in this sphere. This is supposed to be achieved by implementing additional platform elements such as commerce and payments.

4. New consolidation growth in Asia

A wave of consolidation is believed to burst even further in the Online-to-Offline (O2O) commerce industry. In Asia, where heavily subsidized pricing and discounting have become a main attraction for users, the trend is already visible in such major acquisitions as e-commerce (Snapdeal’s acquisition of FreeCharge) and food delivery (Foodpanda’s acquisition of Just Eat India). This consolidation of industries can result in higher quality of apps and a healthier ecosystem.

5. Improving productivity app downloads

iPad productivity downloads still remain at the year 2010 level. The number is expected to increase in 2016. One of the possible opportunities to achieve this is Microsoft future improvement of Office suite and mobile-first productivity apps like Office Sway.

6. New trends for financial services

Finance apps have been showing a stable growth on the iOS platform and finance downloads are ahead of all iOS downloads for the past two years but fintech apps are only starting to be deployed. Amid an increasing usage of apps for remittance, asset management, fintech apps are expected to grow on both iOS and Google Play platforms.

7. New revenues for TvOS

Allowing third-party apps with gaming and video streaming, AppleTV is going to gain a leading position in 2016. That can possibly create a lager gamer population and user engagement, as well as foster competition among developers. Moreover, TvOS is likely to increase income using smartphones or tablets as a second-screen.

8. Youtube red: attracting more viewers

The market of over-the-top (OTT) is expected to be broadened by YouTube Red. YouTube Red is going to make original series together with YouTube celebrities, which is supposed to attract more young viewers, who may be familiar with them.

9. Discovering new usage methods for smartwatches

Mainly used as smartphones, smartwatches represent a challenging sphere for developers and are not likely to have innovations. The way smartwatches are used is supposed to be changed to cover vertical-specific contexts and enterprise spheres. Nevertheless, smartwatches can become particular useful for fitness and health monitoring.

10. Increasing interest in Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

Supported by major platforms like Google, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is expected to increase users awareness and engagement in AR. Future releases of Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Samsung’s Gear VR and Microsoft’s HoloLens will give us a first insight of AR/VR platforms.

From QA perspective, the increasing popularity of the above described apps is likely to foster competition among other apps. Conducting a deep investigation of important features and being aware of the new trends, quality assurance can become an essential step in helping any application meet the highest quality standards.

This article is prepared on the basis of the report “Top App Predictions of 2016”.

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