COVID-19 became a challenge not only for physical health but also for other aspects of our lives. The app development market, in particular, was heavily affected as COVID-19 mixed things up, changing all the forecasts that were made in pre-pandemic times, and forming new directions and trends.
In some app market segments products received an unprecedented boost, while in others companies had to either readjust their offerings or simply leave the scene as their apps became no longer relevant.
In this post, we'll discuss how COVID-19 has affected the mobile app development, identify some new COVID-19 mobile app development trends, and give some predictions as to where the impact of COVID-19 on mobile app development industry can lead us in the future.
COVID-19 Mobile App Development Trends
Apps for remote working
For many people, it's hard to stay productive when working from their offices, this is why the rise of popularity of apps for remote working was practically inevitable once the pandemic started.
The demand for mobile applications that help keep track of the current tasks, sort through tons of data, ease the communication inside the team, and stay focused while completing projects will only increase as more and more companies adopt the 'work from home' operational model.
The e-learning products became the way to facilitate the 'traditional' form of education during COVID-19 — in fact, language apps, video learning platforms, MOOC platforms, and other online learning tools have helped almost 1.6 billion people worldwide to become more flexible in their learning activities as the pandemic progressed.
In the post-pandemic reality, remote learning has all the chances to become the new trend in education since it has already proved its effectiveness during the last two years.
The entertainment apps played a significant role in helping to prevent people from getting frustrated and bored while staying home for long periods of time during COVID-19. For many people the psychological strain of self-isolation became too heavy and the only way to stay sane was to direct their thoughts and energy away from their home offices.
Here, aside from the standard games, the app developers started to offer users products that also include mental exercises — word games, quiz apps, language-learning solutions, brain training apps, etc.
Video calling apps
During the global shift to a work-from-home model, video calls have become the dominant method of communication between teams — whose members were at times dispersed all around the globe.
Aside from the corporate side, video conferencing apps, such as Zoom, Skype for Business, BlueJeans, and Whereby have helped ordinary people turn 'social distancing into distant socializing'. There were even cases when groups of friends were organizing 'zoom-parties' to emulate the pre-pandemic style of living.
When the coronavirus pandemic made in-person visits impossible, healthcare applications were the ones that allowed for the simplification of all the communication activities between healthcare professionals and patients. Such tools gave patients the possibility to schedule appointments, review their prescriptions, medical records, and get in touch with the doctor of their choice through a video chat.
We also have contact tracing apps coming on stage here — the solutions that played a significant role in stopping the transmission of COVID-19 virus. And once the coronavirus becomes a thing of the past, this technology will most likely be repurposed for tracking other diseases.
The Impact of Covid-19 on Mobile App Development Industry
Data security will remain a top priority
The COVID-19 influence on the mobile app development industry has brought to the forefront lots of concerns regarding data security. Especially, as the majority of such apps — like contact tracing, healthcare products, etc. — collect and process large-scale data which has become the subject to potential attacks and data breaches.
In view of the impact of COVID-19 on mobile app development, there have been various researches published where cybersecurity professionals presented recommendations as to how data in COVID-19 applications should be handled.
The restriction from the secondary use of data, transparency of information flows, decentralized storage for app's data, automatic deletion of information once the purpose has been fulfilled, and collaboration with supervisory authorities are just a few security practices that have been implemented in the public health apps currently — as a result of COVID-19 impact on the mobile app development.
More services are becoming mobile friendly
In 2022, offering mobile access to products or services has become some sort of basic requirement for many industries. Today, the general public doesn't even think about whether the website or platform will be optimized for their device or not when browsing the web. However, even up until recently (before the pandemic started) not all types of businesses had their websites, apps, or platforms optimized for mobile devices.
Many of these businesses relied mostly on foot traffic — local brick and mortar stores, restaurants, hotels, dental clinics, hospitals, etc. But then came the coronavirus pandemic, and everything got turned upside down, making in-person visits impossible. So, those industries that were slow in adopting digital tools had to act quickly and adjust their business model to a new reality in which the 'mobile first' approach became an absolute must.
Improvements are getting facilitated faster
During the pandemic, speed became a major factor in mobile app development. On par with 'traditional' industries that started to invest more in the development of mobile-friendly services, digital businesses like food delivery, remote working platforms, and video app services had to adjust their products too.
For example, in order to facilitate contactless delivery, food delivery services added the 'leave at my door' feature. In order to be able to handle virtual meetings with a huge number of people, video chat platforms had to adjust their infrastructure, and pricing plans, and introduce some advanced capabilities for corporate users.
In the same manner, healthcare centers, retailers, and grocery store chains started to work on the integration of video APIs in their digital products — all to be able to effectively communicate with their clients during the pandemic.
App development teams have shifted to remote permanently
Even though the term 'remote work' has existed before the coronavirus pandemic, for many companies it was more like an optional form of operation, rather than an imperative reality. Once COVID-19 put all physical interactions on hold, and software development teams moved to their home offices, bedrooms, and kitchen tables, companies came to realize that fully remote work can be beneficial too, and, at times, even more productive than the in-office model.
According to studies, employees feel happier when working remotely. They are more focused and can stay at their tasks longer. Teams are also less exposed to burnout, which means they can perform more productively, achieving desired business outcomes faster. As of now, many development teams are permanently shifting to fully remote work, and it seems like this trend itself will only gain momentum in the post-pandemic world.
Governments get involved more in mobile app market
Basically, all health apps are subject to some kind of government and legal regulations, but at the very beginning, COVID-19 products were just initially required to comply with the standard regulatory requirements such as GDPR (for EU) or CCPA (for US) laws. Eventually, however, it became obvious that the COVID-19 app market should be subject to its own legislative regulations — mostly because of a large number of concerns and speculations that began to emerge around such products (contact tracing apps in particular).
Governments of different countries started to develop specific initiatives that could help increase public trust and make the data storage process more transparent. In South Korea, for example, the government suggested that contact tracing apps should delete data after a certain period of time and this process should also be controlled by an independent third-party supervisor. This shows that the further the telehealth market develops, the bigger part the governments will play.
Consider Lunka.tech Your Partner
Years of working in the app development industry gave us the ability to quickly adjust to new market trends and carry out projects that did not have anything in common with what we already had experience with. And the Bianu application was no exception here.
The idea behind the app that our team has developed for the maternity hospital in the UK was to help pregnant women maintain the comfort of their well-being as they go through pregnancy. So we created a system that, based on the length of pregnancy trimesters, could make a list of complex minerals and vitamins needed for a healthy pregnancy.
We also integrated a robust payment gateway into the app, delivery options, and a few subscription plans at the client's request.
Obviously, the coronavirus impact on the application development cannot be ignored. By reshaping markets and business models the COVID-19 impact on the app development industry has shown us that there are many new possibilities in almost every niche.
The only question now is will app developers be able to adapt the COVID-19 effect on application development for post-pandemic needs? No doubt that some practices like contact tracing will be further developed. Other COVID-19-specific products — self-isolation apps, for example — may no longer stay in demand.
Moving forward, the most important thing now is to keep abreast of new changes and adapt our mobile apps accordingly. If you’re wondering how has COVID-19 impacted the mobile app development business, or simply have any questions regarding COVID-19 mobile app development, reach out to us via our Contact Us page, and we'll be happy to help!
I have an app idea. How do we start?
- Simply fill out a get in touch form, and our managers will contact you ASAP. During the introductory call, we'll conduct a short interview in which we will get to know about your app concept, business model, target audience, etc. If you’re not sure of any of these points — no problem, we'll help you shape your ideas into actionable plans. Once that's done, we’ll provide you with all the project estimates regarding resources, timeframe, budget, etc. At this point, you'll get a complete understanding of how your project will be developed, from start to finish.
Why should I choose your outsourcing agency over a local software firm?
- If we're talking about local firms from the US, Canada, UK, or Western Europe, their hourly rates are normally 2-3 higher compared to the agencies from Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, our company is able to deliver a project of the same quality — compared to the local firms — but within a much more affordable budget range. In addition, our team offers deep experience in mobile app development which is proven by the vast range of projects we've completed.
How much input is required from the client during app development?
- While working on a project, we try to cooperate with the client as much as possible so we can create a product that fully meets the client's expectations. At the very beginning, we also carry out a briefing process that helps us better understand what the client's goals and vision are. To sum up, the client's input is important to us and we do our best to engage with the client at every possible level during project completion.
Can we work under an NDA agreement?
- Sure. We are absolutely ready for such a form of cooperation, so if you want your project to be carried out under the NDA agreement, just let our managers know.