Mobile platforms are quickly overtaking desktop as the preferred platform for browsing the web, online shopping, and connecting with others on social media. As the mobile platform has grown in popularity, the technology behind it has evolved explosively in the last few years. We’re seeing mobile capabilities today that were mere pipe dreams a decade ago. It’s important to keep some of the developing trends in mind as you head into 2017. Some of the emerging tech and features may seem like innocuous bells and whistles at this point, but the potential of some of these developments is staggering. Here are some of the biggest mobile trends to watch in 2017.
Voice-assisted software is becoming more popular, and the capabilities afforded by voice control are growing more sophisticated. Google recently launched its new Pixel smartphone, which is equipped with Google Assistant. This digital assistant software uses virtual intelligence that responds to voice commands, similar to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Google Assistant responds when the user says “OK Google,” and can then perform several tasks, such as sending a dictated text message, performing a search for specific information, enabling certain device features, opening apps, and much more.
Experts expect voice-operated software to evolve dramatically in the coming year. Soon, a Google Assistant will be able to interpret phonetics more accurately to detect stress levels, speaking speed, and intonation to deliver more accurate and relevant results.
The growing popularity of VIs like Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant indicates forward momentum toward machine learning. Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be much closer to becoming a reality than ever, and to a degree, many of the VIs we see today are capable of learning. For example, Google Assistant must first analyze the user’s speech patterns and calibrate itself to respond only to the Pixel owner’s voice. Later, the user can program the Google Assistant to respond to other voices. This is a very rudimentary example, but machine learning will really take off in the coming years, and we’re sure to see exciting developments in 2017.
Content Developed for Mobile First
Mobile is also a hot spot for marketers because most adults use some kind of mobile device for work or personal use on a daily basis. Content marketing as an industry has seen explosive growth throughout the last decade, and marketing in general has changed dramatically since the dawn of the internet. Mobile technology has disrupted marketing again. As more and more consumers turn to mobile devices for everyday online activities, content marketers are beginning to design with the small screen in mind first.
Social media has also changed how content marketers approach their audiences, and how they craft their content. Shareable content is a fantastic method for getting users to spread the word about a brand, and most people access their social media platforms through their phones. Users can quickly digest content curated to their tastes and lifestyles, and spread that content to others in their social media networks. Mobile technology has essentially provided content marketers with a completely new method for reaching consumers.
Web designers are taking a cue from content marketers and are starting to think about mobile platforms first when creating and updating websites. The idea of responsive design – web designs that adjust or “respond” to the screen on which it is viewed – has emerged and is a necessity of modern web design.
Responsive design doesn’t solely entail creating webpages that look good on smaller mobile screens – it also involves designing with a touchscreen interface in mind. The most important facet of responsive design is that a website needs to perform reliably across different platforms and retain its aesthetic appeal, and more designers are going to start their work with mobile platforms at the forefront.
Virtual reality was once a fringe interest in the video game world, but this is no longer the case. VR technology is much cheaper and easier to produce today, and VR hardware is more accessible than ever. The PlayStation VR system launched recently to a lot of praise, but other industries are paying attention to VR technology, and we’re sure to see new applications in the coming year.
Marketing professionals see VR as an opportunity to create lasting memories with consumers in several ways. Consumers can interact with products in a virtual space, explore virtual environments, watch immersive video content, and much more using VR. Google’s new Pixel smartphone launched alongside the DayDream VR headset, which is a headband that holds the Pixel phone and allows users to play VR games and watch virtual content. VR is sure to grow in popularity as the hardware becomes more accessible and additional software enters the market.
These are just a few of the trends we’re bound to see next year. Mobile continues to grow in popularity, and as the tech and software evolve, so will the range of capabilities afforded by mobile devices.