It can often be hard to stay present in the industry you work in, and in some places, it’s even harder. Take the mobile industry for example. In the last five years, mobile ‘apps’ have gone from being an unused term, to something that billions of smartphone users use on a daily basis. In that same time, mobile hardware has progressed at an incredible pace, and businesses around the world are struggling to adapt to the sudden changes.

Staying present isn’t just about competing with what’s on the table at the time, it also involves investing into the future, and planning for things to come. In this article we take a look into what we think will be the most successful mobile app categories in the future.

Utilities & Wearable

Electronics manufacturers are constantly looking for the newest, most trending technologies to profit from, and whilst the smartphone game is still going strong, a huge amount of smartphone manufacturers have started to show interest in smart watches in 2014.wearable-things

It’s still pretty early days for the wearables market, but it’s going to grow, and over the next few years, we should see a large boost in apps that are made specifically for wearables. On top of the increase of wearable exclusive apps, we’ll most likely see utility apps gain more popularity as the smart watch consumer base looks for more ways to make their smart watch useful.

The smart watch is a new technology, so it’s hard to predict just how far manufacturers will go with them, but for the first few years we will most likely see an increase in developer support, which should introduce many more wearable and utility apps to the market.

Games & Entertainment

Right now, the most successful mobile app category is the games category. Not only are games apps outperforming other categories in terms of downloads by a longshot, but the top grossing apps are very often game apps like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and so forth.

As smartphone adoption increases, even more users will be opened up to the world of casual mobile gaming, and we can’t see the popularity of mobile games slowing down anytime soon. At this point in time, the vast majority of top apps in the charts are mobile games, and whilst the number of apps in the top charts may start to decline slowly in the next few years, there’s always going to be a very healthy market for decent mobile games.

In the next few years, we’ll see more free Wi-Fi access, and better 4G deals, which should open up options for smartphone owners to use entertainment apps like Netflix and Youtube on the go, too. So far, data hungry video streaming apps have left most users with no choice but to stream video at home, but this could change in the future.

mCommerce

Despite being in the works for a couple of years now, in-store mobile payments and wallet apps haven’t really caught on. However, businesses are still slowly adapting to new mobile technology, and in the next few years, we are bound to see both new mobile shopping apps, and retail shops that allow us to use our smartphones to make payments and get other information whilst in-store.

There are already a few technologies that are being trialled right now in a few places worldwide that could potentially change the in-store shopping experience drastically. For example, Apple’s iBeacon proximity system could help businesses to offer shoppers deals whilst they walk into or past their shop, and various apps in development will allow shoppers to check out information and reviews on products they are looking at in-store.

It’s hard to predict the speed mCommerce will take over other traditional shopping mediums, but it’s clear that mCommerce will prove to be a decent method for the everyday shopper in the near future.