Did COVID-19 benefit Mobile App Development?

mobile application development

 

Introduction

The Corona virus pandemic undeniably had a major negative impact on the world economy. However, the Mobile and Web Application Development industry has surged as demand for digital products and services has risen dramatically. Internet use has gone up over 70% [1], and streaming has jumped by 12%. There were 218 billion mobile application downloads in 2020, with 2% of app users opening an app over 100 times per day [2].

E-commerce

During lockdowns, people have become less able and willing to physically go to stores. E-commerce has therefore massively risen in popularity. In the US, 77% admitted to staying at home more during the pandemic, and 52% to shopping online more [3].  During March 2020, the Shipt, Walmart Grocery and Instacart Mobile Apps saw 124%, 160% and 218% increases in average daily downloads respectively [4]. This has led to increased demand for e-commerce web and mobile application programming, as companies sought to expand their online stores and enhance the profitability of their apps. The convenience and popularity of online shopping was already rapidly growing even before the pandemic, which has led to increasing demand not only in programmers, but also in mobile and web application UI/UX designers. Moreover, as many restaurants had to close, they were left with no choice but to start doing home deliveries to attempt avoiding bankruptcy.

News apps

The pandemic has determined people to be more interested in the news, as new Covid-related regulations are being implemented on a monthly, even weekly basis. Moreover, vaccination developments have been quickly unwinding, and stimulus checks news and updates in the US and other countries worldwide are also of utmost interest to millions of people. News agencies have seen an increasing need for mobile and web application developers, not just due to the COVID-19 impact, but also since younger generations are spending more and more time online, and less reading physical newspapers or watching cable news.

Communication apps

The use of communication web and mobile applications has risen dramatically as many people have transitioned to working from home. In January of 2021, Telegram was the most downloaded non-gaming mobile app. In 2020, Zoom was Apple’s most downloaded free app. The video communication app has been used in education, entertainment, and business as people were unable to meet face to face. Zoom reported $663.5 million in revenues, up 355% from last year, and a 458% increase in customers with over 10 employees (370,200) [5]. Other mainstream communication and social media mobile and web apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google Hangouts, etc. have also seen significant usage growth. The rise in demand has allowed for the emergence of new mobile and web applications such as Signal and Clubhouse. The need for designing, creating, and maintaining these apps has translated into an increased need for development expertise. Moreover, programming knowledge is required to leverage application programming interfaces (APIs) to extract insights from conversations, as well as to create chatbots.

Education

Because most schools and universities had to close down, the number of users of EdTech apps has skyrocketed. In July 2020, Google Classroom was the most downloaded mobile app (14.8 million downloads). A myriad of EdTech mobile and web application types have been growing in popularity, such as:

  • Online Courses (Udemy, Coursera)
  • Content Development for Teachers (Buncee, Kaltura)
  • Distance Learning (EdSurge, Brookings)
  • Online Learning Management Systems (Google Classroom, Tencent Classroom) [6]

The increase in usage has determined companies to look for new mobile and web development employees that can improve existing features and add new ones. These companies are competing against each other and against other industries that are looking to garner the attention of the billions worldwide with mobile phones and internet access. The fierce competition is forcing organizations to search for people with high programming talent and experience.

E-health

Healthcare apps are among those whose users grew the most since the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only did people become worried about catching COVID, but they also became less likely to visit the hospital in fears of catching the virus. As the number of coronavirus cases spiked, healthcare centers were filled with COVID-19 patients and faced difficulties in admitting other people suffering from other conditions, especially for non-emergency matters. Combined with new 5G and AI technologies, this is expected to rapidly accelerate digital health delivery through mobile and web applications. App development in this field is therefore expected to skyrocket as increased demand is meeting new tech advancements.

Games and entertainment

Many activity centers such as sports halls, arcades or movie theaters had to be closed down. As such, people have been seeking forms of digital entertainment, with the usage rates of mobile applications such as Netflix and YouTube spiking significantly. Downloads of gaming mobile apps have risen by 40% [7]. This has also provided opportunities for small-scale developers to program new mobile and web applications, as there are plenty of niches to fill.

Conclusion

Overall, although the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for most people, it has brought about fundamental changes in consumer behavior, leading to an increase in demand for Mobile and Web Application Development.


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