How is AI influencing mobile app development?

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From Skynet- one of the terrifying sci-fi super-villains, to Siri- your friendly personal assistant, AI rouses a whole spectrum of feelings inside us. However, irrespective of the emotion it ignites within you, it affects your life in more ways than you could imagine. Smartphones have become an irreplaceable part of our lives, and AI plays a significant role in enriching our experience with these pocket computers. From the mobile app development process to features delivered to end-users, the AI influence is apparent.

47% of established businesses already have an AI strategy for mobile. In this article, we’ll go through the ways AI is influencing mobile app development. This would include benefits experienced by users as well as ease of development experienced by mobile app developers. 

So let’s jump right into it:

Personalized content

The recipe for success for mobile apps is to follow a user-centric approach. App user’s convenience should be at the heart of every decision made by app developers. This method of nurturing engagement may sound easy, but it is no cakewalk.

AI helps put app-users on the pedestal by bringing personalization into the mix. It uses ML algorithms to understand user preferences and behavior patterns and then delivers relevant content for an enhanced user experience.

Whether it be a shopping platform like Amazon, a streaming app like Netflix, or a publishing platform like Medium, AI can undoubtedly nurture a more engaging experience.

Take Medium, for example- once you spend some time reading a few articles on the mobile app development, it would analyze the content you find more exciting and add similar content in the suggestion feed.

Similarly, it would find out authors you enjoy reading more and push more of their content towards you. Personalization of this kind adds more value to the user’s time and wins customer loyalty for app owners.

Improved efficiency and productivity

Creating the perfect mobile app development is a long iterative process. The developers can’t simply deploy some new features and expect the audience to woo over them. Instead, they need to assess the performance of the app and alleviate shortcomings in subsequent versions.

AI helps developers in this endeavor by adding flexibility in code deployment. They can leverage AI for creating algorithms that do a better job of understanding user behavior and ingest data more intelligently.

AI gives mobile app developers the space to get creative with features and functionalities. They can now develop the wildest of ideas and leave much of the heavy lifting for AI.  

AI also helps app users get more efficient. One prime example is the array of personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google. AI helps with scheduling the day, saving notes, scouring the internet for information, and so much more.

Mobile app developers and users can now leave a lot of monotonous and mundane tasks for AI and focus on other high priority tasks instead.

Smoother IoT integration

Smart appliances and devices now surround our world. Be it refrigerators, beds, lights, alarm systems, cars, or even coffee makers; everything is now connected to the internet. Yeah, it sounds like a black mirror episode. But isn’t that more of a reality than fiction now?

Anyways, your mobile phone is one of the primary ways to interact with all those smart devices. It’s a convenient way of interacting with intelligent machines, but most people don’t want to be continuously engrossed in their phones managing their army of smart appliances.

This is where AI comes in. Mobile apps, coupled with AI, turn out to be a smarter way of dealing with the IoT ecosystem. The intelligent app automates day-to-day functions for the user. Customers can leverage most of what the IoT has to offer. With AI, IoT integration and onboarding becomes seamless.

Applying logic and problem solving

Cognition is what makes AI such a revolutionary technology. Systems designed by humans that can think, react, and adapt are no less than wonders. Self-learning apps are getting increasingly common even though end-users may not realize they are interacting with one.

Self-learning apps use the information available to them and make decisions geared towards delivering a better user experience.

Take automatic route selection on driver maps, for instance. The app takes all the variables such as traffic, distance, and vehicle size into consideration and then goes with the most optimal route for the user. 

AI can efficiently process tons of data and develop relevant solutions that match users’ history and preferences. With such capabilities, it quickly solves the daily problems of customers.

AI’s problem-solving abilities also help developers. They can use it to visualize data and develop more appropriate app features that suit well to users.

Image detection

From QR codes to facial expressions, mobile apps are now capable of assessing a lot of the physical environment. And again, the credit for such accurate interpretations goes to AI.

With machine learning and vast volumes of data for foundation, AI apps now effortlessly recognize faces, shapes, patterns, and structures around them. Image detection is increasingly used to auto edit captured photos, respond to gestures, and search for info.

Visual AI has opened up many new avenues for mobile app developers, and they are now deploying it for all sorts of functionalities. Facial recognition boosts security, enriches the social media experience, and even helps with content personalization.

The technology has already made some groundbreaking advancements in other fields and is expected to stir things up in mobile app technology.

Relevant advertisements

Ads are the only source of revenue for a lot of developers. Sadly, advertisements often repel users away from the app. Who would like an ad in the middle of a pleasant experience, right?

While ads are a necessary evil, developers try to reduce the collateral damage by providing more relevant advertisements to end-users. As mentioned earlier, AI does a great job of analyzing user behavior and preferences. The engine leverages all the information to deliver more meaningful ads that don’t necessarily annoy customers.

AI improves advertisements by ensuring the notifications go out when the user is more likely to react to it positively. For instance, notifications these days don’t show up randomly but at carefully selected time windows and days.

The curated ads and notifications make more sense to users and bring something of value to them. For app makers, it’s suitable for their businesses that customers engage with ads and notifications.

Better use of geolocation info

Geo sensor data is used in a variety of ways by businesses. Since your smartphone goes everywhere with you, it turns out to be an excellent data source for geolocation history. However, it’s one thing collecting all that information and another to put it to fair use.

Mobile apps use AI to power features that leverage geolocation data. It can be an app like that of Starbucks, which notifies you of discounts and offers when close to their outlets. 

Google is one of the pioneers when it comes to putting GPS data to fair use. They use it for landmark detection, suggesting restaurants, and to roll out location-based advertisements.

Voice recognition and NLP

App developers have always tried to provide a more human-like experience to their end-users. And what better way to add the human-touch than allowing customers to converse with the app. 

Voice recognition and natural language processing (NLP) has given birth to a whole new array of features on mobile apps. The users continuously communicate with personal assistants like Siri and Alexa for regular tasks.

AI has allowed developers to process speech accurately and allow a touch-free interaction with the mobile app. 72% of people who used voice searches confirm that it has become a part of their daily routines.

Improved security

Security is usually a huge concern for mobile app makers. And when it comes to users, they value their privacy on the internet. With cybercriminals getting smarter every day, there was a need to boost app security, as well.

AI adds potency to the security measures deployed for app security. More points of authentication and quick response to possible threats keep the app secure. AI does a great job of connecting the dots and matches app activity with everything else happening on the app.

So if all of a sudden it detects a login from a different physical location than usual, it notifies the user about the suspicious activity. Similarly, voice and face detection adds to devise security. With AI getting better at recognizing voices and faces, technology is becoming more useful every day.

So it’s evident that AI has had a profound impact on mobile apps and how they are developed. From personalization to problem-solving, the power behind the punch for many features is admired by app users.

However, AI is still an evolving technology. We might have merely scratched the surface of what we can do with AI to make mobile apps even better or facilitate the development process.

With hardware getting better and AI elevating to the next levels, we can surely hope to see a lot more application of AI in mobile apps that leads to some critical features for users and developers.

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Hardik Shah works as a Tech Consultant at Simform – a dedicated team of mobile development company in Dallas. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_.

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