There are millions of mobile apps on Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store. These apps range from Games to Productivity apps to Photo Editing apps, etc. And then there are mobile apps which are a link between you and the new-generation business / e-commerce portals, such as eBay, PayTM, Flipkart, etc.
Most of these apps are stand alone and work on directly with their parent businesses. It is like they all work in silo. The maximum level of communication a mobile app will do with another apps is either for payments (PayTM, PayUMoney, etc.) or for authorization / login (example – Google login, Facebook login, etc.).
So how will future mobile apps be like?
Integration. Integration will be the trend in next generation of app development. As opposed to current way these apps work, we will see the next generation apps will be more integrated and will communicate with each other, in a more efficient way. The way I see, the integration of mobile apps can happen in these ways:
Currently, if you are using one application, and you have to connect the other app, either for login purpose or to sync information between the apps, you have to move out of the current app to another. In this movement, the tokens of information are passed to the calling app and the purpose is resolved.
The other possibility, which can be brought in is (will explain with an example) – you are currently scrolling products in a shopping app. You select a couple of products and now you need to finalize the order. You have to login in this app and provide information such as name, email, contact details, etc. You simply go to checkout section and select one of the login options provided within the app – choices are Facebook Login and Google Login. You select Google login (and you are still in the shopping app), you get logged in and your contact details, etc. are passed on to the app in the background itself.
Once your order is finalized and executed, you now have to make the payment. You are already logged in to PayTM’s app on your phone. Now, while making the payment in the shopping mobile app, you are again given 2-3 options and out of those options you select PayTM. Now, as you are already logged on to PayTM’s native app, that information is passed on to this shopping app via the mobile OS and ting! Payment is done.
You never left the app from where you shopped your new shirts!
There is an app which works on a similar model already. Robinhood – a free brokerage app for buying and selling stocks on stock markets. Robinhood, which has it’s own app on iOS and Android, has provided such integration to apps such as StockTwit (which helps you track your stocks) and OpenFolio (a portfolio tracking mobile app). So, what Robinhood has done is allowed these apps to have a way to push Buy and Sell transactions, from within the app using Robinhood’s engine.
This way, the native mobile apps get an additional functionality and the integrated app gets more traffic and more transactions. It also brings more power in to the apps to do more.