App stores never look the same from one day to the next, which in a way is what makes them so valuable to us. They’re always offering something new and different, and if you don’t see anything worthwhile to you one day, or one week, or one month, you might the next time around. In the midst of all of this change and turnover though, some categories can rise and fall according to demand and innovation. And if you’re wondering not just which apps you might be interested in six months or a year from now, but which categories might be a bigger part of your life, we have some ideas.
The term “cord-cutting” has been around for a long time now as a descriptor for people ending cable subscriptions and relying instead on streaming services. Until now that’s meant anything from Hulu and Netflix to Sling and YouTube TV, with premium options like HBO Now or Amazon Prime Video mixed in. However, as one article so succinctly put it, the biggest changes are coming up next in a fresh wave of cord-cutting. That article was specifically referring to some major, Netflix-level competitors in the works, such as a Disney streaming service and an AT&T built-from-scratch option with HBO included. However, we can also expect apps aimed at sports, individual teams, fringe sports, eSports, and basically any kind of entertainment imaginable. All things considered, we’ve just barely gotten started with entertainment streaming.
One could absolutely argue that this category has already blossomed, so to speak. We have apps that help us to manage our personal budgets, apps that facilitate peer-to-peer payments, banking apps, investment apps, and more. This is merely a prediction that we’ll start relying on these programs more to the point that they’re ultimately refined, further emphasized, and competed with. We’re likely just a few years away from relying on our mobile phones for virtually every aspect of our personal financial lives. In other words, it’s already a big category – but expect more.
This is more of a sub-category within gaming, but Nintendo has basically let it be known that it will be putting out more mobile games sometime in the near future. Now, the company can be somewhat mysterious and can work slowly, and some have suggested that Super Mario Run revenues were disappointing, which could also hold things up. But in the end this still seems like a no-brainer revenue stream for a company that’s still probably the most famous game developer on the planet. It would be a shock if in two to five more years we don’t have a whole bundle of Nintendo mobile games – some new, and others paying to our nostalgia for older games.
A lot of people who don’t actually engage in betting have the wrong idea. They imagine it as an activity that takes place in person, whereby you walk into a little shop and come out with a small slip of paper as a receipt for a wager. Or, they imagine it as a browser-based activity, which to be fair does account for a great deal of betting business. However, prominent betting companies have rushed to develop apps in recent years such that there’s now a fairly massive selection of them. As to why the category can still blossom then, it’s simple: the United States has barely gotten started. New laws are only now ushering in legal gambling across the U.S., and as a result we can expect that in relatively short time this will be a bigger and busier category.
Clearly, shopping apps are already pretty prevalent, no matter what kind of shopping specifically you might be interested in. What will cause the category to balloon further however, and be further emphasized, is mixed reality (which is to say VR and AR). There are already augmented reality apps for shopping, and the technology has only been available on mobile for roughly a year. AR and VR can essentially help people to browse through various retail items, from bracelets to couches, from the comfort of their own homes. And in short time it stands to reason that just about every major store will have a new mobile app compatible with AR and/or VR, which will completely transform the shopping category.