Custom App Development Trends 2021: Modules, Instant Apps, Blockchain

This is a version of the post updated for 2021.

In over decade since the release of the first iPhone, smartphones and apps traveled the path from being oddities to becoming inherent to our modern way of living, providing new ways to make it simpler and more exciting.

In 2021, mobile will be reaching for a new apex: custom app development will open a window for more technologies and even evolve itself. Machine learning continue helping to build smarter apps for smarter lives, blockchain will make mobile more secure, and augmented reality will provide practical benefits to businesses and amaze their customers.

All of this, as usual, will happen on a single device that fits into a pocket.

Let’s explore how exactly mobile will change and evolve once again in 2021.

Custom App Development with Pre-made Modules

Custom application development

Over the years, the process of custom app development has significantly changed. When mobile apps only started becoming common, developing and launching an application was a rather complex and long process for many businesses to consider.

As mobile is now firmly settled in our lives, so are mobile apps. Today, users expect mobile applications from most of the companies. More so, they expect not just apps, but mobile experiences with latest technologies — memorable journeys that would be catered to their individual needs. They are also demanding to the look, feel, and functionality.

As the modern business environment is as fast-paced as it is demanding, custom application development needed to evolve even further in 2021. The next step of this evolution is custom mobile apps with pre-made modules.

How does it work?

A custom app development company creates customisable typical modules — news feed, photo and video galleries, map, audio guide, beacon support, etc. This modules are open to customisation (so that they could be tailored to a particular brand), but their software foundation is ready to be used.

Therefore, if a company orders a custom mobile app with pre-made modules, they will have a solid app delivered faster than before.

Furthermore, as these modules are usually part of advanced mobile platforms, they will provide more custom app development benefits to allow for the implementation of latest tech and unique features.

For example, a big event company will order a branded app with a news feed, beacon support, podcast functionality, a map, and their own custom-made augmented reality (AR) feature.

Blockchain-based Mobile Apps

Industry after industry, 2020 will continue seeing blockchain solutions put to use. Most of them are big blockchain platforms, but the year will also see more blockchain-based mobile apps: the technology brings the highest level of security and automation available to date, as well as immense automation potential.

There will be four main blockchain-based mobile app categories in 2021:

    1. Blockchain-based wallets, which will allow for safer money transactions (this includes cross-border payments).
    1. Industry-specific customer apps. For example, Lufthansa is testing a blockchain-based travel app that would put the booking process and travel information on a blockchain.
    1. Enterprise blockchain apps integrated with a large-scale enterprise blockchain platform that, in turn, integrates with other latest technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  1. Blockchain-based personal identification apps and app features. All personal identification details can be gathered in one place to allow an individual a highly secure and quick access to their property, different services, etc.

AR Apps and Features

Custom iPhone App Development

In 2021, augmented reality will continue going mainstream and solving industry-specific issues. The key reason is that Apple and Google have introduced their AR development kits — ARKit and ARCore. Their latest mobile operating systems support AR functionality as well.

Last year, the famous CES was largely dedicated to AR — companies like Nvidia and Intel have introduced their AR devices and capabilities. Finally, augmented reality apps have been around for years, owing to the efforts of legendary brands to innovate. The presence of AR at this year's expo was similarly prominent. For example, Vuzix has finally started selling their AR glasses.

Therefor, AR will continue conquering more and more consumers in 2021. Custom mobile app development services will offer the following AR applications:

    1. Consumer apps with AR that enrich the brand experience. The partnership between Starbucks and Alibaba is still one of the most solid examples to date.
    1. AR apps that transform the aspects of a brand experience in a practical way. Brands like Nike, IKEA, and GAP have already created such apps.
    1. Industry-specific augmented reality apps. Healthcare organizations will turn to custom iPad development for solutions that allow for using Apple’s tablet to view high-resolution, 3D image scans in greater detail. In real estate, agents will use AR apps to preview how the property looks on a landscape in real scale to their clients.
    1. Custom AR stickers. As Snapchat Lenses and Android stickers proved very popular with the users, this trend will continue in 2021.
  1. AR games. Niantic’s upcoming Harry Potter AR game will definitely lead to the second wave of AR games. The proliferation of AR in general will also prompt companies to turn to custom application development for gamified customer experiences and journeys that include augmented reality.

Custom App Development — iOS and Android

iPhone and a graph next to it illustration

This section will overview the custom app development trends that are smaller compared to pre-made modules, AR, and blockchain, but will also change the way companies do business -- and the modern life.

Custom Android App Development

Instant apps will continue to be a dominant trend in forefront custom android app development services in 2021. Accessible via a link, this app type loads portions of an existing application to perform a certain action. This allows for new exciting ways of customer engagement and helps to significantly cut costs. Furthermore, the data of an instant app is temporarily stored on a mobile device.

Custom iOS Development

Core ML

Machine learning will be one of the key custom iOS development trends in 2021. Developers will take advantage of Apple’s Core ML — a machine learning framework that allows for building smarter apps with fewer lines of code. Machine learning will help developers improve Siri, Camera, and QuickType with better barcode detection, face detection and tracking, object tracking, and more.  

Apple Pay

As the world continues to adopt Apple Pay and users expect better, faster, and more secure payment processing than already available, many companies will turn to custom iOS development to include this payment method into their mobile experiences.


Apple’s product line continues to grow and evolve, and more and more people buy Apple’s devices. Internet of Things (IoT) also continue making strides. As a result, 2021 will see more custom iOS development solutions with Apple HomeKit.

Need to build a solid app fast? Get in touch with us to hire a custom app development team. Our mobile platform with readymade modules and decade-long experience will surpass your expectations.

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