5 Local Tech Companies Weigh in on the Future of Mobile Technology

January 24, 2020

In 1993, The Simon Personal Communicator, marketed by IBM and BellSouth, was the first mobile phone to add extra features. It was more than a phone; it was a pager, calculator, address book, fax machine and email device all in one. 

It also weighed more than a pound and cost $900.

Consumers today use their phones for much more than calling and emailing. With the rise of digital wallets and high-speed internet through the 5G network, it’s more convenient than ever for consumers to shop through their phones. Business Insiders forecasts that mobile commerce will reach $284 billion and represent 45 percent of the U.S. e-commerce market by 2020. 

Engineering Manager of Mobile Raquel Hernandez, agrees: “It's no secret that the convenience of mobile digital wallets is starting to become increasingly prevalent in both brick-and-mortar and online retail.” 

Wallets aside, people also use their phones to find relationships, invest, upgrade their wardrobe, place bets on big games and more. And according to local mobile experts, these experiences are only going to become more interactive. How? Through machine learning, the 5G network, upgraded security and data protection tech, to start. Below, five mobile industry professionals shared what trends they expect to be big for mobile in 2020, and how they expect these trends to impact the industry.

 

okcupid
okcupid

Foldable phones may not be released to the mass market yet but Android Engineering Manager Joe Acosta predicts they'll soon be in everyone's pockets. Acosta added that bigger screens, pocketable devices and a heavy dose of AI and machine will all play a role in helping people make meaningful connections at Okcupid.

 

What are the top three mobile tech trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry?

First, the incoming wave of foldable phones. For consumers, this means bigger screens and more pocketable devices. For us, this means exciting developmental challenges, both creative and practical.

We’re also excited about gestural navigation. Navigating mobile phone interfaces using gestures is not a new concept, but with iOS and Android now both defaulting to gestures for interface navigation, our team is focused on ensuring a seamless and delightful experience while using OkCupid on both Android and iOS.

Lastly, machine learning. Many in the industry are leveraging machine learning and AI to solve tough problems. At OkCupid, we utilize these technologies to improve our product and help people make meaningful connections.

 

What under-the-radar mobile tech trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about?

Developing mobile apps for emerging markets and ensuring users can access content quickly regardless of network conditions is one of our priorities at OkCupid and a trend that’s not getting the attention it deserves. At OkCupid, we’re rapidly expanding our user base around the world, so it’s vital we devote adequate time to ensuring quality in-app performance that creates a better experience for all our users. 

Many in the industry are leveraging machine learning and AI to solve tough problems.”

 

How are these trends affecting the future of your company specifically?

As mobile engineers, part of our role is to have extensive knowledge on the industry landscape to help us prioritize the work we do for our users and grow as engineers. It’s necessary to recognize what trends have meaningful value versus what trends might fade. While the future isn’t certain, we are committed to being adaptive and remaining innovative in this fast-paced, technology-driven world.

 

rent the runway
rent the runway

Engineering Manager of Mobile Raquel Hernandez said, “Customer experience is at the heart of our brand.” To apply that philosophy to mobile, Rent the Runway’s team is focusing on digital wallets, data-driven decision making and augmented reality to digitally create an in-store experience.  

 

What are the top three mobile tech trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry?

Recently, the buzz is around machine learning and data-driven decision making to enhance customer experience. Customer experience is at the heart of our brand. Being able to personalize and customize an experience for each customer based on their past behavior is an old yet still trendy theme in technology. 

Second, it's no secret that the convenience of mobile digital wallets is starting to become increasingly prevalent in both brick-and-mortar and online retail. The availability of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay is further reducing the friction of online payments in a mobile world. However, there are challenges around using mobile wallets for subscriptions and we're keenly watching how the industry ends up addressing these challenges for mobile subscriptions.

We're also closely watching the rise of augmented reality (AR) in mobile applications. The rise in hardware and software computing power in modern smartphones has been made more prevalent in recent years. The use of AR in mobile tech has been most noticeable in social media and mobile e-commerce. Ikea, for instance, is using AR to let users preview what a piece of furniture would look like in their home. It would be natural to lend a similar experience in apparel. Though we want our customers to be adventurous and excited about our various offerings, a simple “how it looks on me” experience can go a long way for them. Being able to bring that taste of in-store experience to their mobile device is something we're interested in exploring.

We're closely watching the rise of augmented reality (AR) in mobile applications.”

 

What under the radar mobile tech trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about?

This year will be the year of the 5G network. It's an excellent opportunity to take advantage and increase the performance of mobile experiences. We're continually looking for ways to improve how we work to ensure we uphold a high bar of quality and performance in the products we ship.

Second, ensuring user information safety is a top priority for everyone in the industry since the past decade. There will be a lot of innovation in this area.

 

How are these trends affecting the future of your company specifically?

To give customers access to a dynamic, living closet, technology has to be at the center of everything we do. It is imperative that we follow the latest mobile app tech trends and technologies closely, as innovation in this area will shape the future of our company.

 

 

stash
stash

Stash’s mission is to make banking and investing easy and accessible for the 99 percent. Kelly Morales, iOS engineer III, said that using Apple’s API and integrating Siri creates a custom experience she expects to see more in future apps. 

 

What are the top three mobile tech trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry?

My main concern when building apps is creating the best experience for the user. Though this isn't mobile-specific, I've found design systems to be helpful in keeping designs and user experiences consistent. I've also found more and more apps relying on design systems. I look for apps offering new ways to promote personalization, whether it's something as simple as being able to select a color scheme or as nuanced as providing a custom feature. 


 

What under-the-radar mobile tech trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about?

I think many apps could improve their usability by leveraging Apple's API to its full extent. Supporting an app with Siri, having a custom experience based on a user's location or utilizing haptic feedback to reassure users their actions have been recognized are details that I think engineers should continue to explore. Similarly, we've moved to rely so much on stable networks that I get excited when I see a great offline experience offered in an app, and I think advances can be made in this area to encourage teams to consider that case more often.

I look for apps offering new ways to promote personalization.”

 

How are these trends affecting the future of your company specifically?

At Stash, I work on the advice squad, which has the mission of providing personalized guidance to improve users' financial journeys. In the last year, Stash has made great progress around implementing a design system, ultimately streamlining efforts for designers and engineers. Having the extra bandwidth has given us the opportunity to explore more detailed designs like animations and haptic feedback, as well as user-specific experiences.

 

tipico
tipico

As one of the biggest sports betting operators in Germany, Tipico believes it’s smart to bet on the future of esports. Managing Director Adrian Vella said the 5G network, online payment products and AI-based recommendations will make Tipico one of the go-to sports betting operators, especially as the company opens up more branches in the United States.

 

What are the top three mobile tech trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry?

5G internet will impact gaming in a major way. It implies faster, more dependable connections for smartphones, home internet and other devices such as gaming PCs and consoles. The benefits of 5G comprise of broader coverage, data transfer and lower latency. This might effect better quality casino games with bigger assets, better streaming experience on sports betting sites or more advanced match simulations.

In Tipico Germany, we have seen the success of AI-based event recommendations versus rules-based recommendations. There is still huge potential for more personalized content and smarter utilization of the small mobile screens, such as only displaying the player's content that is highly relevant to the user.

New online payment products have taken off in various parts of the world, but one of the places where it is most widely accepted is the U.S. As the U.S. sports betting market continues to open up, more online bookmakers will start to accept different valid payment options. The whole reason for this is to improve the customer experience and provide more secure and faster deposit and withdrawal options. 

5G internet will impact gaming in a major way.”

 

What under-the-radar mobile tech trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about?

The eSports market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent during the forecast period of 2020-2025. According to the World Economic Forum, eSports viewers spent 17.9 million hours watching their gaming heroes on channels such as YouTube’s gaming channel or on Twitch in the first quarter of 2018. The eSports market is still in its infancy, yet with the growing viewership, it is expected to capitalize on the market in the future. 

Idle games are an exciting new genre that is expected to expand greatly in the coming years on mobile. Idle games have risen on mobile because this is a genre that is perfect for modern mobile free-to-play design. The mechanics of idle games create perfect mobile sessions and drive strong long-term retention.

 

How are these trends affecting the future of your company specifically?

As any company grows, they have to adapt to the various trends affecting the market in order to continue to be successful. Here at Tipico, we believe that we are on the forefront of the industry and by using these trends we will enhance our products and our users’ experiences. As we open up our operation in the United States, we will have to use these market trends to stay competitive in this saturated space. Being on the forefront of using a more digitized payment system, enhancing our machine learning capabilities and using our innovative proprietary technology will help us stand out as a leader in the industry.

 

galileo
galileo

Mobile phones make it easy to make health appointments and order prescriptions on the go. For Mobile Tech Lead Simon Manning, this trend signals the need to watch privacy and security data trends to protect patient information at Galileo. He explains how strong UX design and security are what patients look for in mobile technology. 

 

What are the top three mobile tech trends you're watching that are significantly impacting the industry?

For years, mobile itself was the tech trend and “new hotness”; now, with a maturing market and development ecosystem and increasingly powerful devices in our pockets, we’re seeing use-cases that were previously confined to desktops with specialized hardware come to mobile platforms. 

For one, I’m particularly excited by recent progress in mobile machine learning, such as with Apple’s MLKit and on-device neural processing units. 

Also, the vast improvements to wearable devices and sensors, and what we can gain with that data, is equally exciting. 

Last but not least, the renewed focus on user privacy and security is key as mobile software becomes more personal and integral in our lives.

 

What under-the-radar mobile tech trends are you watching that the industry isn't talking about?

Mobile development could be somewhat sketchy in its early days with crashes, slow performance and data loss common even in the most widely-used apps. But as the industry matures, users are developing much higher expectations when it comes to UX, visual design, software reliability and personal data security on mobile. Tech and product teams that don’t meet these expectations are at risk of losing those users to competitors that do like never before. 

Accessibility also remains largely overlooked, despite some 57 million Americans having a disability of some type. Apple and Google have made great strides to improve accessibility features on their platforms, but developers must make it a priority and actually leverage those features to make a real difference.

The renewed focus on user privacy  is key as mobile software becomes more integral in our lives.”

 

How are these trends affecting the future of your company specifically?

As a healthcare company offering something new, Galileo’s patients are trusting us to provide them with the highest quality of care when they need it the most and we’re asking them to trust us with their most sensitive data to do so. The future of our company largely depends on earning and cultivating that trust, so nailing the user experience and reliability when our patients interact with Galileo couldn’t be more important.

It’s also critical to our mission to provide access to the highest quality health care to as many people as possible, including those with disabilities or impairments, so leveraging new accessibility tech is key for us.

Jobs from companies in this blog58 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
HR + Recruiting
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Data + Analytics
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Operations
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Product
new
OkCupid
New York
Developer
new
OkCupid
New York
Developer
new
OkCupid
New York
Developer
new
OkCupid
New York
Data + Analytics
new
OkCupid
New York
Design + UX
new
OkCupid
New York
Developer
new
OkCupid
New York
Product
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
HR + Recruiting
new
Tipico
New York
Operations
new
Galileo
Remote
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Project Mgmt
new
Galileo
New York
Operations
new
Galileo
New York
Operations
new
Tipico
New York
Developer
new
Tipico
New York
Product
new
Tipico
New York
Developer
new
Tipico
New York
Operations
new
Tipico
New York
Developer
new
Tipico
New York
Developer
new
Tipico
New York
Operations
new
Tipico
New York
Operations
new
Galileo
New York
Developer
new
Galileo
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Operations
new
Galileo
New York
Finance
new
Stash
New York
Operations
new
Galileo
New York
Finance
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Product
new
Stash
New York
Design + UX
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Stash
Remote
Operations
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Finance
new
Stash
New York
Design + UX
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Stash
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Design + UX
new
Stash
New York
Operations
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Marketing
new
Stash
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Developer
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Design + UX
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Galileo
New York
Design + UX
new
Rent the Runway
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Stash
New York
Developer
new
Galileo
New York

NYC startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Benefits at NYC Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in NYC Tech
Developer Jobs
View 926 jobs
Design + UX Jobs
View 180 jobs
Marketing Jobs
View 276 jobs
Product Jobs
View 228 jobs
Sales Jobs
View 486 jobs
Data Jobs
View 321 jobs