With 1.8 million apps and more than $70 billion in gross revenue in 2022, the App Store has cemented its status as one of the most popular platforms for iOS developers to create mobile apps for users who work, study, play, or watch Netflix “on the go.”
We’ll talk about trends in iOS app development in 2024, factors influencing demand for iOS developers, and look at revenue, subscriptions, and payouts for iOS developers in 2023. We’ll also walk you through a step-by-step plan for getting your app ready for the App Store.
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iOS app development trends in 2024
So, what is new about iOS app development? Each year Apple’s fans wait for something that will surprise them even more. Let’s explore the pool of trends dominating 2024.
1. Siri and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) excites the beautiful minds of engineers. The near-human performance, thanks to the activation functions and other processes, is mind-blowing. Do you remember the movie, Iron Man? Artificial intelligence was Tony Stark’s best weapon—Just A Rather Very Intelligent System (J.A.R.V.I.S.)—a computer assistant that could do almost anything. If you are an Apple device user, you have Siri as your personal assistant.
In February 2010, Apple released SiriKit for iOS developers. Now iOS and WatchOS apps work with Siri using voice only. This integration has many benefits, like hands-free use and user access from the lock screen. So, now your apps (integrated with Siri) are ready for use in a new shortcut app section.
Security issues have always been a priority with the introduction of new technology. Personal data can be stolen, mishandled, or lost. Hackers are getting more devious and digitally advanced. Keeping this in mind, Apple created App Transport Security (ATS) for every newly released iOS app.
A huge iOS app development trend is core machine learning (CoreML). Apple launched this framework for building apps across Apple devices. CoreML can build apps that are indeed quick to react. Actually, such apps are the fastest as compared to general iOS applications. Good integration with Siri, Quicktype, and the iPhone camera added more “likes” to CoreML.
4. AR/VR and 3D advancements
What’s new in ARKit 6? When it was deployed to millions of devices, it made iOS the biggest and the most advanced AR platform. This time Apple introduced several improvements, like enhancements for face tracking. ARKit also gives you environment texturing, saving, and loading maps. You can also detect 3D objects in a scene. And all that in 4K!
5. IoT and HomeKit
International Data Corporation (IDC) research predicts there will be over 55.9 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices by 2025. The IoT is a big part of iOS app development, especially after the launch of HomeKit. Obviously, this has to be included in the list of app trends. That’s why it is absolutely useful for iOS developers to make apps that connect to IoT devices. In other words, IoT devices share information with mobile devices, and guess who is at the head of all this? Siri, of course. A user can create manipulations within the house, staying away from it, just with the help of Siri.
6. Apple Pay
Apple Pay is ready to replace your wallet—it can almost do so already. This mobile payment system is already available around the world. Apple Pay is very easy and works with the Apple devices you use every day. Users can pay for almost anything with this digital wallet.
Apple Pay’s biggest plus is its security—users don’t need to save card details.
7. Swift 5
All iOS developers know that Apple’s Swift is simple. Its numerous advantages made Swift one of the top programming languages. Indeed Swift can be counted as one of the developing trends. This language is easy to learn, and Swift 5.7.3 brings even more advantages and opportunities for iOS developers.
App Store growth: A look at revenue, subscriptions, and iOS developer payouts
We’ve collected critical data that show the dynamics of the App Store downloads and subscriptions, as well as the total payments it’s made to iOS developers over the past two years. Numbers like App Store revenue show a slowdown as the company faced tougher competition with an increase in app use and sales for 2021 and 2020—a unique period when people bought more games and software because so many people were home more during the pandemic.
- There were 1.8 million apps in the App Store as of March 2023. Over 900,000 have secure payment technologies such as Apple Pay and StoreKit for goods and services.
- Apple revealed that the number of subscriptions rose to 900 million in 2022, up from 745 million in 2021.
- According to CNBC analysis, the App Store’s estimated gross revenue reached around $70–$85 billion in 2022. That’s the same amount of sales Apple indicated with its data point in 2021.
- Apple paid iOS developers $60 billion in 2022—the same as in 2021.
- According to Sensor Tower, there were 32.2 billion App Store downloads in 2022, up 0.5 percent from 2021.
What to consider before building an app, and how much does it cost?
Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to build an app, especially if you are hiring an app developer? Well, the answer is—“It depends.” The price depends on design (basic, individual, custom), complexity, number of pages, features, infrastructure, nature of the industry, and functionality. What type of application is it? Business, a game, educational, lifestyle, social, entertainment, or other? Which platform is it for? Android, iOS, WP; database, CRM integrations, or another?
A more complex app will require more money because it needs more time to outline and develop. While developing an app, you have to go through many stages. Some reduce costs, while others increase them.
For example, the average price to build an app is $16,000–$32,000, according to the Business of Apps survey.
Let’s discuss what one should know before developing an iOS app:
1. Good iOS market research
The world of iOS apps is very different, but the main thing remains: when you are trying to start a new business, you need to know your target market. Any app idea should be checked carefully. The point is, that your app must offer something unique—at least one feature not available in a competitor’s product.
Every app has its pros and cons. However, while vetting them, you need to find ways to improve the final product.
2. Success in mobile app quality
We have already mentioned the number of available iOS apps. In the future, users will experience an even greater number of iOS apps on different devices. Apps with similar services perform the work differently. Don’t expect your audience to be patient with poor performance. This is a matter of quality. They can switch to a better-performing app at any time.
3. Pick the right iOS development specialists
There is an enormous number of app development firms and app specialists. The best team is the one that continually works on your app to keep it updated and bug-free to keep it selling well. Therefore, it is more about the people you choose as your team.
4. Take small steps toward the goal
Now let’s return to the money issue. Just imagine that your budget is unlimited. The best decision, in this case, is to launch your app and let users test it to get their feedback and reactions. In the case of a negative response, you can go back and start it all over again without spending extra money.
5. Design is important when developing iOS apps
Don’t neglect the design. This is a huge mistake, and many application owners commonly commit this blunder. The design influences the customer’s first impression, and this, in turn, impacts their attitude toward an app. If you don’t want to lose your audience, you must pay attention to the design. Every extra minute spent on perfecting the look of your app will be fruitful.
6. iOS code quality
This side of any application is the last thing that any user wants to see. However, the quality of the code influences such application aspects as load speed, size, and functionality.
At this point, you should also be paying attention to the balance between the app’s quality and its development costs. This is not the stage to be frugal.
7. Test your iOS app
Quality analysis is a super significant step in any app development project. When your team is ready with the project, test it properly. Each element of your application has to be thoroughly checked and tested. There must be no holes or feature glitches at this stage. Scrutinize every possible scenario you can think of that users might encounter while operating the app.
One of the best ways to identify the bugs that have snuck into your app is to test it yourself—and give it to friends or family.
8. Set the right price for your iOS app
Now it is time to price your app reasonably. The app must be affordable. Haven’t you noticed hundreds of free and at the same time popular applications? This is where revenue becomes less important than price. Building a fan base is more significant than income. You can earn revenue by offering premium features or selling ad space.
9. Spread the word about your mobile app
People are more likely to buy well-advertised products—apps, in this case. Your app will sell much better if people are talking about it—that means there’s a buzz about it among users. A platform like Facebook, for example, serves as an excellent portal for advertisement. The main idea is to attract and intrigue as many people as possible.
10. Continue to support your app and keep up with the latest iOS technologies
It is always good to come up with new ideas to add new features to an app. Apple loves mobile app developers who add all the latest features the company introduces and often features them in the App Store.
Take care of your application, and it will take care of you. Besides, a regular change of design attracts an audience and keeps them coming back for more.
Are iOS developers in demand in 2024?
Apple strives to achieve the same level of market dominance globally as it has in the U.S., as younger generations increasingly see the iPhone as a must-have. Therefore, the popularity of Apple products continues to influence the demand for iOS developers worldwide in 2024.
Another driver of the iOS mobile application development market is consumer spending and iOS developer earnings. Apple announced that iOS developers have earned more than $320 billion since the platform launched in 2008, marking another year of record earnings. However, TechCrunch reported that the app economy slowed for the first time in 2022, with consumer spending falling 2% to $167 billion across all platforms. The decline in spending on apps and in-app purchases results from consumer uncertainty and economists’ concerns about a possible recession. Still, $167 billion is a staggering figure, considering that most Covid-related restrictions are over, and people are spending less time at home watching Apple TV and Netflix or playing mobile games.
Things to pay attention to when hiring iOS app developers
What should you do when you don’t know how to carry out your project properly? Hire a mobile app development expert. However, you must pay attention to some aspects, which, if skipped, will deprive you of potential revenue. To turn your exquisite idea into an attractive app, you need a good app development company. Use the following tips to select the right iOS app development company:
- Gather requirements and prepare questions. Every company will surely try to display its best sides. However, if you have a checklist with requirements, you should always ask the technical questions that are most important to your project.
- Check the team’s profile. This aspect shows the ability of a team to fulfill the client’s requirements correctly.
- Determine the experience of a crew. The evaluation of past work is significant. Experienced developers will reach the best app solution. You want to know the answers to questions such as ”How many people are working on each project?” and “How long does it take to build an app?” A good dev company will be happy to answer your questions.
- Check what previous clients have to say about the company. Client references will help give you an idea of the company’s reputation.
- Find out if the company meets deadlines. Missing deadlines turn into missed opportunities.
- Quality is most important. Never pick price over quality.
YouTeam can help you hire better iOS software engineers faster
- YouTeam is a YCombinator-backed marketplace for hiring software developers in Eastern Europe and Latin America. As a result, iOS app developers featured on our platform undergo an extensive vetting process. YouTeam provides you with hand-picked, highly-skilled developers from verified software agencies you can trust.
- You can interview candidates and communicate directly with the specialists working on your project. Furthermore, all sourcing and interviewing processes are completely free for YouTeam clients.