The largely low income Indian market is the ideal marketplace for Android apps. When compared to iOS, Android has the lion’s share of the market today. This also makes it a fiercely competitive market. With a number of national and international players, this space is only going to get more and more competitive.

To stay on top, it is also important to know the latest trend. When it comes to app development, nothing can be more damaging than running on outdated trends. This is an industry that is changing at a rapid pace and its important that we keep up with its changing face.

So, here is our round up of Android trends that have dominated 2017 so far and will shape the next year:

AR and VR will gain pace:
Augmented Reality actually had its moment in 2016 as the gaming industry took to it with gusto. A number of games, such as Pokemon Go, myNav, iOnRoad, andSkySiege – used AR to create some of the most popular games of the year. At the same time Virtual Reality devices like Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift also created a splash. Experts predict that their use, especially of AR, will increase in the coming years. The growth will be, predictably, more in the gaming industry. So, these two will be worth considering if you are in the gaming industry.

Getting on the cloud:
As more and more of our life gets connected and coordinated by the smartphone, the cloud cannot be far away. Mobile apps will store and extract data directly from he cloud without taking up too much space in the mobile memory. The drive to connect apps with other services, such as healthcare, is also driving the cloud facility. Cloud enables our lives to be connected with experts, organizations and services.

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IoT is here to stay:
The Internet of Things is very much a part of our life today and mobile apps have a huge part to play in that. As the IoT takes up a progressively bigger part of our life, Android apps that facilitate IoT will play a bigger role. So, apps that capitalize on IoT such as smart home, smart city or connected health will gain further traction in the year.

Wearable devices and their app will get bigger and better:
Wearable devices were the most prominent feature in the healthcare industry last year. The trend of wearable devices will continue and the Android apps that connect us to these devices will also take off. This is also where IoT also merges with the mobile industry.

Enterprise mobile apps:
Two years ago this was a space found sorely lacking. But as we go mid-2017, enterprise apps in Android have already started to make their presence felt. With more and more people now using the mobile for virtually everything, the need for enterprise business solutions is high. Today we have apps that can help us connect, organise and manage business processes. Evernote is one of the prime examples. The other related trend is the rising prominence of micro apps in Android app development in India. Unlike enterprise apps, micro apps are designed to handle a specific function, such as communication or designing spreadsheets.

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Focus on security:
As mobiles become multi-functional – acting as our health record, wallet and information bank – they also become the repository of very sensitive information. Recent incidents of hacking have only made matters worse. This has made security in Android of prime focus. Apart from the general security features that Android provides, in-app security will become critical, even necessary for an app’s success.

m-commerce gets the edge:
With people continuing to prefer the mobile to make purchases, m-commerce will continue to rule the roost. Wearable devices will make data collection more efficient  and the shape of shopping through the mobile will keep changing.

Options in eWallets:
As we move towards a more cashless society, the eWallet industry will flourish further. We’ve already seen tie-ups and branching out of eWallet apps in 2016. In 2017 other players will come forward.

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Location-based apps:
This is not exactly a new trend, but experts believe that we are still far away from achieving its full potential. Location-based game apps made a splash last year with Pokemon Go. This year we’ll see more services that use location to offer a bouquet of services — from healthcare to leisure.

Android instant apps:
So far only available at Android 7.0 Nougat version, the instant apps will make a wider entry on other Android versions soon. This allows the user to access the app without completely downloading it. It works as a sort of instant access or preview into the full app.

These are our top picks in Android app development in India as we cross mid-2017. These are trends that have dominated and will shape the market as we enter the next year.