The annual conference of Apps World is one of the most exciting places to be when it comes to mobile applications. Industry professionals offer their knowledge in regards to app conceptions, investments, planning, and management. Existing developers and people who aspire to get into the field attended the 2016 event in London by the hundreds. This year’s event was more organized than before, following a new conference format with networking initiatives and interactive features on top of the usual workshops and exhibitions.
This year’s App Worlds focused on four different themes, namely Mobile Marketing, Developers, Startup, and Bot World. This was the first time that App Worlds had a dedicated section to bots which is yet another piece of evidence for their popularity. Chat bots in Facebook’s Messenger have been downloaded millions of times and have been used for a huge variety of purposes. During the conference, various companies showcased examples of dos and don’ts in regards to the development of chat bots.
Skyscanner’s David Low, for instance, urged companies to think about what a bot can offer to their users. When a chat bot offers the same or reduced functionality in comparison to an app or a web service then there is little reason to publish it. The most popular searches for this particular chat bot were also quite humorous but ultimately frustrating for the developers:
— Laura Cremer (@lauraebcremer) October 19, 2016
The way a chat bot is developed also plays a huge role in user interaction and retention. Advanced in AI technology have allowed developers to create ‘smart’ bots that slowly learn and respond to increasing needs. Even so, chat bots are still very much limited when compared to human counterparts. The scope of a chat bot should be precisely defined and explained to the end-user. Of course, making the interactions both informative and entertaining is also a crucial aspect to consider.
Other companies that attended the conference this year included Samsung, American Express, The Telegraph, Travelex, Tesco, Zipcar, KLM, Wechat, Somo, RetailMeNot, and many more. AI has been a major focus of the mobile industry for the last couple of years. It was certainly not surprising to see so many discussions focused around the technology in Apps World this year and companies like Baidu offered valuable insight. Moreover, VR remains an immensely popular topic. With Google’s Daydream, the mobile world will most likely continue to buzz about VR for months to come.
As I have said before, the landscape of the mobile industry is shifting constantly. Very few companies manage to react in time or have the insight to proactively research upcoming trends. The doomsayers who gloom about the fall of the mobile industry are keen on forgetting just how easily consumers adapt. The companies that will push the VR and AI revolutions will drive innovation and lead the charge towards the next page in the never-ending book of mobile development. Conferences like Apps World truly showcase these trends and should not be missed by anyone who is seriously interested in these fields.