Mobile Tech Trends To Watch For In 2020!
Francis Lee

As consumers we are not strangers to the rapid evolvement of mobile technology. Year in, year out we find ourselves upgrading to the latest and greatest smartphones to experience the updated tech on offer. (Yes, we are talking to all the tech savvy individuals out there!) Our mobile phones are no longer purely for communication but have morphed into a lifeline relied on for entertainment, work and even for managing our daily ‘life admin’. Will this mobile tech revolution ever slow down?

Not likely in 2020 – with plenty to get excited about as a continuous cycle of new products are rolled out to the market. It’s impossible to list them all – so instead we’ve compiled Makeen’s top four trends we think individuals and businesses should keep a close eye on as we head into the second half of the year.

1. Syncing wearable technology with mobile devices

Consumer demand for wearable technology has grown exponentially as people catch on to the power of this mobile tech trend. Smart watches, fitness bracelets, healthcare monitors and even eyeglasses are among the accessories worn every day that can be synced with your mobile device. And it’s as simple as downloading the relevant app to your smartphone and synchronizing it with your piece of wearable technology.

Depending on their purpose and usage, the benefits of wearable tech can be life changing. One such example is fitness, with activity trackers like Fitbit and Garmin holding users accountable for their exercise routines while making it fun and easy to stay in shape. Associated apps that can be easily accessed via a smartphone also motivate users to keep wearing their tracker - with features including sleep tracking, nutrition logs and shared workouts only adding to the user experience while further cementing the relationship between the wearable tech and smartphone.

The possibilities of wearable tech are seemingly limitless as advances in technology are made and human behaviour changes. Stay tuned - this trend is only going to get hotter!

2. Enhanced mobile security

The reality of owning a smartphone in 2020 is the amount of private and personal information stored on your device. All kinds of data can be found on your mobile phone - from passwords through to important documents, and even details about your private life. While the ability to store data offers huge conveniences for individuals (everything you need in the one place!) - it also leaves you susceptible to all kinds of scenarios where sensitive and critical data is hacked or accessed by other people.

Recently there have been changes made to address the issues of smartphone security including on screen fingerprint sensors, designed to meet the dual needs of an inch-to-inch display and tight security without adversely affecting the user experience. Another advancement in general tech security is two factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification, which essentially requires users to provide two different methods of authentication to verify their identity. In the case of the smartphone, 2FA can include location verification when the GPS is enabled – and the major operating systems such as Apple iOS now feature apps that support 2FA, enabling the phone itself to serve as one verification factor.

While mobile phone security has come a long way since the days of the four-digit password, there is still a long way to go before our data can be considered 100% safe and secure. It will be interesting to see what new options are available to consumers before the end of 2020.

3. Advancement in mobile biometrics

Biometrics is a technical term typically used to describe body measurements and calculations. However, biometrics can also be used in the context of mobile phone technology – specifically when referencing tech embedded in the newer smartphones on the market including voice, facial and fingerprint recognition.

Now these features might sound like something out of a spy movie, and similar to AI were once limited to a futuristic Hollywood blockbuster. But this technology is closer than you might think, with your very own smartphone likely to be using some sort of biometric recognition as a standard. It might be that it uses it for mobile phone security or even when you’re using your favourite app; biometric tech is sitting there watching and listening - waiting to be called or signalled upon.

The capabilities of biometric technology are currently limited, but the possibilities of its future use are endless. We will no doubt see a lot more of this mobile tech trend in the not too distant future.

4. New battery technologies and improvements

Mobile phone battery life has seen minor improvements over the past decade, and instead of lasting a couple of hours it now might survive the day. Additionally, most smartphones now feature the ability to activate “battery saver mode”, with settings ranging from minor power saving to the absolute max (the latter seeing your display screen turn black and usage limits placed on applications).

Battery saver mode is a handy feature that might save you on a long day, but battery life is still a cause of frustration and one of the biggest smartphone annoyances users deal with daily. Despite advancements in mobile app technology, wireless network connectivity and synchronizing with other devices is simply too much for our poor smartphone battery to handle.

But there is hope on the horizon when it comes to battery technology! Sodium-ion batteries are just one of seven exciting breakthroughs that could see our smartphones staying alive for a lot longer. These batteries use sodium ions as charge carriers, and their main advantage is the abundance of battery grade salts of sodium and the ability to discharge to 0% without damaging the active materials. While this may sound a bit too technical for some, just know that there are current improvements underway – stay tuned!

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a novice when it comes to technology or consider yourself an expert, it’s likely you’re one of the 3.5+ billion people worldwide* whose life has been impacted by owning a smartphone – and in ways you couldn’t have predicted only five years ago.

While some of the tech advancements we’ve detailed are embedded into the framework and their use is unavoidable, others are optional for consumers and rely on third party products to be purchased separately.

And not everyone who owns a smartphone has one because they want one. There are limited alternatives on the market, so while many sit on the edge of their seats waiting for the next iPhone or Android release, others would rather not know – content to use the device they’ve had for two or more years, accessing a few basic apps and the call function (remember that!?).

But wherever you stand when it comes to mobile phone technology news – for most of us it’s fascinating to see the major operators and app developers continue to innovate, bringing an endless stream of products and technology improvements to the market, finding ways to solve ‘problems’ we never knew we had.

And because most of us own a smartphone, it’s only a matter of time before they end up in our hands…or on our faces… or on our wrists… the list goes on!

Stay tuned for 2021!

*This post was sponsored by Statista