App market predictions from Softonic for 2024
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Enrique Collado from Softonic predicts that computers will remain a key part of the app market, and mobile apps will continue to rise but PCs and laptops will not disappear altogether, productivity apps will become more important, AI will change the software industry operations, and tons more.
At Softonic, the global secure software distribution platform, we anticipate several key trends in the software and app industry in 2024. We are predicting four key trends for next year: Computers will always remain a key part of the app market, productivity apps will become more important than ever, AI will transform software development, and cybersecurity will be a critical focus for 2024.
1. Traditional computers won't disappear
While the use of mobile devices is on the rise, Softonic doesn't anticipate access to software via laptops and PCs will completely disappear altogether. Traditional computers will remain essential for specific tasks and professional applications, both in 2024 and far into the future. Laptops and PCs still have niches to explore and reinvent themselves, so rather than a replacement approach where mobile devices take the place of desktops and more traditional hardware, we see cross-platform compatibility as a trend in the overall user experience with services and tools. Firstly, there is still a substantial demand for advanced hardware in the PC gaming sector. According to statistics, the number of PC gamers is predicted to rise to 1.85 billion people in 2024, so this will remain a key market for developers. The Professional Gaming and esports industries have the most advanced hardware on the market, meaning there will always be a need for software that is compatible. Despite the increasing popularity of mobile apps, in the professional work environment, the desktop isn’t going away. Thanks to cloud systems from Microsoft and other platforms, people can work seamlessly from anywhere in the world on either their mobile or laptop, and they can switch seamlessly from one to the other. The PC will continue to be important going into the future.
2. Productivity apps will become more important than ever
We predict that the demand for productivity apps will increase in 2024. People are busier than ever with multiple projects on the go at work while juggling busy personal lives, and it is easy to lose track of things without having a way to manage what you are doing. This is why we are forecasting that demand for productivity apps and software will rise next year. Softonic released new figures showing that the number of productivity apps downloaded from Softonic was increasing. We extracted data from Softonic’s user metrics, which showed the most popular applications and the changes in their download numbers from January to September 2023, and we compared this to the same period in 2022. Pocket, a content discovery, and bookmarking app, recorded a 98% increase in the number of downloads, while Hive, a project management and collaboration tool to assist teams in projects, had a 79% increase. This shows that more users are making sure that they can manage their time properly to get everything done, which is why we know this software category will become more important in 2024.
3. AI is changing the way the software industry operates
Artificial Intelligence is changing the way that developers operate. Soon, we expect there will be a rise in low-code or no-code development, empowering creators to craft software in innovative ways. This innovation will allow systems to have advanced features with enhanced user experiences. AR, or Augmented Reality, will be a feature in AI, with Meta Quest 3 and Apple Visio laying the groundwork for future growth in this field. Despite the advances that AI will bring, there will also be future threats through deepfakes, with misuse of AI being a key problem in 2024 and in the years ahead. AI will also enable the introduction of predictive analytics into software, which will allow developers to make decisions that are driven by data and anticipate user needs.
4. Cybersecurity will become more important
Cybersecurity remains a critical focus in 2024, with an increasing importance on protecting software and user data. Softonic recognizes the significance of this and is likely to integrate advanced threat detection and prevention mechanisms into its offerings. New developments in software may include AI and machine learning-powered security features, ensuring real-time identification and response to evolving security threats. Cybersecurity threats are increasing and so is their sophistication. We will see developers looking to integrate this into their software.
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