5G App Development: How To Prepare for the Future of the Internet

Written By Anisha Tanveer

5G is the fifth generation of broadband cellular mobile networks and is expected to bring a huge change in the world of wireless technology. As a significant upgrade to the existing 4G network, 5G will provide faster download speeds, wider coverage, and stable connectivity.

Moreover, the core properties of 5G make it a key investment to support the future needs of the internet—as we’ll see in more detail below, 5G isn’t simply a better version of 4G. According to the mobile economy report, 5G is expected to reach two billion users by 2025.

Inevitably, a powerful upgrade like 5G is likely to have implications for software development as well. As a result, 5G is an immense opportunity for programmers to showcase their skills using the latest technology and deliver an improved user experience through next-generation mobile applications. Here is how developers can prepare their mobile applications to make the best use of 5G.

How 5G Differs From Everything That Came Before It

As I mentioned above, 5G is not just an improved version of 4G. Based on its properties, 5G promises to deliver the following features:

  • High speed wireless connectivity. 5G is expected to have a data rate of up to 10 Gbps, a significant improvement over the existing 4G.
  • Low latency. Equipped with Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication, 5G will be able to deliver in milliseconds data that usually takes a lot longer on 4G networks.
  • Greater bandwidth. The 5G network is expected to have better connectivity across a wide range of mobile applications.

As a result of major enhancements, 5G will provide improved security levels for data transfers over the network. Keeping this in mind, developers will have to work on safer ways of authentication, like biometric measures. Apart from this, as 5G will have minimal issues regarding connectivity and latency, developers can introduce new features for mobile apps without worrying about performance. Let’s see how, in more detail.

Seamless Adoption of Artificial Intelligence

5G is going to be a game changer for the Internet of Things (IoT). High connectivity speed will enable broader adoption of IoT for wearable devices, smart gadgets, and sensor-based equipment. Along with this, developers can also leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) into their mobile apps to provide smarter services. With the help of AI-integrated apps, developers can provide powerful authentication to ensure safe and secure data distribution across networks.

Furthermore—and in order to ensure personalized experience—developers can take advantage of AI on the 5G network and work on features like voice recognition and automated chats. This is extremely helpful in cases of applications designed for highly mobile environments where users cannot constantly type their requirements.

Moreover, developers can aim toward self-learning apps that collect user data to improve engagement. Providing relatable content is extremely important in today’s competitive market, and it will become even simpler with 5G.

The rise of 5G in the future is going to make adoption of AI in mobile applications inevitable. Take this as your cue to start learning what you need to know about how AI development works. Focus on programming languages for AI such as Java, C++, and Python.

Next, try to get familiar with advanced Big Data technologies as AI developers have to tackle large volumes of data. While theoretical learning is a bonus, don't forget the soft skills. Participate in projects that help improve your business intelligence skills to develop commercial ventures.

Fast Streaming for Immersive Gaming

5G promises broad coverage with faster download speeds and stable connectivity—all features expected to take Augmented Reality (AR) gaming to the next level. AR along with 360 video could help drive user engagement due to ultra fast streaming. Using 5G, developers will have the chance to build high-quality mobile applications to get users to experience immersive gaming.

Low latency for 5G will play a huge role in delivering smooth gameplay, even with a large number of concurrent users on the network. Such an improvement is key for competitive gaming where users require minimal delays. According to these updates, developers can focus on multiplayer online games as they will become easier to support with 5G.

In order to build a mobile application that involves AR and VR, developers must be comfortable working with game engines like Unity or Unreal. Such engines enable you to construct 3D settings. Along with game engines, you need to be familiar with programming languages such as C++, Javascript, and Swift. As an aspiring AR/VR developer, your go-to resource must be a coding bootcamp, which gets you up to speed in a short amount of time.

Explore Remote Machine Connectivity

Machine remote control has immense potential all over the world. With the advent of 5G technology, machine remote control is now possible in environments too dangerous for people to reach. In cases of disasters, emergency responders need real-time imagery access to perform time-sensitive actions. Enabled by 5G, responders can get 4K video quality to control drones and perform searches effectively.

So, what does all this mean for you? As a developer aspiring to make the most out of 5G, remote machine connectivity can be a new area for you to explore. A good example to look at are drone control apps. To start off you need a suitable Software Development Kit (SDK) along with some Application Programming Interfaces (API). It is important that you pay attention to non-functional requirements (NFRs) such as scalability, performance, maintenance, and security.

Testing is the key to developing a good drone control application. In order to carry out successful testing, ensure that your app works on a variety of mobile phones—your team can help you access hundreds of devices in the cloud for testing. Lastly, stay up to date with the current developments in the remote machine access or drone industry. Reading up will help you cater to the relevant market and needs of the customers.

Target the Right Industries

The 5G technology is slowly rolling out to multiple different industries with notable applications. Stakeholders are making arrangements to install 5G on a massive scale in order to bring out substantial change. As a developer you must be aware of where 5G is going to have the most impact and how you can use it to your advantage. Making just any mobile application is not going to have much value unless it's targeted toward the right industry.

Manufacturing is a major industry where 5G will be used to monitor the status of millions of items in real time. Here technologies like IoT, robotics, and autonomous vehicles running on 5G networks have enabled 50% more time saved and 30% more productivity. 

The next big industry to benefit from 5G is healthcare. In hospitals, 5G can do much more than track equipment. Cue Telehealth: 5G will enable remote monitoring via wearable devices and let surgeons perform a procedure on a patient in a different location.

Another viable industry that would be interesting to look at is retail. 5G will optimize supply chain operations through ultra accurate tracking abilities. Apart from this, the integration of AR/VR will change the way consumers and brands interact, giving customers access to physical stores just through their smartphones.

Keeping these examples in mind, it is possible to say that there are endless opportunities for developers once 5G hits the markets. However, as a developer, you should specialize in areas you have a strong interest in. Mass implementation of 5G is still underway and this gives you time to explore your strengths and learn more about what works for you.

Learn About Ambient Computing

The adoption of 5G is a pathway to integration of new technologies in our daily lives. One such technology on the hype these days is known as ambient computing. The goal of ambient computing is to reduce the interaction between machines and humans. With ambient computing enabled, you won’t need to interact actively with a device; instead, devices will respond to your actions.

The mass adoption of 5G will facilitate the prevalence of ambient computing in your everyday life. Cue mobile app development: Ambient computing is a field that has immense potential. While ambient computing sounds a lot like IoT, there are a few differences. IoT is still considered to be screen centric while the goal of “ambient” technology is to remove the role of the devices altogether.

Some examples of ambient applications include self-driving cars and automatic sensors to detect wear and tear in devices to schedule maintenance.

As a developer you need tools that help you create app-centric technology, such as Flutter. By using Flutter, you can focus on creating the app rather than thinking about catering to a certain device. To develop with Flutter you need to learn a programming language called Dart—mainly focused on front end development for mobile and web applications.

Embrace the Upcoming 5G Revolution

The 5G technology is almost here and you should be ready for it. Due to its high speed connectivity and bandwidth, 5G is going to offer benefits never seen before. With unique features such as IoT, AR/VR, and remote machine control, 5G is your signal to explore your interests and dive out of your comfort zone. As a developer, you should focus on areas that drive your passion and acquire the skills to pursue it.

5G adoption is going to eliminate a lot of development limitations and this is going to be a huge opportunity for programmers to build apps with new functionalities and solutions. Consequently, the development industry will slowly change its pace, adjusting to the new stability offered by 5G.

Having fewer limitations means more freedom to create high-performance applications. So now is the time to prepare—learn the skills, practice the tools, and get ready to face the internet revolution head-on!