Snap Maps screenshot from Snapchat

QR Codes. When was the last time you heard anyone talk about QR codes? Well contrary to what you might think, they're not going anywhere anytime soon. And as you might suspect, yes, the pandemic has everything to do with it. See: Contactless transactions.

App Redesigns. We already talked about a couple of redesigns last week, so add the Google TV app to the list. I honestly don't recall what the previous design was like (not an active user), but the redesign feels very… familiar. Probably the most notable, though, is the stuff you don't see — Google's use of their expansive data set across their various properties. Which is both clever and scary at the same time.

Maps. Would you like a social layer added to your map experience? Snapchat has it for you. Yet another app that I do not actively use (I don't think I'm their intended demographic re: age), this is the sort of thing that makes me curious as a designer. Adding data layers to a map — an already data-intensive bit of data viz — is a problem I've had to solve before (and you may have as well), so I like to keep references like this in my back pocket in case it ever comes up again.

Super Apps. As you may have noticed in the article above, "super app" is a term I think we'll begin to see more of as mobile continues to mature and products begin to incorporate more and more features. The latest example being PayPal, which is transitioning from its original intent as a payment app to a more complete digital wallet app. As this breaks the generally accepted principle of mobile apps having a singular focus, my question is: How well will users receive the change?

Mobile Wallets. On the topic of mobile wallets, usage is expected to grow 50% over the next five years in North America alone! This is another trend that we can attribute to the pandemic, but we can expect to continue well after COVID-19 is a thing of the past. One of the key points I find the most interesting, however, is the democratization of "mobile money" (and technology in general) as smartphones continue to penetrate emerging markets.




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