We live in the decade of applications. Take a look around: apps are everywhere! You have your weather widget, your email client, your messenger, photo app, etc. There are apps for musicians, artists, directors, comic book or movie fans and, of course, apps for sports lovers. Actually, sports apps is one of the fastest growing app categories. Let's figure out why they have become so popular.
Being healthy and active has been a big trend lately. Smoking isn't cool anymore. It seems like everyone goes to gym, plays soccer, does swimming, jogging or cycling these days. Apart from the places where one can work up a sweat, sports fans also need tools that would help them count calories, plan trainings, monitor their progress, etc. Sports business could not but make use of this craze for healthy lifestyle and so the tremendous increase of consumers' interest in well-being triggered another boom: the rise of sports app development.
Sports apps came at the right time. The statistics indicate that people spend increasingly more time on mobile apps. Moreover, health, fitness and sport apps are in the forefront of this tendency, e.g. music apps stand at 79%, health and fitness apps at 51%, social networking 49%, travel 28%, sports 16%, games 15%, and news at 14%. It's no wonder that the demand for cool sports apps is growing from year to year.
We can divide all sport apps into two types: the personal ones, which assist with individual training, and social ones, which help to manage amateur sport teams, find places for trainings, sport events or teammates. Let's look closely.
Activity apps are very common things now. Some of them are pre-installed in the newest versions of operating systems. For example, Android has "S-Health" app, iOS got "Activity" app. Activity tracking apps record how much water and coffee you drink, what you eat and how many calories you consume during the day. They also can monitor your step count or other physical exercises using gyroscope and wearable devices. Wearables can do so much: they manage your health indicators such as heart rate or blood pressure, track distance and GPS location, they have reminders about workouts and smart alarm clock. Thanks to special algorithms that recognize different hand movements, some apps can track even wheelchair user's activity.
Activity trackers use a lot of the gadget's hardware. They need access to gyroscope, accelerometer, bluetooth and even microphone. These apps work with big amount of data and often require cloud storages to keep statistics. Push notifications is also their feature: in-app notifications will remind users to exercise, to drink water, to meditate and so on.
Diary apps is another must-have tool for individual sports. They are particularly helpful for bodybuilders and athletes who work out in gym. Wearables still can't track the number of barbell lifts or hack squats, so users have to keep record of their results by themselves. Such sport app also comes in handy for creating a workout plan, choosing weights, exercises and their duration. Diaries are technically simple to implement: they work as regular organizers or calendar apps with some additional features like user notes.
Personal sport apps have big growth potential. Tracking devices can't count the number of reps you do in the gym and there's not many apps for swimmers, because wearables are not water resistant. However, there are so many other cutting edge technologies that can be utilized to improve a sports app! Neural networks are able to identify the speed of punch, kick, hit or throw using the camera of the smart device. Also artificial intelligence can enhance coaching apps (we'll talk about them later). By scanning a photo or a video AI can analyze user's behavior and find out all the mistakes or imperfections. Don't forget about virtual reality. It can basically drive video lessons to incredible level. Imagine that you may polish your sports skills by watching 3D footage, have the ability to pause video anytime and have a detailed look from any angle that suits you. Sounds pretty cool, right? I believe it's just a matter of time when things like this appear at the market.
Booking apps is one more new trend in the world of sport. Thanks to popularity of virtual assistants like Siri or Cortana and their ability to book almost everything online, booking apps are in high demand today. Through these apps, users can book a stadium, tennis court, race track, bicycle and whatever else they need for their sports training. Booking apps are not difficult to develop. All they need are integrated maps, payment systems and user notifications to let users know when their favourite swimming pool is available.
Coaching apps also became popular recently. There are tons of free video lessons on YouTube and coaching or personal trainer apps work in a pretty similar way with one major exception: the student uploads video of himself performing an exercise or a move to the app, the coach analyzes it and creates a personalized video lesson.
Applications like this use a simple server where all videos are stored. They also work with camera, allowing users to shoot quick photos or videos and upload them instantly. By the way, we have experience in developing a personal trainer app for golf players. If you are interested in one, let us know.
Team management apps are somewhat similar to the previous types. A sports team app allows users to find teammates, watch their activity, set up training schedule, choose venues and events to jump in. Such apps also keep story of all games and memorable moments of your team. A nice tool to raise your team spirit! We've recently developed a new sports team management app, check it out in our portfolio. It's awesome, really.
All apps with social features look like small pieces of a big pie. I guess, you already know what I'm aimimg at: social networks for sports. The idea of creating a sports connection app is not new and there are some existing applications of that kind. However, social networks never get old. You can experiment with the design, features or something else - just make sure you do it better than your predecessors. A sports network app can put together booking and coaching apps, provide interactive map with sport events, shops and places for training and so on.
That's it for sport applications. As you can see, they continue to get bigger and stronger, just like their users. Wearable devices became tightly associated with sport and they continue to evolve in this direction. Sooner or later they will be able to track all user's activities, including swimming and barbell exercises. Integration of new technologies such as neural networks and virtual reality will also introduce huge improvements and we just can't wait for them!