The sports App industry, like most other sectors, has seen a dramatic shift over the past couple of months. Since the onset of the pandemic, sports tournaments and events of all kinds are increasingly relying on technology. And this trend of tech-enabled transformation in sports is happening at an overwhelming pace. Sports apps have played a vital role in this shift towards technology – more so during the pandemic.
Mobile applications designed for sports and entertainments are starkly different from other apps. As more and more sports enthusiasts look up to the virtual arenas for real-like experiences, app developers have crucial roles to play. Whether you are developing an app for cricket fans or football lovers, you must always keep in mind the sports-specific trends and features. This blog post intends to help you understand the most popular trends and successful sports features.
Key Features of Sports Apps
Depending on what kind of sports app you want to build, features may vary widely. However, a few key features remain all but similar across sports app categories. Whether you hire Android app developers or iOS experts, they need to consider these features.
Sports fans want to have a personalized experience on their sports app. That demands a user account or a profile. It not just personalizes users’ experiences but also increases the likelihood of higher usage and better engagement. You can enable multiple signup options, including via email, phone number, or social media. The user must be able to edit and customize his profile info. So, you need to enable the user to add and edit profile info like name, birthday, interests, and a profile picture.
User Timeline & Newsfeed
People who love sports also want to stay updated with every match and tournament of their favorite sports. For instance, if you are developing an app for cricket lovers in India, you must keep them updated about IPL, one-day matches, and test tournaments. Otherwise, you would never achieve the desired engagement and user base. That’s true for every kind of sport.
Real-time communication has become one of the most sought-after features of virtually all types of sports apps. It has grown further due to pandemic-induced situations. Whether it’s communication among sports fans or the players of a team, messaging is a must feature. It also helps users to share info about events and tournaments of common interests and share invitations.
Sports Ticket Booking
Since tournaments and competitions are the most pivotal—and profitable¬—parts of the sports industry, this feature shouldn’t come as a surprise. Frictionless ticket-booking capabilities could increase your app’s usability. More importantly, it’s one of the most tried-and-tested app monetization methods. Include features like event search, ticket price filters, and upcoming events, etc., to fully benefit from this feature.
Features like ticket booking require a secure and reliable payment channel. That’s where payment gateways come into play. Payment channels also allow you to offer in-app purchases and premium features. While integrating payment gateways, you need to consider the audience-specific requirements. For instance, if you are launching an app for sports fans in India, digital wallets like Paytm, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay, etc., would be the best choices.
A comprehensive admin panel is central to the success of a sports app. The app owner needs to be empowered with advanced capabilities to manage all app users, monitor activities, and ensure security. Besides, the admin panel should also have advanced analytics that provides deep insights into user behavior. Tech-driven sports and entertainment companies are now using edge computing capabilities to get real-time insights.
Top Tech Trends in Sports App Development
In keeping with the rapidly transforming eSports arena, app developers are adopting an agile approach. As new tools and technologies swarm the eSports market, some trends have stood out from others.
The Rise of eSports
ESports was becoming popular even before the pandemic. For instance, the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) launched an eSports league. But with the wave of coronavirus-induced waves of restrictions, eSports became mainstream. It triggered a significant rise in the demands for eSports app development. eSports apps enable users to watch and play their favorite sports virtually. App developers are incorporating a flurry of advanced features to attract sports lovers.
AR- & VR-Enabled Sports Apps
Virtual reality and augmented reality are helping sports buffs experience fully immersive sports experiences on their apps. Augmented reality is playing another game-changing role in the sports industry. Athletes and coaches across sports categories are using AR for advanced training. That means AR/VR-enabled app makers have the potential to target both players and spectators.
AR-powered apps create virtual training environments for players. It not just improves training capabilities but also reduces the risks of injury in many cases. Players can also get feedback and deep insights into their training sessions enabled by augmented reality. Whether it’s an AR & VR app development company or a professional sports team, these capabilities need serious consideration.
Social Media Integration
Social media integration is a must if you want to reach out to millennials and Gen Z. These two age groups are particularly social media-savvy. Social media integration offers two outstanding advantages. First, it helps your users to sign up for the app. Besides, it helps your app to build effective engagement across social media platforms.
Social media engagement is crucial for any app brand. More so for sports and entertainment apps. Since sports enthusiasts are likely to be proactive on social media, it brings immense business opportunities. Social media is no more a platform to just connect with friends and acquaintances. With the growing commercial use of social media, your sports app should not miss opportunities offered by this limitless digital universe.
The market share of sports apps is surging, both on iOS and Android platforms. With establishment companies and new start-ups alike building an array of feature-loaded sports apps, the competition is intensifying more rapidly than ever. That means just building and launching a sports app won’t do the trick. Your app must stand out on app stores. And that calls for a trends-driven approach.
Sports app development trends discussed in this post explain why you need to keep users in mind in the step of the development process. That also enables you to stay focused on user experience. Immersive and enticing user experiences, perhaps, play the most determining role in your app’s success.
The author James Walker is a senior mobile app developer at Android Developer, a globally trusted app development company based in India. He loves to write about how technology is rehashing mobile app development. He also likes to dive deeper into the world of emerging technologies, such, AI, ML, AR/VR, IoT, and edge computing.