Virtual personal assistants may replace apps in future:Gartner

Mumbai,  The importance of apps in delivering services will diminish and emergence of virtual personal assistants (VPAs) will replace functions performed by applications, according to Gartner.

With the convergence of devices, bots, things and people, organizations will need to master two dimensions of mobility, it said.

"While users are constantly looking for new and compelling app experiences, the importance of apps in delivering services will diminish and the emergence of virtual personal assistants and bots will replace some of the functions performed by apps today," said David Willis, Vice President and analyst, Gartner.

Alternative approaches to interaction and service delivery will arise, and code will move from traditional mobile devices
and apps to the cloud, he added.

In 2016, Gartner forecasts the shipment of 2.37 billion devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones), and that 293 million wearables will be sold.

In 2017, Gartner estimates that 2.38 billion devices will be shipped and 342 million wearables will be sold.

"The proliferation of mobile devices means that phones, tablets, laptops and wearables are now omnipresent within the business environment, reinventing the way people interact and  work," Willis said.

Much of the innovation in the mobile space isn't taking place inside the smartphones themselves, but in the things
that communicate with them, Gartner said.

Most IoT devices that talk to smartphones do so via an app or through the browser, it said, adding that 25 per cent
of new mobile apps will talk to IoT devices in next two years. 

"Through 2018, the app will be the preferred mechanism, because it provides a better experience and allows more
sophisticated interactions and data analysis, with low-level networking and background processing," Willis said.

However, he expects that with new technologies growing in importance as a way to control and interact with things, 
app interfaces will fade.