5G is in the talk of many industries at the moment due to its huge potential. Similar to other sectors, application development can benefit from this technology.
While the potential benefits of 5G have been recognized widely, the features that enable it to provide such a competitive edge compared to 4G have much been less discussed. Understanding the roots is how businesses, and specifically in this article, mobile application developers, can resort to it. Today, we will dive into three main unique characteristics of 5G, their effects on mobile applications, and how developers can leverage these conditions.
3 main features that make 5G superior to 4G and what they mean to applications
5G is claimed to be completely advanced than its predecessor, 4G. Specifically speaking, when talking about a broadband cellular network, there are three main elements that decide its performance: Speed, Latency, and Connection Density.
Speed is how fast data can be loaded. In an ideal situation, 5G can transmit data up to 100 times faster than 4G.
With the new condition, heavy programs like AR, VR-based applications can be run smoothly. Commonly, AR is more mobile-based, but VR is common with separate sets of devices due to its complicated setup. With greater transmission speed, VR features can be integrated into mobile apps, opening new features and engagement opportunities with app users.
On the other hand, location-based apps, such as maps and dating, also benefit. Thanks to a faster connection, the locative preciseness of 5G is 1m rather than 10 to 100m if using 4G. As a result, the apps can accurately identify user’s locations and provide better, more insightful recommendations.
Picture editing apps, mobile games, or streaming apps would gain, too. Greater Internet speed means enhanced visual resolution. It may sound insignificant, but ask a girl who receives fewer likes on Facebook due to her blurry new selfie, which happens to be put through a photo editing app beforehand. A slight improvement in resolution can level up huge customer satisfaction.
Latency refers to the response time of an application to a certain user’s action. The more sophisticated or data-heavy the response is, the longer time needed to carry out that action. Since 5G can load a larger amount of data than 4G in the same time unit, the latency is reduced drastically, equivalent to a 10-time decrease in latency. This change profoundly impacts mobile games and video streaming applications.
Lags are common yet not welcomed in games, and developers are always on the quest to eliminate this issue. Thanks to the massively improved latency, 5G can facilitate smoother in-game response, producing almost no lag between player’s input and game responses.
With video streaming applications, according to Youtube, the giant player in this sector, 70% of its traffic is from mobile, thus with a faster bandwidth, users can enjoy videos of better quality. HD or even 4K videos can be streamed smoothly, enhancing viewers’ experience.
This factor represents the number of devices that can access the Internet properly via a network in a unit of area. If the number of devices is greater than a network’s capacity, users can experience lags or inaccessibility. With 5G, more devices can use the Internet than with 4G. An expert stated via Forbes that with the same area of 0.38 square miles, 5G could facilitate up to one million devices, compared to two thousand devices that 4G can support. It’s an impressive 500-fold number of connected devices that can be used.
This enhancement does good to any type of applications mentioned above, but more specifically for apps that have content for a large amount of users view/used at the same time. The live stream feature of social media applications is one of the most beneficial subjects. Similarly, game streaming applications can be enhanced.
What developer can make the most of 5G
More benefits come with more risks and responsibilities. They can be security risks, changes in development platforms, and inclusivity. To get ready for the transition from 4G to 5G, app developers should consider the following advice:
Watch out for security!
Due to the ability to connect a more extensive network of IoT, exposed risks are higher. Thus the security system of the app needs strengthening. Security should always be prioritized, but developers should be cautious with such powerful technology as 5G.
Develop more cloud-based apps
If your company is building a data-heavy offline app, think about altering it to cloud-based because 5G can facilitate your application with its exceptional high speed and short latency. Users don’t have to physically download the app itself on the phone. In this way, the hardware capacity of the devices won’t affect users’ experience on the apps. It opens up the potential market share for current and future applications.
Prepare separate app versions for 4G and 5G devices
Although the transition to 5G is happening quickly, it still takes years for all the devices in the world to be 5G-supportive. Thus, developers should build an advanced version for 5G while still ensuring the app runs properly with 4G networks to cover all customer ranges.
In short, 5G has solved many existing issues with 4G thanks to incredible improvements in speed, latency, and connection density. Applications need to take the wave and conduct the necessary steps to make the most of this cutting-edge technology while protecting themselves and their users from hidden security risks.
Trang is a graduate majoring in Economics & Finance. She became a tech writer as for her interest in Finance and Technology. She believes that these industries will be will be the changemakers of the future.