Apps for the iPhone have come a long way since the first iPhone was released in 2007, and today’s iOS app development is taking apps to new heights. Trends for 2013 include more mobile payments, new graphical themes, less information and more size, and fewer buttons.

Expect To See More Mobile Payments

Making purchases from within your app keeps getting easier as Google, Apple, and Microsoft all continue to release upgrades to their respective billing systems which improve the buying experience both for users and for app developers.

Although Apple requires iOS app development use Apple’s billing service for in-app upgrades, even online commerce apps which aren’t required to use Apple’s system are increasingly trending towards making payments through the Apple in-app payment system.

Android app developers who have had the freedom to accept payments outside of Google are also choosing more and more to use Google Wallet to reduce the number of purchases canceled because the user doesn’t finish entering their credit card information.

Flat Is The New 3-D In 2013

Maybe it was last year’s launch of Windows 8 with its Metro interface, but more and more apps in 2013 are using box-like “flat” icons and launchers. Three-dimensional icons—especially animated icons—are quickly disappearing.

The flat design lets apps pack more information in less space and also looks less cluttered than other icon displays. And the flat icons can more easily change color to notify users of important information without requiring a graphic designer create two different icons, which helps keep costs down, making flat icons a win for users and a win for businesses seeking iOS app development.

Simple And Readable

If you’ve been squinting at your phone and tablet for far too many years now, there’s good news—the 2013 trends for iOS app development include less information on each screen and larger font sizes.

Less information doesn’t mean each screen shouldn’t provide as much information as the user wants, but it does mean that iOS app developers are increasingly looking to graphic designers to find clever ways to create uncluttered user interfaces which still present all the necessary information.

With iOS app development no longer using so much screen space for icons and status monitors, it’s been easy to increase font sizes. App users have been consistently requesting larger fonts since 2007, and 2013 looks like the year they’ll get what they wanted.

Fewer Buttons, More Gestures

Another way iOS app development firms have decluttered displays is by removing many buttons. An increasing number of functions are operated by gestures. If you’ve been a long-time app user, you may remember when flipping through photos with a slide motion was optional—now it’s the only way to flip through photos or screens in many apps.

To make gestures easier to use it the absence of buttons, many apps now include animations which indicate what to do next, such as the standard iOS “Slide To Open” animation. With this built-in training method established, you can expect the trend towards fewer buttons, less clutter, and bigger text to continue throughout the end of 2013.