Google Now-style context-aware apps to hit 7.6bn by 2017

Google Now, Cortana and Siri-style apps will shake up the global app economy over the next five years with the amount of apps using context-aware technology to hit 7.5 billion by 2019.

Related: A guide to setting up Google Now on your iPhone

Juniper Research’s report entitled “Mobile Context & Location Services: Navigation, Tracking, Social & Local Search 2014-2019” found that context-awareness is a key factor for app developers with the number of apps using it increasing from 2.8 billion in 2014 to over seven billion by 2019.

“Context awareness signals a paradigm shift in the definition of what search means on mobile”, added report author Steffen Sorrell. “Combined with deep linking, this shift will transform the manner by which we discover and access apps: the days of flicking through the app tray are numbered.”

The figure above relates to both smartphones and tablets, however, phones are set to drive the trend more than anything else with uptake far exceeding that of tablets in the same part of the app economy.

Cellular usage being low on tablets means that the chance to take advantage of hyper-local positioning is simply not at the level it is on smartphones unless the user is connected to public Wi-Fi. Even with this being the case, tablets still represent a higher per-app revenue stream compared with smartphones due to higher advertising revenue and in-app spends per session.

Related: How to enable Google Now on your desktop computer

Juniper’s report also shows that privacy concerns remain among users with phone owners showing a desire to share location via apps spontaneously rather than on a continuous basis. When it comes to the apps themselves, Juniper projects that app-supported versions will account for 71 per cent of all location and context-based service revenues.