Just a couple of years ago, it was impractical for most small businesses to create a mobile app. Most didn\u2019t see any real value in it. A lot has changed since then. Thanks to app development software tools, many businesses are building apps. And the trend is expected to continue. According to data collected\u00a0by Biznessapps, a mobile platform for small businesses, nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt a mobile app by 2017 or later. Small Business Apps to Grow in Future So, what has prompted this sudden interest in building apps? The data suggests small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55 percent), improve customer experience (50 percent) and to become competitors in a specific market (50 percent). Sales is, of course, a top priority for small businesses. And as revealed by a Gartner study, more than 268 billion downloads are estimated to generate $77 billion worth of revenue in 2017. That gives a very strong motive for small businesses to adopt mobile apps. Key Mobile App Trends for 2017 With the mobile app landscape looking favorable, these are some of the trends expected to dominate in 2017. According to Biznessapps, location-based services will continue to rise. Their growth can be attributed to the availability and ease of use of GPS on mobile devices. Data suggests\u00a0location-based services\u00a0will evolve further and give users real-time information or deals based on their whereabouts. For small businesses, this could provide an opportunity to target more local users with promotional offers. Another trend that\u2019s expected to gain momentum in 2017 is the integration of augmented reality into utility apps. Apps that use augmented reality are perceived as gimmicky for promotional purposes. But over time, a number of apps have started using augmented reality for more commercial purposes. If done the right way, augmented reality can make small businesses more innovative and help engage customers. A mobile app strategy can help businesses move in the right direction.