As the mobile app world continues to grow Gartner Inc. has identified what it believes will be the most important types of mobile applications in 2012. Focusing on high-end devices with an average selling price of more than $300, analysts have identified the top ten cutting edge technologies and trends for 2012.
Location is one of the main enablers that deliver services to users based on their context and analysts expects the total user base of consumer location-based services to reach 1.4 billion users by 2014.
Mobile social networking is the fastest-growing consumer mobile app category. Social network platforms are sucking in increasing amounts of network traffic. They are becoming portals, transit hubs and cloud storage for increasing amounts of messaging and e-mail traffic, videos, photos, games and commerce. As mainstream adoption progresses, global social sites will be driven toward providing services in partnership with third parties using open APIs, and are likely to evolve to a role as infrastructure providers acting as data warehouses and providing user data and access to the more-consumer-facing brands.
Visual search is usually related with product search to enable price comparisons or to check product information. To bring mobile search to the next level, the app would allow users to take actions based on the result, such as making a call or reservation, buying a ticket, placing an order, and so on.
Today, mobile commerce is more of an extension of e-commerce but in a smaller form factor and with a more-streamlined experience. However, over the next 24 months, Analysts expects the emergence of uniquely mobile functions, such as the ability to “check in” to a store to alert a retailer that you are there, or the ability to add items to a shopping cart simply by taking a photo of an item or bar code in the physical store.
Although near field communication (NFC) payment will be included in high-end phones from 2011, Analysts do not believe that it will become mainstream before 2015. In order to get consumers on board, payment solution providers need to address ease-of-use for users and ease-of-implementation for customers without compromising security. They also need to increase user awareness, extend the service coverage and address ease-of-use to appeal to end users.
CONTEXT AWARE SERVICE
Context-aware applications provide improved user experiences by using the information about a person’s interests, intentions, history, environment, activities, schedule, priorities, connections and preferences to anticipate their needs and proactively serve up the most appropriate content, product or service. Mobile carriers, along with handset manufacturers, should provide expanded location services to include, among others, directory assistance, mapping, advertising and privacy controls.
High-end devices have an increased sensor and processing capability that enable sophisticated applications to recognize the user’s surroundings, including specific objects of interest. Because OR provides an easy-to-use interface, more apps will come to the market with enhanced capabilities by 2012.
MOBILE INSTANT MESSAGING
Gartner expects MIM to attract consumers to new types of unified communication (UC) clients, provided by over the top (OTT) service providers such as Skype.
Smartphones have begun to drive the mainstream adoption of mobile e-mail through a series of technology enhancements enabling low-cost mobile extensions to existing e-mail service. Gartner expects mobile e-mail users worldwide to increase from 354 million in 2009 to 713 million in 2014, to account for 10.6 percent of the global mobile user base.
Mobile phones with larger screens and media tablets offer the ideal platform for video consumption and with careful marketing and consumer education, Gartner believes that carriers and content providers would be able to drive mobile video usage in the coming years.
What Makes a Good App??
Smartphone applications are stirring up a lot of commotion. One of the many reasons… advertisers and brands recognize the power and effectiveness that comes from using mobile devices to connect with an audience. Smartphones are experiencing explosive growth in use and mobile ad utilization. At the same time, WiFi usage is driving more mobile app usage, which will continue to foster growth in the mobile and tablet segment.
What makes a good app? The truth is that it’s not whether you download it but whether you keep using it. The best apps out there are the ones that aren’t just interesting, but engaging. Research from a recent firm suggests that only about one in four mobile apps succeed at engaging the user. Two months ago Localytics analyzed data about how individuals use apps. They found that 26% of all apps downloaded are opened only once and then never again.
Although the study did not offer examples as to which apps fell into each category you can be assured that they were apps that had no engaging qualities. Sentersix creates mobile apps that are not only interesting but useful. During the development process we analyze content and design from the end user’s prospective thus ensuring the app will continue to wow the customer.