Context drives app relevancy

What features make sense to make available to mobile users? The answer is often found in context. The more contextual information you can use in the interaction with the user, the better. Consider how the following apps leverage context to draw from sources and then add value.

Vivino – honestly, how much can you tell about a wine by looking at its label? Not so much. With Vivino Wine Scanner you just shoot a photo of the label and it will tell you all there is to know about it, what other think of it and what the average price is. No more guessing.

Word Lens – realtime translation of text you can point the camera at.

Meal Snap – snap a photo of the food on the plate in front of you and it will tell the amount of calories with very good accuracy.

FlightRadar24 – point your camera into the sky and see the plane and the app will tell you where it’s flying to, from where, its speed… and you can follow along using Google Maps in 3D seeing what the pilots are seeing in realtime.

Shazam – hear a great song… just tap and it will tell you what artist performs and then everything about that artist and album etc.

The apps use location, camera, microphone and then pull data from a large number of sources to ultimately drive value to the user. Context is at the heart of that value, turning that which is ordinary into magical. Finally, few would argue that the above examples would work well in a site on a web browser. The app is a great proactive tool and the web is a great reactive browsing environment. From a mobile point of view, both are important.

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