Archive | Mobile

Mobile apps dominate Internet traffic

Last month was the first time ever that smartphone and tablet apps originated more Internet traffic than PCs (US data). In the article “Mobile apps overtake PC Internet usage in U.S” we learn that mobile devices originated 55% of Internet usage, which is interesting, but even more interesting is the fact that apps accounted for 47% vs 8% from mobile browsers. Clearly, users like to surf the web using a mobile browser but they prefer to go online using dedicated apps.

I am assuming most of this traffic is streaming media since traffic generated by streaming media grows almost exponentially. Streaming media apps are great examples to why native apps are most often better than their HTML-based siblings. Netflix, Spotify, Youtube, Viaplay… the snappiness and excellent user experience and user interface design in these apps are extremely difficult characteristics to achieve using HTML only. Furthermore, the most popular apps are designed to do a few things extremely well, they are not all over the map with radically different features and content. This scoping aspect sets the app apart from a Web solution which excels in browsing and spanning across a broader scope of features and content dressed up in Web.

To conclude… if your site doesn’t render well on phone or tablet, you need to start your journey to responsive web design. After that, if you want to enable a long lasting experience with your customers, in narrowly scoped and beautifully designed solutions, you also need to be present in the channel where there is most Internet traffic: mobile apps.

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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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Android is the new mayor in Tablet Town

Gartner just published its Worldwide Tablet Sales report and it tells an interesting story. The key points in the story include:

  • The market is in a healthy growth state, sales grew by 68% compared with 2012
  • Android is propelling into a strong lead capturing 62% of the market. iOS grabbed 36% and lost its lead from 2012, despite selling more iPads (i.e. market growth is faster than Apple’s).
  • Apple continues to be the single largest tablet maker (since Android tablets are made by several companies)
  • Microsoft continues to struggle and managed to capture only 2%

Gartner analyst Ms Cozza says: “To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC”, and to that I fully agree.

However, the main message from 2013 sales is clearly that iPad is no longer the standard tablet. Android is the new mayor of Tablet Town.

 

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Launching “Digital Business Watch”

I’ve been meaning to start “Youtube”-ing for quite some time but never got around to start. The reasons have mostly been a fear to make mistakes and not being perfect from the first moment. Well, today I decided to just jump and not worrying about making mistakes. Below is my first video. I’ll be calling this my “Digital Business Watch”. I get to meet companies in many countries and in all sectors, and will use my Youtube-channel to reflect and share. You’ll see that things won’t be perfect immediately (a couple of “sound spikes”) and my English is quite Swedish, but bear with me. I’ll work on it. Also, I’ll be trying out a few different formats and lengths.

The background of this first video is a call I got this morning from a colleague in Sogeti Netherlands. He had been in touch with a client wondering about how to deal with the risk of cross-channel cannibalizing, meaning how to deal with losing revenue in one channel (for example the web) if the customer decides to transact in another channel (for example mobile web/app). The question also had some web vs app-aspects to it, and essentially I am saying that responsive web design is critical and context-driven apps can add significant value to existing customers. So, I’ll be sharing my responses with all of you now and in the future…!

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