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  • Mobile apps- Adding convenience or confusion

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    I remember the days where a long list of grocery items and it took hours to finish buying them. Recharging, movie-ticketing, transport bookings, restaurant reservations, everything was time consuming. But now all these things are at your doorstep, with a single click.

     

    For years now, we’ve heard that mobile industry is going to explode and that “it’s the next big thing”. But it wasn’t until 2014 that mobile finally overtook desktop. This is because of a large number of mobile apps available today. Mobile apps are software applications designed to run on phones, tablets and desktops. They are available to us through different distribution platforms, which are called App stores. The popular app stores are Google Play, Apple’s App Store (iTunes) and Windows Phone Store. As of November 2015 there were some 1.8 million apps in Google Play, 1.5 million in Apple Store and 0.34 million in Windows Phone Store.

     

    Mobile apps initially offered productivity and information retrieval tools such as calendar, e-mail, stock market and weather information.The market has rapidly expanded due to public demand and availability of developer tools. Currently, some of the most popular app categories include gaming, entertainment and education. Mobile networking apps takes the maximum share of the market, where Facebook gets the lead with 727 million monthly active mobile-only users. Another growing market is mobile retail via shopping apps. These include Amazon, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong and many others. Mobile messenger apps has also experienced a surge in popularity. Whatsapp has more than 900 million monthly active users, which is the cheapest alternative to SMS and group chatting.

     

    According to a report from comScore shows for one, the percentage of time spent on a mobile app in 2015 was 86% . And 79% of smartphone users say they use apps almost everyday. 90% of the users are using their device to do research and price comparisons prior to making a purchase. According to all these stats its clear that user engagement is at the highest. Apps including utility apps, banking apps, SMS and video chatting apps are all adding convenience. As these are cost effective, saves time, user friendly and manageable.

                                

    Availability of millions of apps leaves the users in a muddling state. This is what the other side is - ‘confusion’. As mobile space is limited we cannot download every app we like, so we need to uninstall the one which is less important. The same genre companies are fighting among themselves with respect to great user experience, maximum discounts and low prices. Many companies have dissolved their working because of this rat race. This market trend is only leaving the user dissatisfied. The consumers are unable to judge, which one is the best among all.

     

    Its clear to technology evangelists, mobile is where the demographic is. Mobile advertisements spend is slated to increase from $68 billion this year to $195 billion by 2019. The takeaway now is to make sure that website and services provided are cross-platform to get the best user-experience.

     

    All in all, we’re still not active with the mobile devices. But all signs point to it, slowly being the preferred device for both “the consumer” and “the business”. It is now up to us to decide as how, we look at it.

     

    Mobile apps- Adding convenience or confusion

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