It has become a familiar image – a man on a bus sits hunched over a smartphone while his finger moves methodically across the screen. Beneath this simple gesture is a revolutionary new way to interact with the world. This hypothetical man is likely scrolling through his list of applications, looking for the one that will turn his bus ride into an opportunity to work, play, communicate, or educate. His smartphone offers a portal to the world that gives him unprecedented access to tools for life.
Mobile devices have become so popular because they serve as truly portable computers. With the development of applications (apps) for smartphones and tablets, it is now possible to access and interact with all the tools and content that the internet has to offer. Apps allow users to access maps, find coupons, conduct business, and play games to pass the time.
Apps are presented as an antidote to the clutter of the internet, taking the most useful and enjoyable features and wrapping them into an easy-to-use package. This is one of the most appealing features of using apps, and a common pitch in app marketing. People are shown accomplishing important tasks like paying bills or making reservations all while they ride in a taxi cab. Apps market themselves as a streamlined version of the internet that is accessible everywhere.
The continuous evolution of smart phones, regular release of newer mobile OS versions, availability of a huge variety of mobile applications from different app stores and high speed internet connections have completely transformed the way consumers use their mobile devices.
Do you use an Facebook app or you go the Facebook website though the browser? What about Gmail, Twitter, Google Maps, Citymapper and many other apps that you have installed on your smartphone. Now think of why you are actually using these apps instead of visiting their websites. Some of the reasons are because it’s faster, it looks better and the navigation is easier. Imagine what effort it takes to visit Facebook website though your phone’s browser. You need to open your browser, type the url, wait until it loads. After that you need to log in and wait again to load the page. Well, depending on your internet connection this could take a minute or 2. What about the app? How difficult is to open your activity feed. Well the good news is that it takes only 1 click.
There is another good reason for a user to have your product app installed – the offline regime. In the big cities people are spending average hour and a half in the tube without Internet access. Some of the commuters are reading books, but most of them are using their mobile phones for entertaining. If there were no apps all these people wouldn’t be able to use their smartphones during the commute.
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