Mobile Applications have taken the center stage for most businesses. With the advent of smartphones and their ever-growing consumer base, the use of mobile applications has risen drastically. In 2019 alone there were over 204 billion mobile app downloads. reinstall and application updates. This is over a 45% increase over the 2016 numbers. We expect the same this year i.e. in 2020 as more and more people adopt while more apps release in the market with a different userbase.
Mobile devices have penetrated every aspect of our life. From finding the direction to checking emails or simply ordering food everything can be done using your mobile device. A wide variety of mobile applications available in the marketplace make these things possible to ease our daily life. Let’s understand the intricacies of Mobile applications and how they have impacted our day to day life.
- What are Mobile Applications?
- What is an app store?
- And, what are the benefits of a mobile application?
- What are the commonly used platforms for Mobile Application?
- What are the different types of Mobile Application?
- Also, what is the impact of mobile applications on businesses?
What are Mobile Applications?
A mobile application is a self-contained software designed to work with mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Mobile applications are generally small packets of software with limited functionality trying to solve a problem or assist users. Each mobile application comes with its characteristics and functionality. For example, designs of a gaming app, video app, web browsers, payments app, etc. serve a specific purpose.
In the beginning, mobile apps were mainly offered as a productivity utility. These were mainly used for accessing emails, calendars, general productivity apps, etc. With the rise in usage and widespread public acceptance, the developers rapidly rolled our apps for other categories that were once dominated by PCs. These apps tried to solve day to day problems or help in enhancing user experience. For example, taxi ride apps helped users to access cabs directly from their phone, instead of looking out for visible vehicles. But the numerous apps also required some regulations and hence application stores were introduced by leading Mobile OS developers.
What is an app store?
An app store is a form of an online marketplace for mobile applications. App store provides a point of distribution for mobile applications. It also allows the user to search for specific apps or review apps. Other than that it also makes sure to offer a secure and safe app usage experience to the user by using pre-defined policies and guidelines. It also helps app developers to interact directly with users by offering sales, installation, and review of the application titles.
An app store works by organizing the apps in different categories based on genre, OS, device, etc. Users can use all these categories parameters and reviews by other users to choose the right app. The selected app can be downloaded and installed by the store. The apps stores also make sure to impose stringent guidelines and check to protect users against malicious applications. Currently, there are two major app stores; Play Store for Android by Google and App Store for iOS by Apple.
How to download an App on Android Devices?
- First, open Google Play Application on your phone.
- Secondly, find the app you are looking for. For example Facebook
- Finally, before downloading you can always check a few details about application and user reviews:
- It also contains some additional information like the number of installs, app last updated date, etc:
- Now you can click on the install button to begin the installation.
How to Download an App on Apple Device?
- Open App Store Application on your iPhone or iPad.
- Find the app you are looking for. For example Facebook
- Before downloading you can always check a few details about the application like Ratings and user reviews:
- Some additional information:
- Now you can proceed to install.
What are the benefits of a mobile application?
The unprecedented rise of mobile applications has made a lot of changes in our life. Mobile applications have become a part and necessity of our day to day life. For users, mobile applications have helped in easing their life, from maps to food delivery apps. All these applications have solved simple user problems or have eased the way of doing work. Let’s have a look at a few benefits mobile applications have in store for users:
- Mobile applications are faster than e-commerce sites or web apps.
- User can personalize their app content based on their interest, location, region, etc to tailor their unique experience.
- Mobile apps allow users to take advantage of the features of the native device. These apps can connect with GPS, gyroscope, compass, etc. to provide a unique experience to the user.
- Productivity apps like calendars, emails, reminders, notes, etc. help users to finish their tasks on the go.
More than 50% of the total internet traffic comes from mobile devices. This has opened another realm of possibilities for businesses. Businesses across the domain have realized the impact of mobile devices on the industry and thus have begun their transformation towards mobile apps. Mobile apps have also opened new dimensions and several different mobile-only businesses like ride aggregation, food delivery, mobile e-commerce, etc have been turned into reality. Let’s have a look at a few of the benefits it brings to businesses.
- Provide custom tailored experience for users.
- Use social media integration for connecting with consumers.
- Quick notification to inform users about new product launches, offers, and festive discounts.
- Reach out to more audiences and target new demography.
Be it an individual or a business mobile applications have changed the way we use to live our daily life. With the wider acceptance of smartphones among the people, the mobile internet/ application integration with our life is set to increase in the future.
What are the commonly used platforms for Mobile Application?
Mobile Application Platform is an ecosystem of programming language and software tools used for development, designing, and analyzing mobile applications. In simpler terms, a platform is a world that provides required resources to an application to operate and utilize the full potential of the hardware device. The platform or in simple terms the Operating System allows the developer to develop an app based on the OS while also granting the privilege to utilize hardware components.
Since the inception of mobile devices, there have been a lot of platforms that the giants of the computing industry back. Each decade had a clear winner in terms of market share among the platforms. The ’90s were dominated by Nokia backed Palm OS. Later we witnessed the arrival of several different operating systems like Nokia Symbian OS, Blackberry OS, and Windows Mobile. With more competition, most of these OS moved out of the market andGoogle’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS came in.
Since then only 2 major platforms have been dominating the market:
- Google-backed Android OS with the current market share of 72.92%
- Apple-backed iOS with a current market share of 26.53%
The rest of the platforms have been either reduced to meager size in terms of market shares or are currently active on older devices without any support.
What are the different types of Mobile Application?
Till now we have learned about mobile applications and the operating system on which they operate. Now, Based on the technology that has been used to code them, there are 3 types of mobile applications:
- Native App: Apps that are written specifically for a platform such as android or iOS. So, there are native Android apps and there is a native iOS app. As native apps have a singular focus, they are more efficient and faster. They can optimize and utilize native device resources such as Bluetooth, camera, contacts, etc. This offers a wide variety of choices to work with and get the full potential of the device.
For more detailed insights about Native App, Hybrid App, and Web App, please refer to our article on the differences between Native, Hybrid and Web Applications
What is the impact of Mobile Applications on Business?
In the last few years, there has been a drastic paradigm shift in the ways people access the internet. More and more people are accessing the internet using mobile devices. As the usage increases more businesses are opting for mobile compatible websites and mobile apps. Mobile apps help businesses to directly interact with users. It offers unmatched features and customizations which is difficult to obtain on a website. Further providing a visually attractive, user-friendly, and the customized app helps in retaining existing customers while attracting new ones. Mobile Applications have given a completely new dimension for businesses to expand and the numbers show it as well.
By 2023, we can expect Mobile Application revenues to reach $935.2 Billion. It is one more reason why more and more businesses are launching mobile apps to get a piece of the pie. Another important aspect of the business is the impact on customer engagements. As per the data shown in the following figures:
As per the data shown in the above image, one can see how the smartphone has impacted our life:
- On an average smartphone user checks their device 63 times a day.
- 86% of users check their devices while talking to their family and friends.
- 87% of the users check their device 1 hour before sleep.
- 69% of the users check their device within 5 mins of waking up.
All this contributes to the impact of mobile applications on businesses. As more and more people are spending time on their phones, businesses have garnered new ways to attract customers. Let’s have a look at the few ways in which the onset of mobile applications has impacted the business routine.
- Mobile applications have created a new mobile-only business niche. For example companies like Uber, Swiggy, etc have thrived on the mobile-only business model. More Startups and companies are following the trending and launching mobile-based businesses.
- Mobile applications have also opened up a way for mobile advertising. For example, over 70% of YouTube views come from mobile devices. Hence the major part of YouTube advertisements revenue generates from there. Mobile applications also display in-app advertisements. These advertisements allow the developer to provide free services while helps businesses to reach prospective customers.
- The major impact has been on the way businesses now interact with the user. The user has now arrived at the center stage. The apps allow users to directly share their feedback on the app store or through in-built surveys. Businesses can use it to take appropriate steps and improve the overall customer experience.
You can easily decipher from the above stats that the advent of mobile applications has overhauled the way businesses used to deal with customers. The requirement of a more customer-centric approach surfaces to compete in the billion-dollar app market.
- Mobile Applications are a powerful and highly accessible medium to connect users and businesses.
- Android by Google and iOS by Apple are the two market-leading platforms in current times.
- Google Play Store and Apple AppStore are single-point aggregators for managing and securing the distribution of the mobile application.
- Mobile applications have helped businesses in onboarding more customers by offering a better user experience. It has also helped in creating a new business niche for mobile app only businesses.