A Peek Into The Mobile World

I need to get somewhere. I awkwardly fumble to fish my phone from my pocket and open some wonderful app that tells me exactly where to go, where to eat when I get there, and what I should tip the waiter at the restaurant. How did I ever survive without a smartphone? I was a late bloomer in the mobile world, but I have come on strong. Internet usage is predicted to more than double by 2015, and the majority of that will come from mobile phones. Is your business ready for the mobile age?

Internet usage is predicted to more than double by 2015, and the majority of that will come from mobile phones.

Pretty much everyone owns a smartphone. Even the homeless guitar player in my punk band has an iPhone. The mobile audience has evolved beyond “demographic” and turned into consumers’ number one tool for information, communication, and entertainment. Another way to say this, if you’re missing out on the mobile audience, you’re missing out on “THE audience.”

In 2012 the number of smartphone users within the U.S. rose to 98 million. That’s a 78% of adults within the U.S! You better make sure you’re ready for the mobile age.

Another way to say this, if you’re missing out on the mobile audience, you’re missing out on “THE audience.”

Mobile Websites vs. Apps

When it comes to mobile, there are two basic worlds to look at: mobile website and app. First let’s take a look at websites.

Mobile Websites

It is very frustrating to browse sites unfriendly to mobile browsers. I personally will immediately leave a site not formatted for my phone. It’s horrible trying to navigate one of those things.

There are two ways to make your sites friendly to mobile platforms. You can go with a mobile version of your site, or make your site mobile responsive.

3 Types of Mobile Apps

There are three main types of apps to look at: native apps, HTML5, and hybrid. As of right now native apps hold the crown for the most used type of app, but don’t throw all your eggs in the native basket.

1. Native Apps

Native apps are purchased from an app store and downloaded to the mobile device. This allows instant access, greater speeds, and the functions of the mobile device to be used within the app. There are drawbacks though. They are more expensive to make and a different version is required for the different mobile manufacturers. Also, updates have to be done downloaded by the user.

2. HTML5 Apps

HTML5 is a mobile website that is sometimes packaged inside a native wrapper. While these apps can work with any operating platform, the drawback of HTML5 is not being able to leverage the latest technology phone manufacturers produce. With companies such as Google and Apple invested so heavily in app production, there is an advantage to keeping their apps regulated by specific operating platforms. These web-based apps are less expensive to build, but are generally much slower.

3. Hybrid Apps

Using both HTML5 and native code, hybrid apps can be a great way to go. This type of app allows you to use whichever code creates the best user experience. More and more companies, such as Twitter, are headed this way.

Now What?

So what do you, the business, take from this? Mostly, there is great value in the mobile world, but you have to figure out what works best for you. Don’t let the army of nerds and IT people scare you. Be adaptive and receptive to what the mobile world offers and find what brings the most value to you.