Mobile app development is a rapidly growing industry that continues to evolve year each year. In 2014, we saw incredible growth in the industry. Businesses looking to improve their current mobile offering or looking to hire an iPhone application developer or Android app developer should be sure to consider these trends when starting their project.
User experience will become even more important in 2015. With the number of smart phones, tablets and mobile applications growing every day, user experience becomes an even more important consideration. With more and more apps to choose from, businesses releasing mobile applications need to be careful not to turn customers away with an app with a poor user experience. Good usability can be worth its weight in gold in the mobile app world.
With powerful sales numbers coming out of countries all around the world like 40% of retail e-commerce sales in the UK in 2014 being made on a smartphone or tablet (BizReport), mobile is more important than ever to businesses. Using a mobile phone to pay instead of debit or credit cards will make rapid growth over 2015 and businesses not prepared to accept payments via this method will find themselves losing business.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is growing incredibly rapidly with more and more people connecting more devices every day. The application market will further evolve as integration with additional devices continues and clever companies take advantages of the many new opportunities.
The Apple Watch is coming to market in less than a month and developers need to consider creating apps for not only the iPhone and iPad but also the Apple Watch and other wearable devices. Developers can extend their app’s functionality to work with Apple’s wearable device and increase engagement with their audience. While most of applications for wearable devices so far have focused on health care and fitness, that is about to change this year, as we will see businesses releasing apps to improve productivity.
With beacon technology, location based services become more powerful than ever. Apple’s offering iBeacon extends location services for those with iOS devices. With iBeacons, iOS app developers and retailers can target customers in a specific location. Apps interacting with iBeacon will be on the rise in 2015. Retail establishments and other businesses are installing iBeacons to share information with users with Apple devices. Beacons will change the providing of locally-focused content. Businesses should focus on creating apps utilizing this technology to provide information and offers to consumers.
According to a new study from Eptica, mobile web site users demand the same standard of website usability on their devices that they experience using the traditional web. But unlike with the traditional web, many companies are not meeting user expectations. Since more and more consumers are accessing websites via their mobile devices, the usability of mobile web sites is more important than ever and right now many users are disappointed. A survey of 1,000 adults by Eptica found that over 50 percent said over half of the websites they visited on their mobile devices were not optimized for the mobile web.
Eptica goes on to detail the issues that plague consumers’ mobile web experiences: the leading issue was the lack of functionality both on the mobile web and within mobile apps (36 percent), while 34 percent mentioned slow loading speeds and 34 percent were frustrated by websites that were not optimized for smaller mobile screens.
Clearly there are great opportunities that exist for savvy companies that offer users what they are looking for on their mobile devices. Mobile optimized web sites that offer solid fundamentals of usability and load rapidly will keep consumers coming back. Mobile apps must offer users a solid user experience or will be deleted soon in favor of other apps that offer the experience users are looking for.
“With the rapid growth of the mobile arena, there is a huge opportunity for companies that choose to give customers what they are looking for,” says Kimber Johnson, Managing Director of Vanity Point “It isn’t enough just to have a mobile offering. The medium is starting to mature and customers are looking for quality experiences. By not giving your customers the experience they are expecting you are just letting them know you don’t understand mobile and are sending them to someone who does.”
It is more and more important that marketers understand mobile and how to succeed and companies that that do understand mobile are starting to separate themselves from those that do not.
Localytics reported today that app retention rates are improving as mobile app developers and publishers have shifted their focus from downloads to customer acquisition and retention models. They stated that overall, the app industry has improved retention rates 19% over the last year.
Localytics states that “App publishers for the iPhone and iPad saw the greatest success, with retention rates 52% higher than those on Android.” Maybe most interesting is that the percentage of installed apps that were used more than ten times climbed by a solid 5% (from 26% to 31%).
iPhone has a clear advantage when it comes to retention. “iPhone’s far greater app retention rates is also an echo of the 94 percent retention rate of iPhone itself compared to 47 percent for Android,” the Localytics report states.
Clearly, a focus on creating quality mobile applications that are designed with good usability principles and are useful to users is paying dividends to mobile application developers and publishers.