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Mobility partnerships of the future

24 June, 2015

The mobility ecosystem has evolved rapidly over the last few years. After the launch of the App Store in 2008, there was a rush to develop cool new mo...
home_world

Mobility partnerships of the future

#All #blog #Uncategorized

The mobility ecosystem has evolved rapidly over the last few years. After the launch of the App Store in 2008, there was a rush to develop cool new mobile apps which ranged from the absurd (remember the ‘weird sound’ apps?) to those which genuinely met a consumer need through a mobile solution. The ecosystem saw a new breed of developers and designers – from engineering-focused large outfits to design-focused smaller teams. Companies and brands were a bit late to jump on the mobility train, but they eventually did. Today, every large enterprise has felt the need for mobility to be at the centre of their business strategy. Several consumer-facing brands too are exploring opportunities in mobile apps to increase consumer engagement.

What do these changes mean for the mobile developer ecosystem? Have expectations from a mobility partner changed? What shape will mobility solutions take in the near future? Herewith some observations:

The age of the full-stack mobility partner is upon us

Gone are the days when developing a mobile app simply meant thrashing out a few designs, developing wireframes or mockups and getting it all coded at a throwaway price. Gone also are the days of companies & brands rushing into developing a mobile app simply because it is cool to have one. Today, a mobility solution calls for deep category analysis from a business and tech perspective, developing a mobile strategy which dovetails into the business strategy, developing an optimal mobile architecture, creating an ideal task flow from a usability perspective, developing wireframes, creating designs and then engineering it all. What’s more, the actual work begins after the app is deployed! Analysing user behaviour, monitoring and analysing download numbers & patterns is a science in itself. Overcoming the challenges faced in app discovery, creating a compelling story about the mobile solution, reaching the story out to potential audience in a compelling manner and creating a buzz in digital media – are key must-have specialities. Companies and brands are better off looking for mobility partners who can cover the entire gamut of providing a bespoke mobility solution – strategy, design, engineering, analytics and marketing.

Team with specialists and generalists

A one-solution-fits-all approach is unlikely to work in today’s business scenario. Sure, there is always room for niche players and specialists but a mobility solutions partner who is best placed to deliver bespoke client solutions – whatever they might be, holds an edge. A consumer-facing brand may need a mobile game while a niche industrial brand may need a sales solution for internal stakeholders. A mobility solutions partner who proactively studies the client’s business, recommends a custom solution and has the ability to deliver whatever is best will be sought after by corporations. Providing such a solution calls for brand strategists, engineers, usability specialists, designers, data scientists and marketing gurus working together as one team seamlessly, focused on one goal.

Proliferation is upon us and it is everywhere. Devices, screens, platforms, media, information – they all are getting increasingly cluttered. In such a scenario, navigating through to a right mobility solution which cuts through the clutter and delivers value to the end consumer is going to be a challenge. Corporations and brands need a mobility partner who is up to this challenge.

mobile_app

The importance of mobile apps in a convergent world

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Mobile Apps will decide your product’s success’ proclaimed a Techcrunch article recently. The crux of the argument is that the presence of a useful mobile app, is often a clincher in product purchase decisions. The author goes on to urge companies to look at mobile apps from this lens:

How can you meaningfully integrate mobile app content and functions with your product, utility, or service? How can you leverage mobile touch points to engage consumers throughout the purchase path? And how can your app extend the usefulness of your product and increase its value and relevance? Aim for apps that perform an integral, delightful, convenience-enhancing service for users.

Any product whose utility can be enhanced through the presence of a mobile app is bound to delight its users. The sheer joy of controlling your television or home theatre system through a mobile app is an experience which is bound to create an ‘expectation threshold’ for consumers. Once a consumer has a taste of such an experience he will look for it in related categories. Suddenly a satellite dish service that cannot be operated through a mobile app then feels archaic. Opportunities to delight consumers through useful mobile apps abound across categories. For example, an automobile is a considered, high involvement purchase which is used every day. A mobile app which acts as a travel companion to the user offering inputs on mileage or any other useful service would be welcome. Fiat Eco Drive was one such effort – providing diagnostic information to improve fuel efficiency.

The advent of connected devices beyond smartphones & tablets opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Alarm.com’s garage door opening app, SPG’s app that unlocks hotel rooms and such like are just the beginning. The lack of such apps may be a deterrent to product purchase in the near future.

Is your company geared for the future through an optimal, relevant mobility solution? Why not write to us and lets talk!

wwdc15og

Key WWDC announcements: what does it mean for brands and developers

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Any announcement from Apple or news about an Apple product or service is guaranteed media attention. The media gaze is heightened during the WWDC and this year’s event was no exception. Several lengthy posts have been written scrutinising every aspect of the event. Herewith some of the issues we noted from an industry insider perspective:

App thinning

This is perhaps an announcement not adequately highlighted in personal tech portals and blogs. According to the official document:

The App Store and operating system optimize the installation of iOS and watchOS apps by tailoring app delivery to the capabilities of the user’s particular device, with minimal footprint. This optimization, called app thinning, lets you create apps that use the most device features, occupy minimum disk space, and accommodate future updates that can be applied by Apple. Faster downloads and more space for other apps and content provides a better user experience.

What this means is that app thinning can significantly reduce the size of installed apps. This will come in handy for devices with relatively lower storage – the 8GB and 16GB ones. As this article from Ars Technica explains making this works should not require a lot of extra work from developers.

Ad blocking in Safari

Adblockers are common on the desktop.  According to Monday Note, ‘300m people in the world have downloaded an ad blocking extension and about half have actually installed it’. With iOS 9, Apple has given developers the option to include ‘content blocker’ extensions that define resources (like images and scripts) for Safari to not load. Some are calling it a blow to mobile advertising, while some others may see it an enhancing the mobile experience as it saves data. It will be interesting to see how the implementation pans out in the coming months.

Swift goes open source

Loud applause and cheer greeted the announcement about Swift going open source. The news has been welcomed by the developer community and such a move will hopefully benefit the community and the end consumer.

Aside from the above, WatchKit and HomeKit announcements at the WWDC could lead to vast improvements in the app experience for end consumers.

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