Due to the rise of smartphones, the number of mobile services exploded at the beginning of the decade. In the past five years we've seen mobile devices go from an additional gadget to the most used online device.
Responsiveness has become a mandatory feature for websites and web services. Mobile optimization is essential especially for user experience but also for visibility: Google punishes websites with weak mobile optimization in its search results.
At the same time we live in a world where the assumption is that you can take care of your banking and order food with your smartphone. Mobile optimized web services are better in making people committed to a service, and they also give a competitive advantage in a situation where the differences of providers are small from the consumer's point of view.
“The current concept of separate mobile development will hardly live on for long", says Timo Hänninen, the leader of Liana Technologies' Liana Mobile department, when asked about the future of the industry.
“In terms of application development, separating devices is starting to be a blurred line. Services are becoming standardized regardless of the device and a mobile device becomes the master key to people's everyday activities”, Hänninen continues.
Which factors and concepts shape the development of mobile services from now on? We went through some key examples for this article.
Progressive web apps:
Progressive web apps enable simultaneous development for both desktop and mobile platforms. The same application is used for every platform either with a browser or a separate app. The device in use determines which features can be used (image, video, location services, etc.).
This enables developing one application entity without having to develop a new, separate version for every device. Development in terms of resources is much lighter and the same user experience can be guaranteed to every user, regardless of the device.
Internet of Things (IoT):
Internet of Things means the ever-growing trend where smartphones, smart watches, tablets etc. start to interact with other services more and more. IoT has created buzz in the blogosphere for a couple of years already but we are starting to reach the point where different smart features of devices are becoming increasingly more common. In modern everyday life made smarter you can, for instance:
- see where the bus or other public transportation you're waiting for is currently going
- define a safe play area for your child around your neighborhood
- adjust the temperature of your home
- know exactly when to water your flowers
- open the locks of your home or car with your phone
- pay for your purchases with the contactless payment feature of your phone
- summon your car from the parking lot to the door (Tesla's Summon feature)
- send offers to people that are near your store based on location data.
IoT turns your phone into an everyday pocketknife that enables you to take care of most daily tasks with applications.
In summer 2016 hardly anybody missed the enormous popularity of the Pokémon Go game. The game that is based on augmented reality and location data wasn't the first of its kind even for its developer Niantic, who gained moderate popularity with its previous game Ingress, which focused on visiting landmarks and sights.
The traditional way of doing augmented reality is to bring additional content based on location data to a phone's camera. You can see for example different imagery, animations and text in addition to the live feed. In Pokémon's case the camera showed creatures you could capture. Product reviews and price information can be brought to the camera screen in the same way.
With the popularity that Pokémon has brought, a large amount of augmented reality applications can be expected to emerge and the resources to its development will be increased. Looking further into the future, it can be expected that augmented reality will replace traditional displays to some extent and the information that normally is read from a phone can be read straight from the lenses of eyeglasses.
Marketing and mobile:
All this sounds great but why should a marketer care? Because the majority of the applications that use these concepts aim to improve their users' quality of life and the customer experience. If a company can provide a service that makes banking, for example, notably easier, the treshold to use a service that doesn't grows.
A well optimized mobile experience can provide a significant competitive advantage that has the potential to make people committed. A website that works well on mobile is a great example of how a user, without exceptions, chooses appealing web environments that are easy to read. When it comes to a good customer experience,it's important to think about what other functions, in addition to websites, the company can provide for the mobile environment and what kind of information can be offered to the customers using new technologies.
With the Liana Mobile department Liana Technologies can produce exceptionally versatile marketing solutions for companies and seamlessly integrate a mobile service as part of a website, for example.
If you've been thinking about investing in a better customer experience with mobile devices as well, contact us and let's talk about our solutions together.