The mobile market is in a fast-growing stage. Today, the mobile phone is, for most people, the first thing they see when they wake up in the morning and the last before they go to sleep at night. Mobile solutions are effective ways for you to communicate with existing as well as potential customers.
The sales of smart phones are increasing, and it is said to surpass the sales of computers in 2013. Currently in Denmark, more than every third Dane has a smart phone. And an analysis in the U.S. shows that a person spends 81 minutes in average per day on mobile applications (June 2011), this is nearly a doubling in only one year (in June 2010 the number was 43 minutes), and 74 minutes on mobile websites.
With today's smart phones, it is possible to design services that users have access to wherever and whenever. These services could be information about new products, promotions or entertainment. With smart phones you get the message quickly and efficiently communicated to the end users.
In general, we recommend that you consider the message and target audience before you go into technical details. One way could be to create a tailored solution to your customers, if you know what type of phone they use. Another way could be to create a solution that fits several types of mobile phones, and thereby reach a broader segment. Furthermore, there may be great branding value in having a fantastic Android, BlackBerry, iPhone or Windows Phone application.
The most popular solutions within mobile technology are:
A mobile application is a small program, which you download to the phone, and is thereby fixed on the mobile. Unlike other mobile solutions, there are more possibilities with a mobile application as it can use the phone's advanced features. A mobile app can work without access to the Internet, giving us the opportunity of creating services, which could be relevant in situations where you are not online. Examples could be a game while on the go or a currency calculator in a shop abroad, where there is no Internet. These options may vary depending on the type of mobile platform that is used, because of the differences in the construction of the platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, etc.
With mobile apps you can make use of the mobile's built-in features such as:
- The camera, for visual functions
- GPS for expanded location-based services
- Movement sensor, which depends on how the phone is moved or held
- Speaker, microphone, address book, flash, touch screen etc.
- Outstanding user experience
- Making use of all the phone's features
- Interaction between functions in the phone and the Internet
- Works offline, therefore, we are potentially in contact with the user around the clock
- Fixed presence on the phone
- Easy to charge for content
- Requires a solid business case
- Many different platforms and thus more maintenance
- Requires approval from some app stores, but not all
- User experience must be thought through for each platform
A mobile website is a website, as we know it from the computer, the difference is that the mobile website is specially made for mobile phones. A mobile website can be tailored and made more simple so it only has the most relevant features from the original website. Thereby, you can avoid all the unnecessary text and get a more clear and user-friendly design. Compared to mobile apps, mobile websites are limited in terms of features. This is because the mobile website only has the same functions as a normal website, i.e. You cannot have functions which uses the phone's camera, motion sensors etc. On the other hand, a mobile website is typically faster to load than a regular website because it is smaller. This increases the user experience and minimizes data consumption.
- Can run on all mobile phones with Internet
- Typical extremely simple functionality
- Clear interface design
- Requires Internet access
- Limited functionality (no use of camera, sensor etc.)
In general, a web application is a mix between a mobile app and a mobile website. Figuratively speaking, it is a mobile website wrapped-in as a mobile app. A web app can have an app-icon, so it looks like an app, but in reality it is a link to a mobile website.
A web app is a good solution if you e.g. want to keep your customers updated in terms of latest news etc.
- Good communication via the Internet (e.g. News etc.)
- Simple to develop
- Requires no approval from an app store
- Fixed location on the phone and thereby presence
- Limited functionalities (e.g. No camera etc.)
A widget is a small mobile application that adds simple functionality to your home screen(s). A widget can be downloaded either separately as a mobile app or together with an ordinary app. Like a mobile app the features depend on the chosen mobile platform. Unlike a mobile app, which is automatically enabled after installation, a widget needs to be manually activated, which many people are not aware of. Most smart phones have pre-installed widgets such as a clock, weather and calendar function. A widget does not necessarily need Internet access. For example, a widget that shows weather forecasting can be updated from a website, while a widget that display the time do not need Internet access. Common for widgets are they only use small amounts of data when they download the update. This is an advantage, since low data usage is cheaper for the consumer.
- Does not require nor use much data
- Ideal for simpler solutions and simple functionality
- Presence on the phone and thus improves user retention
- Limited features
- Can be difficult to activate
- Do not work on all platforms, incl. iPhone
With SMS/MMS solutions you can both send and receive information, and thereby build a dialogue with customers. The solutions are usually simple and could be competitions, news or polls. The SMS solution is a two-way communication. This makes it easier for consumers to react immediately. SMS solutions are an older technology, which gives some limitations in terms of innovation. On the other hand, because it is an old and well-known technology, many users feel comfortable with the SMS. It may be relevant with an SMS solution if your target audience does not have smart phones or mobile phones with Internet access.
- Opportunity to reach people without smart phones or Internet
- Old technology that users feel comfortable with
- Limited opportunities for innovation
- Costs € 0.02-0.04 per message
- Old and slow protocol (140 bytes per message)
Did you know?
Q3 2011 in UK: iPhone is on 3rd place
A new report from Q3 in UK shows that Android phones have accounted for a commanding 44% of acquisitions in the past 6 months. Second place is Blackberry (25%), while iPhone gets a 3rd place (18%). The analysis shows the recent tendency and not the whole market shares, where iPhone is still a big player. Therefore, there is no clear market leader among the platforms. Android and iPhone are the biggest, with BlackBerry and Symbian not far behind. The report helps give an indication of how the market could look like in a foreseeable future. According to the analysis, a mobile solution for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone would be able to cover almost 90% of the smartphone-market. This leads to great potential user uptake. It is therefore important to be cautious when organizing development efforts and this is one area where we excel and can help you.
Nielsen press release
There are currently more than 60 application stores on the market?
Depending on market, platform and target audience it may pay off to publish the applications developed on different app stores. The cost of investing in a wide range of app stores is minimal compared to the benefits of a potential exponential increase in user uptake. Therefore, it is rarely pays off only to target the most famous stores. We can help you to understand what makes sense to publish through.