Things are not as they used to be….most of our searches, browsing, and ‘doing’ occurs on our phones these days. The numbers show us that a smaller percentage of these activities happen on our desktops.
As we look at mobile in the recent news and what companies are setting their sights on, there are few things you need to look at for a full picture of the mobile domain.
Wearables – As consumers, we now have the ability to sync our fitness with the cloud, take calls on our wrist devices, and Skype with our friends on our phones. Each of these devices has a different entry point, quality bar, and function. The next frontrunner in this space isn’t clear and while some technology appears cool – sometimes it doesn’t equate to daily use and the incorporation into our normal daily lives. We are seeing that the wearable space is here to stay with these companies investing heavily into design, marketing, and production of luxury goods. Sometimes even appearing on high fashion e-commerce sites. Highly functional, highly stylish, and perhaps highly exclusive is the name of the game here.
Apps – Apps are fun but the ones that we incorporate into our lives (note taking, communication, social media) are helping us with every day task completion. We will continue to see existing online and communications services work to take their desktop success to the mobile realm. It’s not easy to immediately translate desktop success into a mobile design, with all of the same functionality. It takes a definite specialty to master this type of success. On the flip side, mobile only apps will struggle to be robust to exist only in the mobile realm and make themselves relevant enough to warrant users to come back again and again instead of existing on the phone as an icon after initial download.
Hardware – Harder, better, stronger, faster. And waterproof too? Each device maker has its own strengths and niche – however the innovation involved in delivering lighter, faster, clearer, and ‘more beautiful’ will continue to evolve. We will see relationships forged between hardware makers, mobile software platforms, maps, and even search. J A happy marriage of a good cloud ecosystem and hardware will make or break the newest version of hardware released.
Experience – The best combination above that delights the user in terms of performance, usage, apps available for consumption, and longer term innovation is what is going to make any component of mobile successful. In my mind I see user experience as the most important. So much of the apps we see and some of the v1 wearables are clunky and the UI and experience leave much to be desired. Giving the customer what they never knew they needed and can’t live without will be key in addition to helping them live their lives and to know more and do more.