What’s next for the wide-open space of Mobile technology? Mobile use surpassed desktop use in 2010, and in mid-2015 Google reported that most of its searches were coming from mobile devices. Given this level of saturation it’s likely that major leaps in accessibility are unlikely to occur, since seemingly everyone already has a mobile device; instead the future is likely to see developments that are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, quiet elaborations and extensions of present abilities and trends. The good news about this is that predicting these developments is relatively easy, barring calamities, and as such are relatively easy to act upon.
While the bare presence of smartphones in people’s pockets and hands is unlikely to dramatically increase, the use of them in specific ways certainly will; the big one will be mobile searches, as mentioned above. People tend to search differently on mobile phones than they do on desktops, especially through the increased use of voice-based searches in which the user speaks their query directly into the search bar or searches with the use of a virtual assistant like Siri. Voice searches tend to be more focused on audio-visual content, so including more audio-visual content in your mobile sites could help make them more accessible to those searching from their phones. Voice searches tend to be longer and also feature more natural language; a great way to respond to this would be to include more natural-language content in your sites. Finally, and this point should be obvious: make sure that your sites are all mobile-optimized as much as possible, since the number of people using mobile devices to access your content is only going to increase for the foreseeable future.
Web content is one thing, native app development is another. Will 2017 be the year that your business makes the leap and invests in your own app?
Creating your own app can increase sales, improve customer experience, help address internal needs, and overall make your company more competitive in the market. Doing so can also help your company ride the wave of new trends that hit their stride in 2016, such as Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things.
Augmented Reality was initially perceived as a gimmick when it first tiptoed into the scene, but the smash success of Pokemon Go and other such apps proved that the space was ready to enter maturity. With the integration of wearable devices into the picture, from smartwatches to fitbits to brain stimulators, the Augmented Reality apps will have greater and greater utility for companies in a wide variety of markets. The Internet of Things is a further extension of this, the creation of ‘smart’ objects that are useful in everyday life while being connected to the cloud. Creating an app that can connect to a new ‘smart’ device, or enhance the user’s experience of their everyday life, may be an option worth considering no matter what it is that your company ultimately does.
One thing is ultimately for sure; the progress of the mobile market will only make it more advantageous to participate as time goes on, so there may not be any better time to get involved than now.