This is the mobile generation. The average mobile phone user spends about 90 minutes on their device, which may not seem like a lot but look at that over a year and it’s 23 days, over a lifetime it’s 3.9 years. 3.9 years spent using a mobile phone!
Of course, some people are much heavier users. Just take a look at the millennials – the selfie generation. Techinfographics recently reported that over one million selfies are taken every day. On top of this, 36% of those selfies are being retouched before being posted, and 13% of women said that they retouch every single selfie that they eventually post. In fact, Samsung says that selfies make up 40% of photos taken by anyone between 18 and 24 years old.
The number of phone subscriptions worldwide (6.8 billion) is now almost equal to the number of people on the planet (seven billion). This doesn’t mean that everyone has a mobile phone. In more affluent countries, many people have two, and in others some have none. However, the rise of the mobile phone has been astonishing, and it’s only taken us a little more than 20 years to get here.
Our handsets are faster, have more memory and greater capabilities than ever before, and the software and apps that are available to us are ever growing. With so many mobile developments, happening at such a fast rate, it’s hard to keep up with the current trends. So here are the top mobile trends that you need to know about right now.
We’re Bored of the Smartphone
The trouble with the smartphone is that it’s become too commonplace. People aren’t excited about it anymore, and upgrading your phone is often more about getting something without a cracked screen rather than the latest bit of smartphone tech.
The clear leader in the smartphone pack is apple. It was estimated that there were a total of 94 million iPhones in use in the US alone in March last year. Closely following Apple is Samsung, but its sales seem to be dropping. Samsung’s S5 mobile sold 40 million fewer units than the S3 – so they really need their S6 mobile to do well.
The smartphone industry needs to shake things up, but nobody seems to know how to do it. At Mobile World Congress last year there was a distinct lack of grand announcements about actually innovative mobile advancements. However, there does seem to be a move towards smartphones that come with less bloatware. They’re moving away from the walled garden approach and towards mobile phone operating systems.
The Rise Of Cross Platform Apps
Do you remember a time when, not so long ago, if you didn’t have an iPhone you had to wait for the second release of a mobile app? Or on the flip side, all of your Android friends would flaunt their most recent app release over you? Moreover, you would have a note-taking app on your mobile, but then you would have to look at the phone’s screen constantly to have access to its data, and so on. This has, thankfully, become an issue of the past with more and more apps being developed to work across platforms.
With new tools on the market it is now easier than ever to create cross platform apps, and 80% of users believe that they are the most cost-effective approach. The cross platform tools market has risen from a value of $3.2 billion in 2013 to $4.6 billion in 2015, and it’s predicted to rise to $7.5 billion in 2018.
There are now more cross platform apps available than ever before, fulfilling a range of services. There are productivity tools like Evernote, which helps you take down all sorts of notes in different formats – from text to pictures and voice notes. However, this app’s main benefit is its cross-platform nature. You can boost your productivity across your mobile, tablet and desktop, as each thing you choose to note down is accessible on the web, your Windows or Mac, your Android or iOS device and of course your tablet. But there are also benefits for those used to playing their favorite games on a desktop computer, who can enjoy an identical experience on mobile devices. Entertainment brands such as online poker room PokerStars also make sure that in today’s connected world, their players can enjoy the benefits of their desktop client on the go. Therefore, they developed a mobile version with identical features. It’s a brave new cross-platform app world out there and we predict that it’s only going to grow.
We’ll All Be Wearing Wearables
We’ve already discussed how the smartphone market is in trouble due to over-saturation, but the wearable market is a whole new arena to play in. Most people will only have one phone, however they can have multiple wearables.
Apple’s latest product launch, its Apple Watch, created a decent amount of hype (although maybe it didn’t match that of other Apple products). During the week of April 10th in 2015, Apple was selling 200,000 units a day in the US. Still, this has now dropped to 20,000 watches a day – a pretty huge decline.
Perhaps the reason for this drop is that the hype of the product not meeting the expectations of the wearers. The hefty price tag might also be a factor. Despite this drop in sales, wearables are still in their infancy, and there is room for the market to perfect its offerings.
Currently focused more towards the fitness market, we expect to see the wearable world expand away from this, focusing more on health, physical security and mobile payments.
We Reached the Cloud and we’re not Coming Down
When people first started talking about “the cloud,” the excitement generally reserved for developers and web geeks. But it’s now becoming more common place in the lives of everyone. In fact, approximately 90% of internet users globally are already on the cloud, even if they don’t realise it. Which can be a lifesaver in terms of backup and accessibility.
It’s also been estimated that traffic to the cloud from mobiles will grow at a rate of 63% between now and 2018. This is partly due to the rise of cross platform apps and wearable technology. It’s going to be more important for developers to focus on the ability to integrate and sync our apps on multiple devices, and the cloud offers a solution to this.
Predictions indicate that there will be more cloud offerings and a stronger market for the consumer to pick and choose their provider. We’ll have a coherent existence of phone, tablet, computer and wearable where they are all perfectly in sync with each other. Here’s to the next 20 years of mobile technologies!