I’ve been around computing since long before the PC was even a spark in the consciousness of those involved in data manipulation.
I’m speaking here of a computer that is used in a “personal” manner. In fact, my first exposure to computers and programming was (if you can imagine this), in 1966.
In the years since, I’ve watched the incredible growth and buoyancy of the PC and connected devices market, with absolute amazement. But, the growth in the mobile market, and the increased functionality of mobile devices, has not only amazed me, but has left me dizzy!
I found that keeping up with the breathtaking changes in the mobile/connected devices world, has been more than a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I discovered a solution that ties the missing bits and pieces together, all in one place.
IdentityMine, a leading-edge digital application and software solution developer for multi-screen, multi-touch, multi-platform, and multi-hardware devices, recently released its Application and Mobile Application Development Trends Report for 2011, which includes for good measure, a look at what we can expect in this expansive market in 2011.
This report has been the perfect catch up tool which brought into focus a number of data points that had completely passed me by. If you need a refresher on what’s been happening in the mobile market, and what’s likely to occur in the coming year, you’ll find the following information invaluable.
Application and Mobile Application Development Trends Impacting 2010 (and the Outlook for 2011):
1. In 2010, Mobile stopped being about form factor – it became about users. Mobile previously was defined as anything that can travel with you (not just phones) – including tablets. In 2010, Zuckerberg redefined mobile as anything that you can use while ambulating, which is basically anything that fits into your hands (and does not include tablets and laptops). We can already see this trend happening with iPhone 4 and Windows Phone 7. In 2011, we can expect smaller form factor out of all our devices and the focus to shift from mobile devices to mobile users with a variety of hardware devices.
2. In 2010, IdentityMine became aware that Mobile devices were vector transmitters. In 2010, IdentityMine created an unscientific study and found that touch-enabled devices like, iPads, smart phones and other devices particularly in high-traffic environments such as hospitals, retails stores, and hotel lobbies mobile devices transmitted illness. When sick people use an iPad and pass it around, other people pick up germs. In 2011, we can anticipate that healthcare will increase attention on gesture-based navigation (as opposed to touch-based) as a way to prevent disease/virus transmission. We foresee applications for gesture everywhere from clinic waiting rooms to surgical suites.
3. In 2010, People let go of keyboards and mice. Two revolutionizing technologies occurred in rapid succession prompting this phenomena (iPad and Kinect). NOTE: iPad isn’t gesture-based. The iPad managed to do what tablets had been trying to achieve for some time, and surprisingly was a huge hit with seniors and baby boomers, who are not usually early adopters. Kinect was a game changer, particularly with developers. While some speculated that Kinect it seemed like a response to the Wii, Kinect actually taught UX experts new ideas about navigation and gesture control and they are already utilizing the hardware to produce applications that are gesture-based. We can expect more gesture-enabled and voice-enabled applications in 2011.
4. In 2010, the gaming market started redefining the software application market. We can expect this to continue into 2011. Enterprise applications will take on gaming features with Gamification. We can expect companies to start managing employee activity through apps. Anticipate that companies will integrate a reward/badge system. Applications like Yelp, FourSquare, and Gowalla added game play to every day activities, and in 2011/2012, we expect enterprises and non-recreational applications to start incorporating gaming-style rewards to non-gaming behaviors.
Additional Application and Mobile Application Development Trends Impacting 2011:
1. Application Design becomes increasingly important. With the release of iPhone 4, Droid and Windows 7, mobile users became addicted to good design in 2010. Mobile application providers tried to provide intuitive applications. In 2011, we can expect that UX designers at agencies will be tasked to create beautiful intuitive design.
2. People will want the cloud even if they don’t realize they want the cloud. We can also expect that every application will need to function with a single login. UX designs will be tasked to figure out how to minimize login experiences without compromising security.
3. In 2011, We can expect continued Market Fragmentation when developing applications. Even though developers are being pushed to choose between specializing in a UX (Mobile, Touch, Desktop, etc.) and specializing in a platform (IOS, .NET, Silverlight, MonoDroid, etc.), Developers will need to develop apps for multiple devices/platforms. Much like the .com boom, the strong will survive, while application development will become despecialized (especially as more tools are available)
4. Application development bubble will take on air. In 2010, consumers saw a plethora of applications hit the market. The bubble is growing, and will probably burst in the next 12-18 months.
5. Application Monetization will continue to take more of a focus. Many applications are incredibly cheap, considering the effort that goes into making a sophisticated one (such as IMDb or History Here or SBB). Because the price points make it difficult to monetize apps, there will be an increase in ad-sponsored apps.
6. Application utility will take more of a focus. Apple and other vendors are encouraging volume for application monetization. However, out of 250k apps in the Apple app store, only a small percentage actually are used long-term and have lasting impact. In 2011, we can expect there to be a host of applications that improve people’s lives. 3/4s of apps are deleted within 72 hours of being downloaded; in 2011 the focus will be on useful apps as much as fun ones.
7. Microsoft kicked some ass – both WP7 and Kinect, which came out mere months apart were legitimate advancements in technology, vs. the “long-follow” approach that they were typically accused of. Windows Phone 7 is a big advancement for mobile app developers (which will ultimately benefit users), and Kinect leapfrogged Wii and other gaming companies are rushing to compete.
About IdentityMine, Inc.
Headquartered in Tacoma, WA, IdentityMine is an expert interactive design and user experience (UX) company. They develop leading-edge digital applications and software solutions for multi-screen, multi-touch, multi-platform, and multi-hardware devices for a variety of markets including mobile, retail and sports. They are able to create unique digital interactive user experiences by leveraging deep expertise in a variety of platforms to deliver highly engaging mobile, Internet and other media experiences for major brands in mainstream markets.
Clients include: Microsoft, Path 36, The New Orleans Saints, Elektra NOC, Nordstrom and others. More information about IdentityMine can be found here.
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