The results from the 2012 Appys:
Best app 2012: Sky Sports News
Best game: Angry Birds
Best news & weather: BBC News
Best social & messaging: Facebook
Best food & cooking: Domino’s Pizza
Best money saving: Groupon
Best sport: Sky Sports News
Best fashion & shopping: eBay
Best photography & video: Adobe Photoshop Express
Best celebrity & entertainment: YouTube
Best health & well-being: NHS Direct
Best music: YouTube
Best travel: Google Maps
Do you agree with these? Feel free to comment and add some of your favourite apps.
Handset price and availability of apps are also important factors and marketers have to weigh the closed, controlled environment of iOS against Android’s open platform when devising their mobile strategies.
In this week’s AppBeat episode, Brian Boroff makes the case that user’s buy the handset over the operating system. However, when investing into your mobile app you will quickly find this is based on operating system, not handset – and there is little leveragability and high cost when building across multiple operating systems.
As such, how does one know where to invest?
Firstly, these days there are two types of phone on the market – feature phones, and smart phones, according to Neilsen in the USA, smartphones overtook feature phones by market share in Feb 2012. At that time smartphones accounted for 66% of new phone sales. Of smartphones, there are four key operating systems, by new sales their market share according to Gartner Q4 2011 was Android (50.9%), Apple iOS (23.8%), Symbian (11.7%), Blackberry RIM (8.8%). Of these, Symbian has declined year on year 64% & Blackberry 33%, so you probably want to wait for these platforms to plateau before investing into them. This really only leaves Android and iOS for those looking for a strong return on their investment. While Android is a long way ahead of iOS by way of sales, it should be noted that within iOS, apps are generally of a higher quality and more accessible to the user. As such, they will deliver you stronger user engagement per install.
Following Brian’s insight that consumers buy predominately on handset rather than operating system, you need to consider the demographic profile of your user. As a broad sweeping statement, the most recent iOS device will trump most Android devices on both technical specification (other than screen size) and usability yet are much more expensive, so the question becomes, are your target customers price conscious?
By covering off both Android and iOS operating systems, you get pretty good coverage of all likely users to install a third party app on their mobile phone so, if budget allows, the recommendation is to do both. Given that this usually results in near double the cost, it is recommended to first deliver to your best platform, then take onboard learning from your users’ engagement patterns and factor them in when building out your second platform.
Phil Peters, MD of txt2 and 5 Star Lives has over 10 years experience leading the design and development of enterprise solutions around the world, Phil brings a unique mix of strong technical and commercial skills and is one of the leading minds in the innovation, development and commercialisation of very large, scalable, complex systems.See More
The first step to killer app development is picking the right operating system. This week, Grapple Chief Strategy Officer Adam Levene gives us the right formula for app development that drives revenue growth. The key is to “keep the main thing, the main thing” and know whom your customer is and what operating system they are on, then develop a mobile strategy around that.
Well said by Adam Levene in this week’s AppBeat episode, a good mobile app ensures the main thing is the main thing. Does that translate into a good app for your business though?
The app you should be investing into, is one that you can ensure will be picked up by your target users, this means they need to know about it, be excited by it and be able to install it (the right platform). Many businesses make the mistake of thinking customers will seek out your app, that an app store listing is enough to distribute your app – this is far from the truth and indeed I have seen a number of big name businesses with fewer than 10 downloads a day of their app without any distribution strategy in play.
Your app experience should be built around a business case – ideally one that capitalises on the strength of mobile, namely, always-on, highly personal, location aware, convenient at times when the user has spare time, real-time alerting, and the fact it is inherently a communication device. The best examples I see are apps designed for live content distribution in an interesting way which develops regular user engagement with a view of driving the customer back to a physical store or website for conversion.
So should I be trying to convert users in-app to my goals? As much as is practical, yes, but don’t distract the user from the core proposition of your app, which is generating regular user engagement. As your mobile presence matures you will naturally start to see conversion in-app, however there are too many apps out there where the focus is making a sale within the app – or where the content is stale, neglecting to create a strong proposition for regular user engagement – thus undermining the ability to convert the user.
This week mobile expert Brian Boroff talks to us about the most important mobile platforms for 2012.
Boroff is the CEO of Mobilife, a service that facilitates mobile price comparison for consumers based on their phone usage habits. His insights are sure to help guide you and your team on how to invest resources for the remainder of the year.