Staying on top of the latest mobile trends
Monday, January 16, 2012
‘Ello and ‘Appy Monday!
Are we using apps enough? According to a recent Flurry survey, app usage is now up to 94 minutes per day, 30 minutes longer than a year ago. This means two things:
1. Apps are getting stickier
2. Smartphones are getting better
This increase in usage is understandable given the specialized nature of some of the apps out there, like the University of Massachusetts Medical School app that’s designed to document physical pain and the response to various treatments that users undergo. In this case, users may interact with the app 5-7 times a day, the kind of usage that would contribute to the survey average. In the second case, we have Smartphones that are small powerhouses. Never mind pocket Aces, these are the real Pocket Rockets of the 21st century. Small enough to slide in our pockets, and powerful enough to run 3D simulation programs alongside other processes.
What’s really interesting though, is to see how apps have evolved and grown substantially in areas that aren’t generally known for leveraging mainstream technologies. There are a slew of apps being developed for medical, engineering, law, banking, real estate, and other enterprise uses outside of the traditional CRM and information models to which app developers have become accustomed. This is a trend which will continue until mobile applications are a simple matter of fact in every company and organization regardless of industry.
With mobile steadily permeating these industries, security is of paramount importance. It’s almost laughable that anti-virus companies are creating a “mobile virus” scare when, in fact, application security begins with development. The same way I’ve been using a Windows PC and stayed virus free for over 10 years, I’m confident that my smartphone won’t get any malware if I’m smart about it. However, I’m not as confident that the permissions I give applications are all above board from a privacy perspective, and I’m not confident that every single mobile payment solution I’m using is actually handling my data in a very secure way. As a result users will begin to feel the pain of sloppy work from trigger happy devs, a good reason why 2012 is predicted to be the year of the mobile professional with security expertise.
The interesting thing about mobile is that it’s such a mosaic. It’s an interesting, fun, and colourful medium, but still hard to make out exactly what’s happening from a big-picture perspective. In 2012, we’ll bet that a lot of loose ends will be coming together with more structured and studied approaches from companies that set forth mobile policies, developers who will be implementing a stricter code for best practices, and more industries will be looking to adapt mobile en masse. These big moves will pave the way for regulation in some cases but also for fewer app travesties in the process. If you’ve been considering the mobile medium, this is the year that it’ll be forced on you.
Are you worried about viruses on your Smartphone? What’s your biggest mobile prediction for 2012?