The smartphone revolution owes its success to the thriving third-party app development market. Apps created by the platform owners as well as third-party developers have brought exceptional convenience to the smartphone users.
There are apps for email, productivity tracking, health tracking, ordering food, banking, and more. On the other end of the utility-absurdity spectrum, there’s an app to make your very own voodoo dolls. There’s an app that allows you to fake a call to get out of a meeting. There’s an app for pretty much anything and everything you can think of.
So, what’s the next big thing in mobile?
If you think it’s an app, it’s not. The next big thing in the world of mobile will likely not be apps, but something that will probably be closely related to them or perhaps, even driven by them. Here are some of the potential candidates.
Consumers don’t want apps. They want functionalities offered by the apps.
The average user has about 60-90 apps on their smartphone. Out of these, only 30-40 apps are used by smartphone owners each month. The rest of them lay dormant on their devices untouched by the users.
What’s even more striking is that the number of apps consumers use each month is expected to go down in 2019. Trends indicate that people are using fewer and fewer apps. The writing on the wall is clear – smartphone users are now saturated by the never-ending variety and volume of apps. There’s nothing new about them anymore.
Future consumers will demand functionalities, instead of having to browse their apps list, find the relevant app, click on it, wait for it to open, navigate it, find the right button and then click on it. The answer to their demand will be something like Amazon Dash button – a standalone button to trigger a predetermined functionality, such as ordering food, starting the washing machine, increasing the temperate of AC, and so on.
Businesses must understand that the novelty of apps is waning and with it, the consumers’ desire to interact with the apps. So, it’s probably the right time to move the focus from user interface to simplified functionality delivery. Widgets that allow users to create dedicated buttons with predefined functions on the home screen are one of the answers.
Consumers continue to be besotted with their smartphone. So, it’s little too early to portend the death of smartphones.
However, mobility will soon evolve beyond the mobile devices and perhaps, even reduce the relevance of smartphones.
As discussed previously, consumers desire functionalities. So, businesses continue to find new and delightful ways of delivering them these functionalities to their customers. Devices like Amazon Echo, and Google Home have marked the birth of a new era. They offer many of the features offered by smartphones, albeit with just voice commands from their users. The best part? Users don’t have to search and find their phones to get these functionalities. They can shout the commands, and these virtual assistants will get the job done.
In other words, mobility has transcended smartphones and IoTs. Mobility is now an integrated environment created by an ecosystem of devices.
If businesses can figure out how to deliver all their app-based services and functionalities in a device-agnostic way, then this omnipresent computing will render our most cherished devices irrelevant, or in the language of tech – dead.