Google Play, the app store for Android mobile devices, features more than 700,000 apps. Image via fb.com
Has the world gone mad for mobile apps? And does it make any difference to your business?
There seems to be an insatiable demand for mobile applications in this dawning era of mobile computing.
The Apple App Store now offers well over 700,000 applications for download, with over a million submitted, and Google Play, the app store for Android mobile devices, has similar numbers.
Apple has now registered over 40 billion downloads from its site — with over 20 billion of those occurring in 2012. And sales of mobile devices now exceed sales of PCs, so the trend isn't likely to reverse.
Many eyes are on the frenzied mobile app market, trying to decipher the uptick in activity and assess what it means to the business world.
Much of the mobile application space is filled with apps that are fun, trivial and not business targeted. But many applications are targeted at efficiencies, improvements in tracking and reporting and other useful business functions.
The size of the activity numbers is so large that there are clearly major shifts to mobile platforms as productivity platforms. New business apps are introduced daily, and the trend continues to rise. Factors behind this continued rise include relatively low price points, ease of distribution of apps and ease of access to apps.
To businesses who supply a mobile product as part of their solutions, as my business does, this is good news. User comfort with mobile apps is at a record high, as is the desire for mobile solutions and overall prevalence of mobile platforms.
Businesses who don’t deal in mobile application products are still finding themselves, having to, at least, consider the movement.
Do you have a traditional website? It may be time to re-think it if you don’t have a sleek mobile version. One recent study reported that 74 percent of all searches looking for local goods come via smartphones. If you're a business trying to attract local customers and you don’t have a strong mobile presence, you may be a half step behind your competition.
The good news for most businesses is that in a mobile-centered world, computing platforms are cheaper, applications are cheaper and access is easier.
A business operating in 2013 just needs to accept we live in this new mobile era, devise a strategy around it — and move forward and be appy!