The day has become shorter in the 21st century. There is too much to do and the day seems too short. Huge urban conglomerations have also necessitated ever increasing commuting times. There is very little time left where a person is both completely free and still has energy left in the tank; which means that for every waking hour, there is always more than one task that is jostling for our attention.
The concept of multi-tasking perhaps was borne out of this very necessity, for if you cannot increase time, you can certainly stretch it, fit more things into it. Instead of ordinary little bags of sixty stitches, multitasking has allowed time to become like Hermione’s (up top Harry Potter fans!) satchel- possibilities are simply endless! And playing the most pivotal role in stretching our time are those wonderful little (although the way things are headed, I don’t know how long “little” can be a credible adjective) things that sit snug on our palms- the mobile phone.
Mobile phones, which originally were created to satiate the human thirst for instant connectivity while… well, mobile (hence the name!), are today our singular point of contact for not just connectivity (of which there are several forms!), but also of entertainment, information and society at large. Yes, those shine five-inch or so shiny display screens command our gaze for a major part of the day and in return allow us to be socially connected, entertained and even be punctual in terms of important daily activities by sending us timely updates. In a way, we have allowed the cell phone to manage our lives, ceded control and taken a step back. We have needed to. Life is just too much to take at times.
However what this over dependence on the cell phone has done is that it has rendered a lot of other things as obsolete and some others as useless antiques! While the pretty aluminum alarm clock is just an “antique-y” looking thing to decorate your house with, laptops for domestic usage and even tablets are quickly slipping away into oblivion. And mind you, the last two came onto the scene much later than mobile phones! It’s just that the humble mobile phone decided to get a million dollar makeover, got infinitely smarter and then challenged other gadgets with a “what else have you got!” attitude before we even realized!
The subway systems today, far more numerous than a few decades ago, carry much more passengers per car than even twenty years ago. And while till the 1990’s subways were a place to connect with others over debates, chatter and the occasional “Hey, look where you are going!” today one finds the overwhelming majority of commuters with their necks bent, eyes transfixed on the five-inch glow in their hands. Today the trains are eerily silent except for the automated announcements and the conductor speaking, well “conductor”! (Some things just don’t change). People still connect though, they connect through social media and chat apps.
They still read the paper on the subway. It is just that they read real-time news on news apps. And while there are no musicians playing on the subway anymore, there are detailed and highly individualized playlists at everybody’s fingertips, thanks to music apps. The world today accessorizes on shopping apps, buys groceries online, books doctors’ appointments online and heck! It even dates online! Is it any wonder then that mobile apps are so rampant and so very vital to our existence!
As a business, the mobile app developer is your most important person. A good one is a prized asset! Here are a few statistics that highlight how important mobile apps have become and how they dominate our online landscape.
As you can see with the chart presented here, the average user spends almost 400% more time on a mobile app, as compared to even an online website!
Source- comScore Mobile Metrix
Then there is this statistic which shows how internet usage has gradually shifted away from desktop devices to more handheld devices in recent times
And lastly you can see here a prediction about how mobile app downloads are going to increase in the next few years, with the figure expected to exceed 250 billion in the next three years. Many though will call it a rather conservative estimate!
What is aptly clear here is that the dominance of handheld devices as the choice of accessing the internet is absolute and total. That apps, the more structured and user friendly way to access a website would grow in popularity is but obvious. If you own a business today and are content with your standard website so far, then think again?
Apps are today the preferred way to access content and services on the internet. If you are not part of that world, then you might just find yourself left behind on a very uninhabited and inhospitable Mars! People often have this misconception that since their business is not part of the more “traditionally acceptable” domains like e-commerce, gaming or online services, that they wouldn’t require apps. Even if your business is as outlandish as dog grooming services or even if you are a small café you must think of at least creating a mobile friendly website, if not an app. However, always keep the plan of creating an app ready. Cause, what if your dog grooming services spread to multiple cities and there is the small matter of creating and managing appointments? What if your small café starts to deliver or becomes a blockbuster chain? You will need an app to take online orders, book tables and what not.
Apps are sources of information, CRM platforms and online representatives of a company or brand- all rolled into one. They carry out all the functions that a traditional website would do- it’s just that they allow you to do so on a five-inch small screen with the just couple of your fingers, anywhere and everywhere!
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