THE STATE OF MOBILE 2013 A Yearly Report on Consumer Trends & the State of Technology in the Mobile Space
EDITORIAL “Mobile”. When In the Pocket launched early 2010, mobile was smartphones. The iPad hadn’t been released yet, so the tablet market was insignificant. Apps were nifty little pieces of software, often designed to showcase the potential of smartphones with their GPS, motion detection, camera, etc. When we founded In the Pocket we called ourselves a “mobile agency” and were the first to do so in Belgium. Our company was basically just 3 guys with a laptop (Pieterjan, Louis and myself), convinced they were tapping into the most promising digital market for the next decade. It took us a couple of months to reach a headcount of 7, operating from Louis’ living room. We felt the digital market shift in our advantage and we are still feeling this today. Mobile is overtaking what we used to call digital. The smartphone and the tablet have become pivotal objects in our digital experience. Entertainment, news, social, utility: the desktop is losing ground fast. Only for work and productivity do we open our laptop, and that too is starting to crumble. But mobile offers more: it connects with your TV, with your domotica and with your car. It controls your smartwatch and your Google Glass. You use mobile to make payments, to navigate and to take pictures.
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We’ve been going strong for 3 years now and have released just over 250 apps. This report is meant to share the experience and knowledge we gained in these past 3 years. It should be used as a reference document to help you with business decisions. We want to give you the bottom lines to the question: “What is the state of mobile today?” We cherry-picked from our rich portfolio of projects to dig into the statistics. Many of our projects and apps reach wide audiences, which are representative samples. We’re positive you will find the results of our research compelling. In a nutshell: mobile went mainstream and is still accelerating. If there is one take away we want to give you with this document, it’s this: we will see businesses transform as mobile adoption and innovation continues – make sure you’re in the driver’s seat. Enjoy the read, Jeroen Lemaire Managing Partner In the Pocket
Looking Ahead: Mobile in 2014
Why iOS is Better vs. Why Android is Better
5 Things You Should Know About Mobile Before You Start Making Apps
Disruption and Opportunity: How Mobile is Changing Your Business
LOOKING AHEAD: MOBILE IN 2014 Jeroen Lemaire
Jeroen is co-founder of In the Pocket, acting as Managing Partner. He keeps an eye on the trends and innovations that drive the fast-paced world of mobile.
With CPU’s getting faster, sensors getting better and new device-to-device communication technologies, we are about to enter the “sci-fi” era of mobile. In terms of business opportunity it is clear that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. But that tip has already brought entire businesses to its knees and given rise to others. What can you expect in 2014?
Mobile and the Internet of Things Mobile devices have already shown off their potential as remote controls for televisions and other connected devices. But the rise of compatible software in cars, smart domotica and so-called “wearables” will really bring mobile beyond the smartphone and the tablet. Google Glass, Samsung’s Smartwatch, Apple’s anticipated television: they all have one thing in common: You need a smartphone or tablet to control them. They will propel an entirely new app niche, but will also expand the functionality of many apps you already use. Any device with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi becomes smart. The vast business potential of this evolution is almost completely untapped.
Location, Part Two The built-in GPS in smartphones was a game changer. Navigation, tracking, nearby search: many of the most 5 THE STATE OF MOBILE
successful apps rely on the location of the user. But, there’s a “but”: GPS estimates your position with a 15 meter margin for error. And, indoors it just won’t work. The iOS7 release quietly introduced the concept of “iBeacons”. iBeacons is an implementation of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which enables very precise micro-location triggers for events. BLE is already integrated in iPhone 4S and 5 as well as iPads, Mac computers and many high-end Androids. It can communicate with small and cheap physical units and with all other devices that support BLE. We expect this to be a major driver for location-based applications in stores and venues. Microlocation can also be exploited for domotica, security, gaming and much more.
“The vast business potential of connected devices is almost completely untapped.”
Some apps are better when you spend little time with them. You want to perform a task and the app should do nothing else but enable you. Redundant features, screens and taps should be removed. And why not remove the interface? Siri is already halfway there and Google is experimenting with screenless software, relying only on voice commands,
gestures and automatic processes. The trend here is that in 2014 you will see more apps functioning via background processes and â€œautomagicallyâ€? performing tasks for you. As a user, you want the results and not the work to achieve them.
Viruses and Malware An average smartphone contains a treasure of information about its owner. Hack one smartphone and you might have some pictures, tons of personal information and a dozen of private documents. Hack a million smartphones and you get big data. The data are extremely valuable and sellable, but theyâ€™re also useful for credit card fraud, phishing scams, spamming and identity theft. The incentive is great enough to predict a significant rise in mobile malware and viruses in 2014.
Payments Payments, both big and small, can be handled perfectly by mobile devices. In fact, this makes much more sense than having a collection of plastic cards or using paper money. Mobile transactions have become an attention point for banks and other financial institutions. Many promising startups are also betting on mobile payments going mainstream 6 THE STATE OF MOBILE
in the next few years. And when that happens, it will have impact on industries such as e-commerce, retail, entertainment venues and the food service industry. Opportunities here are deals, real-time bidding, group buying, gifting, loyalty, and much more.
ITâ€™S A SMALL STEP TO USE THE SMARTPHONE TO CONTROL OTHER DEVICES. PEOPLE USE THE SMARTPHONE DURING MANY ACTIVITIES.
Listen to music
Read a book
Use smartphone while...
Play video games
Read magazines/ newspapers
Things people regularly do while using the internet on their smartphone (in Belgium) Source: Our Mobile Planet (Google), May 2013
IN THE EVER-GROWING SMARTPHONE MARKET ANDROID IS LEADING WHEN IT COMES TO POTENTIAL USERS. IOS IS LEADING WHEN IT COMES TO ENGAGEMENT. Android
Windows RIM Symbian Other Top smartphone operating systems, sales share in Europe Q3 2013 Source: Kantar, July 2013
iOS versus Android Source: In the Pocket app downloads, Q3 2013
BUT WE SEE ANDROID GAINING GROUND...
75% 50% 25% 2011
2013 iOS versus Android downloads Source: In the Pocket all published apps, Q2 2011-Q3 2013
APPLE IS BETTER AT SELLING TABLETS...
Smartphone usage with other devices in Belgium Source: Our Mobile Planet (Google), May 2013
Android iOS Windows Blackberry
Global tablet operating system, market share Q2 2013 Source: Strategy Analytics Tablets Service, July 2013
...BUT ANDROID IS FLOODING THE MARKET
WHY IOS IS BETTER Lode Vanhove
“Apple wants to be first of the class – not the entire class”
Read on page 14
WHY ANDROID IS BETTER Cliff Ophalvens
“Android is about opportunity, freedom and enablement.”
Read on page 15
WHY IOS IS BETTER Lode is iOS Lead at In the Pocket. He loves to develop beautiful, slick and snappy apps that do what they’re supposed to do. This makes iOS the natural platform for him.
Philosophy Apple believes in the simple, not the complex. Its primary drive is to create products that are both simple and elegant. Products that just work. They achieve this through focus and perfection. This philosophy is the main reason why the iPhone became so popular so fast. Apple’s perfection makes them want to “own” the hardware. It is their firm belief that only an integrated approach of hardware and software can result in the best user experience, from the physical to the virtual experience. Apple won’t design for geeks, but for the mainstream user for whom traditional computers have always been inaccessible, intimidating, and stressful. They also believe that they should only participate in markets where they can make a significant contribution. And last but not least, they want to delight, surprise and connect with the user. These strong values are reflected in every product launch, not only through innovation, but also by perfecting what is already there.
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Execution It should be clear from the above that Apple takes great care in crafting the best user experiences. By continuously iterating on 1 smartphone and 1 tablet model, and because of the integrated hardware-software approach, they are able to create the best possible experience. Quality When you submit an app to the App Store, Apple will carefully review your product before it’s launched. It can take days, even weeks, before your app gets approved (or rejected). This can be tough when you’re fighting a deadline. And since the App Store is the only way you can get your app out there, you have no alternative. People will sometimes complain about this and about the infamous “App Review Guidelines”, but they have ensured the quality and security of the +/- 900.000 apps for iOS. Market share In contrast with the Android market saturation strategy, Apple wants to be first of the class – not the entire class. As a result, they get incredibly high user satisfaction scores, a flourishing mobile eco-system and the profit margins to go with that. Apple refuses to compromise when it comes to quality. Yes, iDevices are expensive and yes, the ecosystem is closed. But that’s what it takes to be the best.
WHY ANDROID IS BETTER Cliff is the Android Lead at In the Pocket and actually the first mobile developer we had on our payroll. He is passionate about Google’s mobile platform and has good reason to claim that iOS gets too much credit for pushing the mobile space forward.
Philosophy It took a while before Google had a good vision for Android, but everything changed with the arrival of Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The 4.0 version of the mobile OS showed Google’s engineering muscles and a will to push the market forward. While Apple wants total control over hard- and software, Google mostly concentrates on software. By leaving smartphone and tablet manufacturers almost completely free to adjust their software, there’s a huge range of devices available on the market. That’s why we have an enormous choice of Android smartphones and tablets in all price categories, which makes Android accessible for truly anyone. Google stands for innovation and progress while Apple holds on to the principle of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Android evolves quickly, often including new and state-of-the-art technology in updates. But wasn’t the iPhone the most innovative smartphone ever? Yes, it was revolutionary at its time but look at it today… The control centre, the notification centre, the multi-tasking, 13 THE STATE OF MOBILE
automatic updates and even the new “flat” design of iOS 7: all of these were introduced by Android. Google apps Ask iPhone users which apps they use and most likely you’ll hear apps like Google Maps, YouTube, Hangouts, Chrome, etc… Indeed, maybe Google should be considered the best iOS developer out there. But in Android, these apps are integrated with the system, making them much more powerful. Android is open Google has always preached openness and Android is probably the best example of that. For a developer, Android is about opportunity, freedom and enablement. Create what you like, how you prefer it and if it’s not illegal you can publish your app in a matter of minutes. True, in the early Android days this meant that every amateur could release low-quality apps in the former Android Market. But today, Google offers a great environment for developing and works hard on pushing its design guidelines. This effort has brought the best of both worlds to Google Play: great apps and an open ecosystem. The bottomline is: if you want to be in the driver’s seat of mobile innovation, experience true freedom and join the world’s largest mobile platform, Android is the way to go.
THERE ARE MORE THAN A BILLION ANDROID DEVICES AND ABOUT 12000 DIFFERENT MODELS.
Top 10 Android smartphones Source: In the Pocket app visits, Q3 2013
Duration per app visit Source: In the Pocket app visits, Q3 2013
TABLET USERS PREFER TO HOLD THEIR TABLET IN LANDSCAPE MODE.
Tablet orientation Source: In the Pocket app visits, Q3 2013
5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MOBILE BEFORE YOU START MAKING APPS Christophe Rosseel
Christophe is In the Pocketâ€™s Operations Manager. He has led the creation of dozens of cream of the crop applications. When a company asks an agency to develop an application, a process unfolds that requires input and engagement from many people. A smooth cooperation will control the complexity, speed up the delivery and get a product from good to great.
A high-quality, multi-platform mobile project requires input and collaboration from at least 7 specialists. Introducing the team: An interaction design expert People are unforgiving when it comes to interacting with apps or sites on their smartphone. If a user can’t immediately figure out how to use your product, he or she will move on without blinking. A mobile designer Designing for mobile is a specialty in its own right. Of course mobile designers need a keen eye for what works on small screens. But they also need to know about the platforms that will carry their designs. They need to know about ninepatching (a scaling gimmick needed for Android’s fluid design) and about dealing with retina screens for example. An iOS developer Don’t believe the stereotypes. Not all iOS developers are turtleneck-wearing, sneaker-sporting college dropouts. Some of them did finish college but the iOS development crowd has 1 thing in common: a passion for products that are both beautiful and technically excellent.
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An Android developer Some people say developing for Android is easy. This is false, it’s just that there is a low threshold to call yourself an Android developer. Any middle-aged computer teacher with a notion of Java can publish an Android app but it takes a rarer breed to make an app that works great on all (11.868) Android device models. A web/backend developer The web is everywhere and very few projects can go without the services of a web developer. The performance of almost every mobile app hinges on a well-thought-out, smooth operating and scalable backend and API.
“Not all iOS developers are turtleneck-wearing, sneaker-sporting college dropouts.”
A project manager Pragmatic, emphatic and thick-skinned, this is the all-rounder of the team. They filter, dispatch and push a project forward. Above all they are great communicators. They speak in the same way as they write; clearly and concisely.
A test engineer Owning the quality aspect of a digital product is easier said than done. It takes a special kind of personality to root out bugs by ploughing through test scripts on dozens of devices. They are worth their weight in gold however since these are the guys (unfortunately girls are rare in this particular field) that keep your app store page free of 1-star reviews.
matter to you); the point is that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
“A lot of ink has been spilled over the web vs. native debate. This debate is often too simplistic.”
“Web or native?” is the wrong question. A lot of ink has been spilled over the web vs. native debate. This debate is often too simplistic. Of course it depends on the project but there are a lot more options to choose from. A native app (software, created for specific devices) doesn’t have to be a 100% native. You’ll want a native navigation model for that snappy feel, but nothing is to keep you from using web technology in certain views. If it’s done right, your users won’t be able to tell the difference. Even when there are reasons not to go native, you can’t simply choose web. Building a mobile optimized site and building a responsive site are two very different things. A responsive website changes its layout depending on the viewer’s screen size and provides all your website’s content on all platforms, while a mobile website is context specific - it focuses on supporting core tasks relevant in a mobile context. You might even consider a cross-platform technology like Phonegap (that is if robustness and user experience don’t 18 THE STATE OF MOBILE
Too many cooks spoil the soup. In one mobile project many companies can get involved. Branding agencies, content creators, ad networks, backend developers,… However, the end result should always be one great app that’s easy and fun to use. Apps are not like websites: you can’t change or update them on the fly and users will actually rate your product. So you need to get it right from the start. It is crucial to clearly define deliverables, timings and responsibilities. Once everyone’s involvement is discussed, the project should move to creation, headed by a small team focusing only on making a great app.
Apple works in mysterious ways. Android just works.
Mobile moves fast. So should you.
To protect its closed ecosystem, Apple has a mind of its own. If you submit an application you have to wait for approval. This can take days, but also weeks. If your app is rejected, you will have to adapt. Apple has guidelines, but they hold the right to change and interpret these guidelines to their advantage. There are absolutely no guarantees on Apple’s part and that can be frustrating.
The only reason that the companies producing consumer goods got to coin the term “fast-moving”, is because the mobile industry didn’t exist at the time.
The bright side of this story is that this controlling attitude does safeguard the quality and the security of iOS applications which in its turn makes it easier to distribute and monetize your mobile apps. Android is open and free. Upload your app and see it go live for more than a billion devices. This freedom makes Google Play a bit like the internet: you’ll find some of the most innovative and compelling stuff on there, but also thousands of products that were made by amateurs for no apparent reason.
“To protect its closed ecosystem, Apple has a mind of its own.”
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The iPhone is barely 6 years old. In its wake, companies have come and gone (Nokia and Blackberry seem to be on their way out while Rovio and Instagram have made mobile history). Entire industries have already been disrupted by mobile (gaming, media, publishing) while others are about to be rattled (education, health, payments...). At a lower level, things move equally fast. Look under the hood of all mobile software and you will find complex machinery comprising third-party APIs, SDKs, libraries and other components, ever-updating according to their own development life cycle. With all these technologies evolving at a breakneck pace, it is necessary to follow suit. Even during the creation of an application, mobile is changing. Take a pragmatic approach and allow the product to pivot and adapt when new opportunity presents itself.
APP USAGE IS UBIQUITOUS.
Smartphone users have 25 apps installed on
average. 4 of those are paid apps. They used
10 of these apps in the last 30 days.
App usage on smartphones in Belgium Source: Our Mobile Planet (Google), May 2013
SMARTPHONES ARE USED CONTINUOUSLY, TABLET USAGE PEAKS IN THE EVENING.
SOME APPS HAVE VISITOR PEAKS DURING THE DAY.
Visit hours per app category Source: In the Pocket app visits, Q3 2013
DISRUPTION AND OPPORTUNITY: HOW MOBILE IS CHANGING YOUR BUSINESS Jan Deruyck
Jan is In the Pocketâ€™s Business Development Manager. He meets with clients in multiple industries and helps them to define a mobile strategy, gather requirements and create mobile concepts.
When In the Pocket was founded, the first ideas and concepts that we created had a strong focus on marketing & branding. Mobile was the new platform, a new channel to reach an audience and gain attention for products and services. A lot of branded apps saw the light, designed to be “one-offs”, part of a short-cycled campaign. The campaign was serviced, the user not always that much. In many ways, the mobile landscape is similar to that of the Internet in the late nineties: explosive growth, constant innovation, and an intuitive understanding of the value potential. Specific business cases are now just beginning to emerge. Mobile is being driven by a number of trends that will continue to accelerate its growth. But unlike web development, mobile software development requires specialized teams and processes. The necessary investments are significant. To provide a good return on investment more is needed than a gimmick application. An application needs to fulfil needs, offer utility or be fun and (sustainably) engaging.
Disruption you say? Mobile is a game changer for almost every industry. Several big companies underestimated this evolution and have been or will be taken by surprise by smaller, lean and mean startups. Traditional media are under pressure to come up with new multi-screen formats and advertising models that generate audiences and revenues. Meanwhile media start-ups are 23 THE STATE OF MOBILE
introducing disruptive products at a fast paced rate, quickly winning the hearts of a new generation. Take ‘Medium’ for example. This long-form content platform created by the founders of Blogger and Twitter is using intelligent algorithms that suggest stories, primarily based on how long users spend reading certain articles. Telco’s are seeing the cost of network infrastructure go up as people are using more data (3G, 4G), but VoIP and digital messaging are undermining their core activities of calling and SMS. WhatsApp was founded by two guys in 2009 and is now servicing 300 million users with over 20 billion messages per day. At a mere cost for the end consumer of 0,99$ per year.
“In many ways, the mobile landscape is similar to that of the Internet in the late nineties.”
Even the internal operations of the enterprise are about to be disrupted. People use great apps when they’re at home, so why not at work? This phenomenon is called the “consumerization of enterprise” and is about people craving for more mobile and user-friendly software to do their work.
Companies will follow, because it means less administration and more efficiency. But introducing new vertically integrated software and mobile apps is not a trivial process.
Opportunity Hereâ€™s a thought. If you were to start a company today, in the same business you are currently active in: what would your business model look like? Would you try to recreate your company as it is? Chances are, you would notice how people are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to purchase your products, to be productive, to stay informed, to have fun or to interact with friends. Chances are, you are not the only one noticing this. The startup or company that identifies this opportunity and is able to execute and create a good product or service will probably become one of your important competitors in the coming years. Although these are disruptive times posing many challenges for any business, remember that the opportunity for those who embrace change and dare to innovate is huge.
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In the Pocket is a leading mobile agency that helps brands, media companies and enterprises use the smartphone and the tablet in an effective and creative way.
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A Yearly Report on Consumer Trends & the State of Technology in the Mobile Space