Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mobile Apps for Almost Everything

On Monday, August 27, 2012, The Wall Street Journal published The Technology Journal Report dedicated to mobile apps.  The report included some very interesting numbers that I want to share:
  • The average smartphone user will download 37 mobile apps this year
  • 36 billion mobile apps will be downloaded in 2012
  • 136 billion mobile apps are predicted to be downloaded in 2017
  • The average smartphone user in the USA spends 94 minutes per day using mobile apps
  • The average smartphone user in the USA spends 72 minutes per day using browsers
  • There are 650,000 apps available in the Apple App Store
  • There are 600,000 apps available in Google Play
In addition to these numbers the article identified many different categories of mobile apps:
  • Find Shopping Deals
  • Remember Everything
  • Find a Restaurant
  • Get Fit and Stay Fit
  • Go to the Movies
  • Take a Trip
  • Parenting
  • Educating Your Preschooler
  • Find a House
  • Manage Your Money
  • How a Remote Meeting
  • Teach Math and Science to Kids
  • Prepare a Meal
  • Keep Track of Your Kids
  • Meet Up with Friends
  • Manage Your Passwords
  • Read Books, Magazines and Newspapers
  • Watch Movies and TV
  • Take, Enhance and Share Photos
  • Learn to Play Music
  • Gardening
  • Find a Date
I'm amazed at how thoroughly mobile apps have become a part of our personal and work lives.  I travel a lot.  I use mobile apps continuously.  Even though I have been working in enterprise mobility since 2000, I never stop being excited at cool new apps and impressed with their utility.

This past summer my family traveled with me on my Eggs with Benedict Mobile Strategies speaking tour in Europe.  We utilized the AirBNB app to arrange apartments to stay in.  We loved it!  We used our mapping functionality any time we were confused as to our exact location.  We downloaded maps to our iPhones and iPads while on WiFi connections so we could avoid international data roaming charges.  We researched all of our travel destinations using tablets and smartphones.  We kept track of each other across many different cities so we could meet up at the right places and times.  We did our banking from mobile apps and the mobile web.  We found great restaurants.  We reviewed the Underground schedule in London and bought train tickets all via our smartphones.  Mobile apps and the mobile web have completely changed our travel experiences over the past decade.

The vast amount of information at our finger tips is mind boggling.  It thrills me to think that the best information I can find on the Internet, is available even in the poorest regions of the world via the mobile Internet.  Whenever, I or a family member feels ill, we can quickly look up great medical advice.  Again, this medical advice is available now worldwide.

I travel, write, speak, teach, report, conduct research and interviews all using mobile devices.  My business travels with me.  I use the mobile app TripIt to organize my travels.  I use the mobile Skype app to see and communicate live with my family while I am on the road.

Mobile apps and the mobile web have revolutionized our personal lives, and it is doing the same with complete business processes and industries.  Every company needs to recognize the impact enterprise mobility, the mobile web and mobile apps will have on their industry and their competitive landscape.  It is not just a passing fad.

Kevin Benedict, Mobile Industry Analyst and Mobile Strategy Consultant
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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Full Disclosure: I am a mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.