My dad is absolutely addicted to Angry Birds. The last time we spoke about it, he said he had unlocked every level and was going back through trying to improve his high scores. While I find it absolutely hilarious (until we are eating dinner and he isn’t paying attention to anything but his phone) I can’t help but recognize what the Angry Bird craze represents: the ever growing obsession with our smartphones.
A June post on Mashable reported that games are among the most popular of mobile applications downloaded by users. Nielsen reports that 64 percent of applications downloaded by smartphone users were games. Right behind games, weather applications were number 2 with 60 percent. Social networking navigation/location search apps were also very popular.
In September, Mashable also reported on a Pew Internet study that found that 0f the 82% of U.S. adults are active cellphone users. Of those with cellphones, 43% have mobile apps on their phones. Two-thirds of those who have mobile applications use the apps regularly. Basically, 24% of the U.S. adult population use applications. Necessary
So, what does this mean?
In regards to business it boils down to one question: Should you use a mobile application or a mobile website?
There’s no doubt that businesses need to make a mobile presence. However, there is a healthy debate as to whether you should use a mobile application or just a mobile website? Christina Warren of Mashable weighs in with a few questions organizations need to ask themselves before developing an app.
“Do you already have a full-featured website? If the answer is yes, how many of those features are you looking to integrate into the app? If your app is going to be largely a re-creation of your website, you may want to focus on creating a mobile site first.
Is this an app that can be used without an Internet connection? Some examples include note-taking or calculator apps. If so, a mobile application makes more sense.
Are you going to be integrating with other parts of the mobile operating system, like the dialer, the GPS and the mail client? If this is the case, consider building a native app.”
This makes a lot of sense. I know I’ve been frustrated when I’ve downloaded an app only to see that it is just a recreation of (or worse, a redirection to) the website. However, applications like Pandora do exactly what the website does (plays music) but is much more friendly for a mobile device. If more organizations kept this in mind while they were considering building an application, I think it would really help.
What do you think? Share your ideas in the comments below!