Smartphones and tablets are becoming commonplace with more people wanting to own one, and finding multiple uses for them. We have seen smartphones evolve from devices with basic features such as calendar notes, schedules, email sync and browsers that let you open small windows to the internet. The initial generation of phones were delicate devices that were pitched to offer convenience while away from a desk, and very often shipped with a pesky stylus which would be difficult to replace, if lost.
Things changed slightly after the initial PDAs (personal digital assistants) got internet connectivity and push mail got introduced. Enterprises started passing out these devices to their employees to remain in touch with the desk, even while away from it. But it took a little while for these digital assistants to become digital companions, and this evolution happened hand-in-hand with the revolution of Web 2.0.
Modern day smartphones are tougher, use gorilla-glass capacitative-touch screens that allow flexible use of gestures and multi-point touch interaction with the device. Phew! Many of the new ones have quad core processors, fancy cameras and easy to read displays even in bright sunlight. Needless to mention seamless connectivity options with high-speed data access provided by carriers, and operating systems that are efficient. Most of them can be controlled with the touch of a finger and have remarkable eye-candy interfaces.
Apart from features, functionality and improved readability, what has been the real deal breaker for smartphones, is the availability and evolution of Apps. What apps primarily do for users is, cut away the clutter and present pertinent user information from the web, on his screen with absolute focus.
Apps have done for the smartphone, what jet engines did for aircrafts. And before many could jump onto the bandwagon, apps started evolving. While first generation applications, allowed users to interface better with the web, in controlled environments, cutting away from the clutter, hardware on the smartphones improved – with cameras and sensors that soon apps had more features to offer to users. Proximity Sensors, Accelerometers, Gyroscopes and many more have made smartphones intuitive and increasingly more interactive with the environment. Not to mention multiple wireless technologies such as Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
The advanced APIs make it easy for developers to put together the functionality of the hardware and mingle it with applications or apps they are building. What is basically left for programmers to do is, think about a concept, put the functions in place, test it and upload it.
If you are an App Developer, a marketer, or looking to sell concepts, ideas or information using apps, you’ve probably been looking at the multiple options in app monetization today. To whom the words do not make sense, it basically means to be able to create a revenue stream from your app.
Free Apps vs. Paid Apps
One idea is to have a basic or strip-down version of your app available for users to try its features and then opt-in to pay for the full-version or advanced features of the app. This way, you can get more users to experience your app, as well as be a part of the community around your idea.
One of the later developments in app design were programmers being offered API to create in-app purchases. This has been strongly used by game developers and e-commerce marketers who allow users enhanced features from within the app for an additional price, usually after providing a free-of-cost app to the user.
This makes it easier for people be a part of your community, and reduces the resistance against app download. Premium services are offered against an opt-in purchase for a price.
Advertising in Apps
With the availability of higher resolution screens and larger displays, there is more on-screen real estate for developers to play with. This means, the space can be offered to third-party advertisers for promoting other apps, products or services. Often users can be provided an option to remove these banners for a small price which keeps their experience clean and distraction-free.
The App market is fast evolving, with enterprises and app developers having multiple apps design options to target a range of user. New APIs allow use of Passbook to deliver boarding passes, cinema tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards in one place on users’ devices. This means nothing gets missed during your busy schedule. App developers get faster access to customers who are opting in for their offers.
Apps are a win-win for all as they change the way people use the internet and simplify the way we use complex technology to help with our everyday lives.