"The future of the internet is mobile"
What is Mobile Presence?
With the growth of the internet came a need for companies to get an 'internet presence'. This generally meant getting a web site from which the business could be promoted, products sold, and services advertised. With the growth of mobile phone usage, and in particular the smartphone market, the need for a 'mobile presence' has been created.
A smartphone is a mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform with advanced computing ability and connectivity. Smartphones can combine the functions of web browsers, media players, digital cameras, GPS navigation, social media, touchscreens, Wi-Fi and mobile broadband. Most importantly a mobile is not static - were you go, it goes. Where your customers are, it delivers: wherever and whenever.
Alongside the growth of the smartphone we have seen the growth of social media (Facebook, blogs, wikis, podcasts etc.). Social media uses web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues between organisations, communities and individuals.
A mobile presence development takes advantage of the features of a smartphone and social media and provide a business with a mobile presence to exploit this.
A business hoping to succeed and develop in a contemporary market cannot afford to ignore these developments.
A mobile presence involves making web sites mobile-friendly and developing mobile apps to enhance a service. Whilst a mobile-friendly web site uses the internet capabilities of a phone and a web browser, a mobile app is a program that can be downloaded and installed onto a mobile phone that is able to utilise all the features and capabilities of the device and be used both online and offline.
One aspect of this business is to provide mobile web services - ensuring that a client's web site is mobile-friendly and functions to provide the best use of the medium. Mobiles are becoming the primary tool for web browsing.
Web sites are generally designed with a desktop PC in mind, and whilst these can be read on a mobile device, the mistake is to believe that it is therefore mobile-friendly. So what does make a site mobile-friendly?
- Speed: mobile users are often short on time and on the go. Sites need to load fast and be easy to read.
- Simple Navigation: clear navigation and search functionality. Minimised scrolling.
- Thumb-friendly: large hands need to be able to interact with your site Designed for visibility: easy to read
- Accessible: site should work across all mobile devices and all handset orientations
- East to convert: a site needs to work without a mouse and with a virtual keyboard
- Local: consumers look for local information on their phones all the time. Maps and GPS help this.
- Seamless: people switch between desktop and mobile use - convert functionality of desktop version to mobile version as seamlessly as possible.
- Mobile redirects: your site should know if your visitor is using a mobile device and automatically give them the mobile-friendly version.
- Listen, learn and iterate: a good site is user-centric and develops with input from the users.
These goals can generally be achieved with the development of a mobile version of a web site.
Mobile apps take mobile presence a stage further, allowing a company's program to utilise features provided by a mobile devices such as:
- Camera: uploading and sharing photos, reading QR and bar codes, face, object and place recognition.
- Accelerometer (device motion): gesturing, easy scrolling, movement tracking.
- Connectivity (Wi-Fi, internet, cell towers): joining known networks, internet connectivity and traceability
- Contacts: linking known contacts, phone numbers, addresses and web sites.
- Media (audio and video): recording, uploading and sharing audio and video files.
- Notifications: sending and receiving push notification to be distributed instantly or at set times and locations.
- Geo-location (location information) : knowing where a person is when and using that information to mutual advantage. Recording journey, vicinity notifications.
- Call and messaging (SMS) services: using the standard call and text services.
- Social media integration, such as Facebook and Twitter: joining groups, sharing information.
The resulting services give end users an enhanced experience of an event, better knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the business, and allow the service commissioners to increase footfall, monitor customer base, promote and advertise events and encourage business and financial contributions.
Statistics (for those that like them!)
- Smartphones represented 31.8% of all phones shipped in 2011 this is likely to be higher in 2012
- More smartphones were sold than PCs in 2011 this will be higher in 2012 Mobile-broadband subscriptions have grown 45% annually over the last four years
- Mobile-broadband subscriptions outnumber fixed broadband subscriptions 2:1
- Many mobile Web users are mobile-only, i.e. they do not, or very rarely also use a desktop or laptop to access the Web
- Today in the US and Western Europe, 90% of mobile subscribers have an Internet-ready phone.
There are 6 main platforms for smart phones accounting for 99% of the market.
- Android (48.8%) - Google's platform used by major companies including Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola
- iOS (19.1%) - Apple's platform used by iPhones and iPads. Blackberry (10.5%) - RIM's platform used on Blackberry devices.
- Windows Phone (1.4%) - Microsoft's platform used on newer Nokia devices
- Bada (2.7%) - Used on older Samsung devices.
- Symbian (16.4%) - Nokia's platform (being phased out in preference for Windows phone).
- Other (1.4%)
Many app developers and IT service providers make the mistake of only developing for a single platform - the iPhone - which represents less than 20% of the current smartphone market. Mobi-jo develops products that are available cross-platform ensuring that the client meets the full market,