5 Mobile App Trends to Keep an Eye on

Today’s enterprises are increasingly adopting and adapting consumer technologies to meet their own needs, and no category of technology is positioned to drive that trend more rapidly than mobile applications.  As a result, enterprises increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture marketing and sales opportunities.

Companies, as well as technology and service providers, that stay up-to-date with the latest mobile application developments could make their products stand out from the pack, enhance brand image and retain user loyalty.

If mobile trend in 2010 was all about real-time notifications and in 2011 it is about localized content, better media support and cloud-based storage, the trends that are expected to take off in the near future include the following:

1. Location-Based Services

Location-based technology is considered to be the most revolutionary in the app world. Although there aren’t too many apps that support the hyper-local experiences just yet, more and more people are using the location-based services to deliver personalized and relevant updates.

Not only location-based services like Loopt and Foursquare let users know when their friends are nearby, they also give available features and functionalities in tune with the their context, taking into account their location, personal preference, gender, age, profession, intention and so on.

2. Social Networking

Mobile social networking is one of the fastest-growing consumer mobile app categories. As mainstream adoption progresses, social networking sites will be driven towards providing services in partnership with third parties using open standards like OAuth, so it will be easier than ever for developers to add support for the most popular social networking sites.

3. Mobile Search & Mobile Commerce

In order to bring mobile search to the next level, the app needs to allow users to take actions based on the result, such as making a call or reservation, buying a ticket, placing an order, or even more unique mobile functions, such as the ability to add items to a shopping cart simply by taking a photo of them or their barcodes in the physical store.

4. Mobile Video

Mobile phones with larger screens and media tablets are ideal platforms for video consumption and consumer education. Companies also can benefit by enabling mobile workers to access content such as executive messages, training videos and maintenance instructions on their smartphones or tablets.

5. Mobile RSS

It’s rather unfortunate that while smartphones and tablets have become a major content consumption device, RSS Readers have struggled to make the transition. In part this has been due to the increased importance of Twitter and Facebook for circulating news and information.

People who use RSS readers need them to track information for their job, but most of them haven’t become comfortable with RSS Readers filtering their feeds. Instead, they usually let people filter information via Twitter or Facebook.

Filtering is still an unsolved problem. Perhaps the developers need to implement a context-aware application to provide improved user experiences by using information about a person’s interests, intentions, activities, priorities and preferences to solve the filtering issue. Once they get it right, it’s just a matter of time before mobile users let the app do the feed filtering for them.

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