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Crazy about mobile apps? Check out top 10 trends for 2012

Last updated on: January 30, 2012 08:14 IST

Crazy about mobile apps? Checkout top 10 trends for 2012

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Gartner (a US-based information technology research and advisory company) has identified what it believes will be the most important mobile applications in 2012.

As per the report, mobile apps will not only generate good revenue ($15.9 billion in expected end-user spending in 2012) but will also drive hardware sales, advertising spending and technology innovation.

Gartner expects brand companies to increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel, and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture marketing and sales opportunities.

Here, we highlight Gartner's top 10 consumer applications to watch out for in 2012.

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Location-based service

It is one of the main enablers that deliver services to users based on their context and, Gartner expects the total user base of consumer location-based services to reach 1.4 billion users by 2014.

According to Gartner, context-aware services are a key trend for mobile apps, and location is a key enabler of that.

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Social networking

Mobile social networking is the fastest-growing consumer mobile app category. Social network platforms are becoming portals, transit hubs and cloud storage for increasing amounts of messaging and e-mail traffic, videos, photos, games and commerce.

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Mobile search

Visual search is usually related with product search to enable price comparisons or to check product information.

To bring mobile search to the next level, the app would allow users to take actions based on the result, such as making a call or reservation, buying a ticket, placing an order, and so on.

Gartner advises search providers to build the experience around mobile to allow users access to immediate results and to take actions, given the short time span users have.

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Mobile commerce

Mobile commerce is more of an extension of e-commerce, but in a smaller form factor and with a more-streamlined experience.

However, over the next 24 months, Gartner expects the emergence of uniquely mobile functions, such as the ability to 'check in' to a store to alert a retailer that you are there, or the ability to add items to a shopping cart simply by taking a photo of an item or bar code in the physical store.

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Mobile payment

Although near field communication (NFC) payment will be included in high-end phones from 2011, Gartner does not believe that it will become mainstream before 2015.

In order to get consumers on board, payment solution providers need to address ease-of-use for users and ease-of-implementation for customers without compromising security.

They also need to increase user awareness, extend the service coverage and address ease-of-use to appeal to end users.

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Context-aware service

Context-aware applications provide improved user experiences by using the information about a person's interests, intentions, history, environment, activities, schedule, priorities, connections and preferences to anticipate their needs and proactively serve up the most appropriate content, product or service.

Mobile carriers, along with handset manufacturers, should provide expanded location services to include, among others, directory assistance, mapping, advertising and privacy controls.

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Object recognition (OR)

High-end devices have an increased sensor and processing capability that enable sophisticated applications to recognise the user's surroundings, including specific objects of interest.

Because OR provides an easy-to-use interface, more apps will come to the market with enhanced capabilities by 2012.

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Mobile instant messaging (MIM)

Gartner expects MIM to attract consumers to new types of unified communication (UC) clients, provided by over the top (OTT) service providers such as Skype or What's app.

These service providers are threatening traditional communications service provider voice revenue.

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Mobile e-mail

Smartphones have begun to drive the mainstream adoption of mobile e-mail through a series of technology enhancements enabling low-cost mobile extensions to existing e-mail service.

Gartner expects mobile e-mail users worldwide to increase from 354 million in 2009 to 713 million in 2014, to account for 10.6 per cent of the global mobile user base.

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Mobile video

Mobile phones and tablets now offer the ideal platform for video consumption. Gartner believes that carriers and content providers would be able to drive mobile video usage in the coming years.

 



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