Technology

Ten Mobile Apps to Watch

Mobile applications will increasingly define the user experience on high-end devices.

March 25, 2011
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3. 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.

Mobile device vendors should partner with or acquire promising search providers to integrate the technology, preferably at the platform layer, to offer a differentiated user experience.

4. Mobile commerce

Today, 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.

In the future, Gartner expects richer mobile commerce capabilities to expand from native apps to the mobile browser as HTML5 starts to be deployed, although this will happen at a much later stage.

5. Mobile payment

Although near field communication payment will be included in high-end phones from 2011, Gartner doesn’t believe 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 service coverage, and address ease-of-use to appeal to end users.

6. 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.

Next: Object recognition

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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