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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