Recent statistics show that users today are more often opting to utilize dedicated mobile applications over Web browsers on their smartphones and tablets. As the trend toward applications continues, it creates a new opportunity for developers to address market demands and fill any gaps that exist.
Moving away from mobile Web browsers
Today, it seems nearly every retailer, service provider and organization has their own app. The popular slogan, "There's an app for that," is more true today than ever before. When mobile devices first emerged, though, individuals' home screens weren't a collage of application icons. However, where people used to have to open a mobile Web browser and search for a company's website, they can now simply download the group's mobile app and connect with the business faster than ever.
Recent research from Flurry supports this view, showing that mobile device owners now leverage their applications more than their Web browsers. While still no doubt useful, Apple's Safari, the mobile version of Google Chrome and others are falling behind dedicated apps.
According to TechCrunch, a Flurry study found that users now spend a total of 2 hours and 42 minutes on average on their mobile devices. Of this time, 2 hours and 19 minutes is spent utilizing mobile applications. That leaves only 22 minutes a day for mobile Web browsing. Citing this pattern, Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf pointed out that mobile Web browsers have now become "a single application swimming in a sea of apps."
"This is a worrisome trend for the Web," noted industry expert and blogger Chris Dixon. "Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the Web is losing."
An opportunity for mobile application developers
While the shift away from Web browsing may be concerning for some, it provides a great opportunity for those in the mobile app development community. Today's users are more often looking for dedicated applications that provide rich functionalities, instead of a mobile optimized version of a company's website. This translates to increasing demands for mobile application creation, as if a business does not currently have an app, they may risk falling behind their competitors that do.
While this provides a unique opportunity for developers, it also puts a considerable amount of pressure on them to deliver robust programs in a shorter amount of time. However, by leveraging the capabilities provided by HTML5 form, app creators can speed their time to market by establishing one set of code that will function across all operating systems.