Today, building websites is not just creating a few web pages and interlinking them. It comprises of a much more complex strategy which involves integration of numerous resources and modules to make it compatible to the current trend. Within these various extra segments to make a web complete, includes its compatibility to Smartphones and sometimes providing users with a native application on various platforms.
According to Microsoft Tag, a barcode solution developed by Microsoft Corperation, by 2014 mobile Internet would take over desktop Internet usage. The interactive infographic by Microsoft Tag depicts that by 2014 an average of nearly 2 billion people will be utilizing mobile phones to access Internet. Morgan Stanley, a global financial service firm operating in over 36 countries states that, by 2014 3g penetration will be as follows: 100% in Japan, 92% in Western Europe, 74% in North America, 40% in Eastern Europe, 37% in Asia Pacific, 35% in Middle East and Africa and 17% percent in Central and South America, concluding a total of 43% global 3g penetration.
Smarphones today comes in platforms, which supports high end Internet browsing and ability to accommodate native applications. A few of these platforms, which are Mobile Operating Systems, include, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry Os. Native applications for mobiles are applications developed to be run by the supporting operating system and usually available from the Application Store or Market of the respective operating system.
Video depicting the Growth of Mobile Technology by Stocktown Productions, a creative production firm based in California.
Websites for mobile can come in two different ways either as a mobile web / web app which could be accessed through an internet browser or native application which is to be download as an application to be run from the operating system. Since the arrival of these two forms of the mobile web there has been a long run debate on which platform is more successful or which platform will be dominant in the future. Forrester, a research firm made an in depth analysis on the debate and came to the following conclusion, that a debate is not required at all on the matter. According to Forrester both mobile web and native apps will grow in an equal rate and different applications, audiences and purposes requires different interfaces. The Forrester research reveals that Music, Games, Social Networking, Navigation and News are the top 6 applications used monthly while Reference, Cooking, Ebook, Business & Health are seen with a relatively low percentage of usage.
Apart from Smartphones, tablets, which are mobile computers slightly larger than a mobile phone with the similar interface and functions of that of Smartphone’s, have resulted in a boost in mobile computing and Internet usage. This revolution brought by the Apple’s iPad, currently the leader in tablet market is forcasted by Chitika to pass 2% of all internet traffic usage in 2011.
With Smartphones and Tablets taking up the growth and expected lead by various researches, it is important to consider their environment, usability and compatibility while developing your websites. If building up a native app is too much of a time or cost for you, atleast consider a web app / mobile web for your website with compatibility to Smartphones and Tablets because users are really all what mostly matters!
Further Reading & References:
- Web vs Native mobile app? Forrester says do both
- Three reasons why mobile Web will rule by 2015
- One in Five Phones will have NFC Functionality by 2014
- Smartphone usage set to rocket to 1.7 billion by 2014
- iPad will pass 2% of all internet usage in 2011: July update