As it is early in 2015 I wanted to list some of the exciting trends we see coming in 2015.
Wearables are something that aren’t really “new” with Android Wear being around for awhile. But with the actual release of Apple Watch to the masses I think this will be the start of a new trend of apps for Wearables. Similar to but perhaps not as large as apps for smartphones back in 2009. It may be in the future that an App isn’t just expected by customers but also a watch app or wearables app as well. Wearables offer quicker access to everything you can access on your smartphone.
More Mobile Payments
Whether or not Apple Pay will really take off to be a global standard isn’t entirely decided yet, with battles with Walmart and other retailers ongoing. However, one thing that is clear is that the smartphone and some or a variety of payment options will start to take off and replace traditional checks, wallets and cash. Who remains the winner is hard to see at this point but the clear loser will be traditional forms of payment. In a few years children will grow up never seeing physical cash used in normal transactions.
Mobile has now overtaken TV as the dominant medium in the world in terms of minutes per day spent with the medium. It is uncertain how this will change the human condition overall since it means people will do most things Mobile first in the future. In any case, because mobile is this dominant, it means most companies need an app – and likely an app-first strategy – for their customers. Mobile is quickly becoming a very viable advertising medium as well because of all this high usage.
Location Based Marketing
A few years ago, I imagined with some friends what a world where everyone had a smartphone would be like. This is back when Smartphones were considered a “fad”. One of the great ideas we thought of was location based marketing. The idea was that you would walk into a store and your phone would show you ads based on what store you were in and what was in your shopping list. An example is there are boots in your shopping cart that a certain type of boot is on sale at your local retailer. This can finally become a reality.
Making Purchases from Online Retailers with your Phone
Coming with the mobile payments above is making online purchases from retailers using nothing but your phone. Imagine browsing through different products similar to Tinder or your photo library but with products then selecting and buying what you like by adding it to a shipping cart and then later purchasing that. Or to paraphrase the Senior Vice President of Target “Mobile is the front door of the Retailer.”. We agree.
More Mobile Connectivity with Everything
All the devices you care about in your life your car, your home alarm system and many other systems will become integrated with your phone. The phone will become the one control system that controls all other devices in your life. It is a lot easier for a company to allow phones to be the interface rather than having to build a custom interface for each and every device. An example is you will be able to know if your alarm system at home is set at home and be notified if it goes off because your smartphone will be constantly connected and will have this information. The phone will become a center of the user’s life in this the second information age. The phone becomes the “spiritual connection” between you and every other piece of technology in your life.
Health and Nutrition Monitoring
With the release of HealthKit Apple started what we think will be a major trend heading into 2015 – the integration of our health information with our phone. Getting Medical records accessed digitally is something that has been talked about for a long long time, but this can go even bigger. If you can scan or keep track of the foods you are eating easily with your phone, as well as your exercise data, you can get recommendations from your phone based on your goals. We are already working on a few upcoming apps in this field.
iOS and Android
It is quickly becoming an iOS and Android world. Windows Phone is getting left behind because of lack of apps. Also, with BlackBerry I think they will be around for a long long time but they will never be the dominant player that they were at one time in the consumer space. They will happily live with a tiny market share which creates a profitable business, but not a dominate market player. iOS and Android will be the de-facto standard for development and nearly all apps will work with both. I also don’t see either iOS or Android gaining permanent dominance over the other in the foreseeable future. They are the Coke and Pepsi of the mobile industry and both are not going anywhere.