It isn't always easy to find what you want in the app store, or to browse for apps that might not be in the charts.
With this problem in mind, Magvault brings together digital publications, to be perused on a digital newsstand.
I chatted to Neil Morgan, Founder of MagVault, to find out more about the service.
21% of the global population will be using mobile apps by the end of the year. Your company may need an app too, but should you build your app for iPad, iPhone or Android?
One and a half billion people will be using mobile apps by the end of the 2013, equivalent to 21% of the global population.
Of course, mobile-optimised websites are clearly vital to communicate with your audience, with the balance now tipping in favour of responsive website design, but there’s still a strong case to be made for providing one or more apps as well.
But assuming you’re ready to commit, should you go for an iPad, iPhone or Android app?
As has been the case for the past few years, it’s safe to assume that tablets and e-readers will be a popular gift idea this Christmas.
And with ecommerce spending in the UK predicted to reach £20.4bn in the final two months of this year, brands need to be visible in search results to maximise their sales.
New data shows that Amazon is in prime position to benefit from the spending spree as it is highly visible in SERPs for a number of popular electronic items.
This is particularly true for tablet and e-reader devices, where the retailer features in the top positions for 80% of popular keywords in organic search.
57% of users won’t recommend a business if they have a bad mobile site, a simple statistic that speaks volumes about the current landscape in mobile commerce.
Global mobile web usage is increasing exponentially and most businesses know they need a mobile strategy.
Building a mobile-friendly website is just the first step. What happens after that?
At Searchlove this morning, Distilled’s digital marketing consultant Bridget Randolph provided her own insight and guidance.
While the iPhone which provides half of Apple's revenue is its foundation, the iPad is its bellwether for growth.
Gartner has upwardly revised its growth projections for tables to a whopping 54% this year, against an 11% drop in PC sales. This makes it no surprise that Apple has set its course in this direction.
As Willie Sutton answered when he was asked why he robbed banks, the answer is obvious, its where the money is.
But it goes further than retail. The iPad is a gateway to incremental media, software sales and services purchases. There are 170m of them in circulation, and Apple is moving to gain new users and upgrade its installed base.
And along the way gain increased wallet and mindshare while depositioning its rivals.
Net-A-Porter has launched a new mobile app, called The Netbook, that steps up the retailer's move into social commerce.
The iOS app is based on the ‘Live’ feature that sits on the site's homepage and acts like a carousel ticking through the latest products that customers have purchased.
Until now the product feed was anonymous, so the new app is an attempt to give customers an online identity on Net-A-Porter which then creates an additional social layer to the site and makes the recommendations more powerful.
Once they’ve created a profile users can create a wish list within the app by ‘loving’ different products and also follow other users by ‘admiring’ them.
The Netbook is currently invite-only and the launch was timed to coincide with London Fashion Week so that Net-A-Porter can sign up bloggers, stylists, designers and other members of the fashion glitterati. Everyone else will have to join a waiting list.
There’s no denying that the tablet is more than a passing fad.
With tablet shipments expected to grow 58.7% in 2013, rising from 144.5m to reach 229.3m, and with 34% of the US population currently owning a tablet, it’s important for brands to approach the tablet design process in an entirely unique and different way than the smartphone and desktop.
Rather than being an extension of these channels, there’s a huge opportunity to turn the tablet into a unique channel for engagement, capable of delivering strong conversion and incremental revenue.
Premier Inn recently unveiled a new iPad app alongside a revamped iPhone version as it seeks to increase mobile sales and repeat bookings.
The hotel chain took more than 100,000 bookings through its iPhone app in 2012 and the updated version has already seen average daily sales conversions increase from 3% to 5.9%.
Designed by Grapple, the new apps feature improved navigation, redesigned booking function, Trip Advisor ratings, the ability to add extras such as breakfast, and a simplified process for booking repeat stays.
The iPhone app has been downloaded more than two million times since it was first launched in January 2011, so to find out what the fuss is about I tried out the new iPad version...
Banking is boring. We all know this as one of life’s truisms. It is also an activity you usually squeeze in at lunch time with a visit to a branch, or more recently conducted surreptitiously at work on your PC.
Now the arrival of the iPad has helped move banking transactions from a work based and PC-centric activity, to a “bank on the go” and now, more recently, “a branch on the go”, experience.
This is good news for banking and banks generally.
In what for most people has at best been a neutral experience and often less than that, the arrival of the tablet has revived some of the missing components of a pleasant banking experience.
Despite the massive shift towards mobile commerce in recent years, surprisingly few retailers have managed to create successful, user-friendly iPad apps.
So it’s all the more impressive that Net-A-Porter has produced several high quality apps that cater perfectly for the iPad’s ‘lean back’ browsing experience.
This time last year it was reported that 15% of Net-A-Porter’s traffic came from mobile devices, a figure that had increased from 10% in just six months, which explains why the brand places such great emphasis on its mobile strategy.
The luxury retailer successfully blurs the lines between being a publisher and an ecommerce store, so its iPad apps include a huge amount of editorial and video content in order to entertain and inform customers while also edging them towards the checkout.