The smartphone has completely transformed my experience of the internet. So long as there is a half-decent connection I can access information whenever I want, and wherever I am. Apart from the carnage it causes during pub quizzes, you’d have to say that the mobile web is a very good thing indeed.
However there is a problem. Most brands are still playing catch up, with regards to the user experience (including Econsultancy).
Some have launched standalone mobile sites - not a good move, in my view - while others have created apps for mobile users, of varying quality. But it’s still relatively early, with mobile in the ascendency. There is much to learn.
Progress is being made, however. The more forward-thinking brands are undertaking responsive design projects, so their existing websites will be rendered in a friendly way for all kinds of screen sizes. Some brands are doubling down, by launching apps as well as transforming their websites for mobile usage (there shouldn’t be an ‘either/or’ argument if you’re in a position to do both).
But here’s one thing that I think needs to change: the monstrous pop-up overkill that is happening across the mobile web.
In the debate over mobile websites versus native apps, native app detractors frequently make a seemingly good point: there are just too many native apps, so you can't expect consumers to install and use yours.
For companies hoping customers and potential customers, that assumption has a significant implication: if your mobile strategy is native app-centric and you don't have a mobile-friendly website, you might be missing out on the mobile opportunity.
It's hard to find a market today that isn't being impacted by the rapid growth in mobile usage. Smartphone penetration continues to hit new milestones and executives in just about every industry are trying to figure out how to capture the mobile opportunities that increasingly seem within reach.
Just how big are these opportunities?
When it comes to technology, the answer to the question "How fast do you want to go?" is often "How fast can we go?" From processors to internet connections, so long as the price is right, faster is generally better as far as consumers are concerned.
So it's somewhat surprising that a survey of 3,000 consumers in the U.S. conducted by investment firm Piper Jaffray found tepid demand for next-generation 4G LTE network technology.
Industry observers and analysts have been predicting that mobile commerce would have a bright future for nearly a decade, but it wasn't until recently that those predictions started to look like they might be accurate, if still poorly timed.
The latest source of confirmation that mobile commerce is real: eBay's CEO John Donahoe.
Mobile commerce has been a topic of great interest for marketers and businesses in the past several years.
And for good reason: with more and more consumers carrying increasingly sophisticated mobile devices with them everywhere they go, the potential to drive commerce in ways never before possible is fast becoming a reality.
There are numerous challenges, of course. The mobile device and OS landscape is highly fragmented, there are numerous security concerns and performance is absolutely crucial.
The apps versus mobile websites debate isn't going away any time soon.
It's not an either-or proposition, and companies that get too focused on picking a winner may lose sight of more interesting and important subjects that apps and the mobile web have created.
With smartphone penetration rates surging around the world, it's no surprise that more and more companies are deciding that their mobile strategies need to the development of a web experience specifically for mobiles.
Developing a mobile website can be an important first step in capitalizing on the mobile opportunity, but simply launching a mobile website obviously isn't enough. As with websites in general, most businesses want their mobile websites to drive action or, in other words, convert.
Should you build a native app or a mobile website? The answer depends on who you ask, and there's a very good chance that the person you ask will have very strong feelings one way or the other.
Yes, the native versus web debate is still alive and well, and those on both sides are still ready to throw down over their beliefs.
The holidays are nearing, and even though we all know that they'll be here sooner than later, many of us will procrastinate and wait until the last minute before we burst into a frantic last minute shopping drive.
Fortunately, rushing to buy gifts at the last minute isn't as difficult as it used to be thanks to the smartphone.
With one in hand, it's possible to remain relatively sane while zig-zagging around town looking for the most elusive of gifts -- the day before it's needed.