The future is mobile (as if you ever doubted it) - Factor 3

The future is mobile (as if you ever doubted it)

Well, Windows 8 and iPad 3 announcements last week have heralded the first time in a long time that Apple and Microsoft are truly going head-to-head. Some would argue that it’s never stopped, but Apple and Microsoft know their markets and it’s rare these days that they compete in the same space. Okay, Microsoft haven’t released any hardware, but few could argue that Windows 8 hasn’t been designed with tablets, and iOS specifically in mind. This is a true battle to define the future of mobile computing.

There are many articles out there talking through the new iPad features (seehere,hereorhere), and video demonstrations aplenty for Windows 8, (see here or here)so I won’t repeat the same job done so well by others. What I will focus on though is what this says about the way we will work in the future and what that means for us today.

Microsoft have broken ranks with their traditional wisdom and made a big statement – that traditional computers will one day, soon, be a thing of the past. Just that acceptance by Microsoft says everything about how numbered the days of the humble PC are. Basically, the world is going tablet. More realistically, the world is going more ‘multi device’, and it’s becoming more important that these devices work together seamlessly.

Tablets will take over from laptops – and Microsoft now seems to agree. In many ways they have been very slow to realise this and they have handed Apple a five year head start. It isn’t just Microsoft though that will suffer through short-sightedness. Marketing Week highlighted in their latest edition that almost 90% of the web is not optimised for mobile devices. This is a chilling statistic and one that businesses should look to remedy, and quick.

When you look at the tablet market it is definitely still in its infancy. A majority of websites report that mobile users still only count for 5%-20% of all website visitors. However when you look at the early adopters of these devices, including businesses and consumers with good disposable income, catering to this 20% could prove lucrative. mobile ecommerce transactions increased by 800% between 2010 and 2011.

However it’s not just about your site. As a small example of this, we have a financial services client that has swapped spreadsheets on laptops for slick tactile user interfaces in self-contained iPad apps for use in their selling of mroe complex financial products. There is a significant difference in the number of prospects that converted when their preliminary sales meetings included the apps instead of the spreadsheet. Tablet devices still have a real ‘wow’ factor and the fact that they’re tactile and the screen can easily be shared between a few people in a meeting still creates a buzz.

The good news is that developing for mobile is now just an extension of designing for web. There are instances where you still need a platform-specific developer, but for a majority of typical client requirements, publishing to a self contained app can be just as simple as publishing to the web. The latest authoring tools from Adobe make this process simpler too. Add to this the latest applications of adaptive design and there has never been a better time to prepare for the tablet revolution.

To learn more on the implications of the continuing mobile revolution and how you can take advantage of it, I’d be delighted to talk with you. Call us today on 01242 254 242 to arrange a meeting.

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