Mobile devices have changed the way we live for the last 5 years. A decade ago, I was perfectly satisfied with the mobile email on my Blackberry. Everything else was on my desktop or laptop. Not any more. Now when everyone has a smartphone, Apps is a central place of the universe.
You have a problem, so there is an app for that. Everyone get this. So, eventually we had a gold rush of mobile app development for the last few years. But, here is a problem. We don’t use all these apps.
Business Insider article Having an app isn’t enough: The next phase of mobile now that everybody has a smartphone speaks about a new reality of mobile applications. Despite the number of mobile apps is increasing people are downloading and using the same amount of apps.
Another interesting thing I capture is related to the way apps are interconnecting. It called deep-linking. The following passage provides a good explanation of how it supposed to work.
Companies like Google and Facebook are looking to deep-linking as the new way to move between apps. For example, if you’re looking for a restaurant, you may search to find the right restaurant, but then want to look at their Yelp reviews. If a consumer has downloaded an app, Google’s deep-linking will prompt the person to open the app, rather than forcing them to open it from the phone’s home screen. “If the user has the app on the phone, let them navigate to the app from wherever they are…. But if they don’t, they shouldn’t hit a dead end and have a bad experience,”
It made me think about PLM applications and mobile development. I can see two trends here. The initial push from most of PLM vendors was to develop mobile application which does more or less the same as a desktop or web application. Today we have it done by most of PLM vendors. Here are few examples – Siemens PLM Teamcenter, PTC Windchill mobile or Autodesk PLM360 mobile. Another trend was to create many apps. Look for examples here – Autodesk mobile apps.
But none of these options can provide an answer on how mobile applications are interconnected and provide a specific solution to “mobile moments” that users might have. Some of my thoughts are here – How PLM vendors can find mobile moments. Here are few examples of mobile moments from different fields:
To succeed in your customer’s mobile moments, you must understand their journey and identify their needs and context at each potential moment. Then design your mobile application to quickly provide just what’s needed in that moment. Get information on a product while in a Best Buy store. Use a tablet to show a doctor a new Medtronic device. Retrieve maintenance history for a GE wind turbine.
What is my conclusion? I think we can see a new eco-system of mobile applications developed in front of our eyes. Deep linking between applications will be a way to keep mobile application focused on a specific problem (mobile moment), but at the same time to connect mobile application so customers won’t be required to discover applications from their mobile phone home screen. Just my thoughts…