Mobile Apps Mobile Web

How Much Time Spent on Mobile Devices is Spent in Apps?

In the early days of developing mobile apps, we were frequently asked if we thought it was going to become a big space, or if it was just a fad.  Even then, we were bullish on the space, and our response was simple:  “1% of companies and organizations currently have an app, and 99% are going to eventually have one.”

Our calculus was simple – smartphones were hot, and apps were an outstanding way of obtaining space on “beachfront property” – the screen of the one device people couldn’t put down.

A dozen years later, that prediction has borne itself out.  Not only do consumers use their phone for everything, but a recent study by Comscore finds that eight out of every ten digital minutes (79%) in the United States are spent on mobile devices, and among those people nearly 9 in 10 (88%) spend their time using mobile apps.

What’s surprising to us is that more companies and organizations haven’t invested in a mobile strategy that includes an app.  Sure, many use the mobile web, but when only 12% of time spent on a smartphone isn’t via an app, why would you fish in such a shallow pond?

We believe 2021 is going to be the year of mobile apps.  During the pandemic, new trends emerged (curbside, contactless), and others accelerated (working from home, online shopping) the result being that consumers have changed their personal and professional shopping, searching, and buying behaviors. We believe these habits will remain long after the vaccine takes hold and we return to what will be a very new “normal.”  Having a sound mobile strategy is no longer optional and that includes an app that is now an essential part of any businesses overall customer strategy.

It’s no longer “should we have an app,” but rather, “how soon can we get one?”

Android Auto Apple CarPlay Connected Car Mobile Apps Radio

Hey Siri, Open My Favorite Radio Station App!

Having been in the mobile app business for more than a dozen years, we’ve learned it’s not a static space.  Every 6-12 months, Apple or Android will have a new OS that will change or upend something or introduce a new feature that everyone wants – immediately.

Our job is to make sure our products are always in tune with what our clients – and their users – want.  This can often be tricky, but fortunately, our partnership with Jacobs Media and the consumer research they continually conduct provides us with insight into what consumers are ready for and what we can confidently recommend to our clients.

This is why jācapps was the first mobile app developer to install Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into our apps, and is why we are pleased to announce our latest update – voice activation for our mobile apps.  You’ll never have to touch your screen again to launch your favorite radio station.

Voice activation is something Jacobs Media has been tracking for a while, and they’ve seen increases in “talking” to cars, to TV remotes, to Alexa and Google Home, and yes, to their smartphones.  Consumers have become comfortable with the process, and in 2020, more than half (54%) are “talking” to their smartphones.  So, it was time to introduce this feature as part of our new V5 release.

The average consumer has 32 apps on their home screen, so this innovation enables users to access their favorite radio station quickly with no screen swiping required. 

We invited a few clients, including Lisa Waters, Digital Media Director of Local Media San Diego to participate in our beta testing for V5, and voice activation was a hit, as she remarked, “I love … the inclusion of Voice Activation! I asked Siri to “PLAY BIG FM” when I was driving the other day, and it opened the app and started playing the stream through my car speakers flawlessly! It’s one of those features that you don’t know you need until you have it.”

Is voice activation a game-changer for our apps?  By itself, not really.  But mobile is a dynamic space, and consumers expect apps that occupy prime space on their smartphone screen to deliver a ton of utility and be as user-friendly as possible.  This is part of our ongoing effort to ensure our clients treat their listeners to a great experience.