During the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt announced the internet behemoth’s shift in developing software and services focused primarily toward mobile devices. Google’s new creed became: “Mobile First”.
The 2010’s have shown all skeptics that we really are living in the “Post-PC World” as professed by Apple and the late Steve Jobs. Without a doubt, these devices are front and center in our lives.
For the past three days I have been monitoring my mobile uses in order to identify possible trends that are currently shaping the future of mobile. The three day experiment has led me to believing that two key trends may shape mobile development for the next few years. Before I keep going, I must share with you that I use Apple products and therefore my analysis is completely derived from the use of these devices.
1. A Universal Payment Account:
One of the best things to anyone could ever do is to go out and have a cup of coffee. Starbucks comes to mind for coffee. As many probably know, Starbucks has this amazing app that allows people to make payments with your cellphone. It really is a great way to pay for your drink and collect points in order to become a preferred customer. During my three day experiment I went to Starbucks twice and used my cellphone both times to pay for my coffee.
Making purchases with a smartphone is truly becoming a common thing for many consumers. The one thing that stops people from using their smartphone as a method of payment in my opinion is the individual set ups that each mobile app requires in order to make payments possible. Users actually have to sit down and create an account with all their credit card information within each and every single one of the mobile apps they wish to use. This is incredibly frustrating and even more when knowing that people have Apple Accounts with a credit card number already set up within their devices.
Couldn’t this Apple account become a universal account for all applications so that users don’t have to repeat the exhausting process dozens of times? Both Apple and Google have entered the mobile payment space with products like Passbook and Google Wallet so I know they are thinking very strategically about the future of payments
2. Premeditated Search Results and Recommendations:
Yesterday was the Chinese New Year and my girlfriend and I left for Chinatown here in New York City in order to enjoy the Dragon Dance and have Dim Sum for lunch. It was a great sunday plan! Two things happened with our plan: First of all, we didn’t know where exactly the Dragon Dance was going to take place or at what time. Additionally, we had no idea where we could get very good Dim Sum for a very good price.
We found ourselves stuck in the middle of Chinatown trying to obtain information through our iPhones of where the Dragon Dance was taking place and where to find great Dim Sum. Searching on an iPhone isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially in 25 degree weather. So we used Siri to search for both things and if you have ever used Siri before, you know that she can be a pain in the neck.
This is when I get really excited about Google Now, the service the tech giant offers that allows you to get the right information, at the right time.
This truly is a breakthrough product that eliminates the need to ask questions to a digital personal assistant like Siri. What if in the future Google Now is able to recommend great places to eat and things to do based on my location and preferences? For example, since it was the Chinese New Year and I am living in New York City, couldn’t it have informed me of the popular events and meals available? These mobile services will become very capable in the coming years and complex problem solving is on the horizon for these technologies.
These might seem obvious to many and most likely it is because users have found that they really need these improvements on their devices. Without a doubt the smartphone will absorb the wallet and there will also be an extremely powerful artificial intelligence service that helps you know as much as possible on your surroundingsWhat other mobile trends do you see as important that will be announced during the coming years? Sound off in the comment section below!