Go back a few years ago, and creating a mobile app was seen as a strong marketing strategy. Mobile apps, sometimes not much more than a dedicated browser window, were easily accessible on their respective app store and downloading them was seen as a convenient way for users to solve problems, keep themselves entertained or simply complete everyday tasks. However, consumer attitudes towards apps look to be changing. According to the latest market research, the average American now downloads zero apps per month. This startling revelation has led us to ask two questions: Are we experiencing the death of the mobile app, and if so, how have did we gett here in such a short space of time?
The Rise of HTML5
Until fairly recently, many browser-based gaming websites such as Mousebreaker used the Java browser plugin and Adobe Flash in order to run their online games. Java and Adobe Flash are notorious for being unreliable and unresponsive, as well as requiring constant updates in order for them to work properly. Due to this, mobile gaming via the downloading of a native app was often the best and most convenient way of playing games on your device. However, the emergence of HTML5 has eliminated the need for Java and Flash, and means that most of what we needed standalone mobile apps for is now addressed in-browser and can thus be accessed using any modern browser on a mobile, tablet or computer.
Progressive Web Apps
In simple terms, a progressive app is a website that looks and feels like an app. The upside of this of course is that the user can enjoy all the capabilities and information that comes with this without having to take up storage space on their mobile by downloading something from the app store. For example, popular e-commerce site AliExpress opted to convert their mobile site a few years ago as opposed to releasing a native app. Electronic retail company Flipkart went down the same route and reported a 70% increase in conversions as well as a three-fold increase in time spent on their site by customers. On the online gaming front, Buzz Bingo has a wide and extensive library of mobile-ready games available on their website, which has meant smoother online gaming for its customers, whether they prefer to play on the go or at home. In addition to this, there are now a number of standalone progressive web app games including Hextris and and the ever popular Monopong.
View this post on Instagram
The Future of Applications and Our Changing Habits
Although downloading a native app is relatively convenient, constant updates and the storage that these apps take up certainly isn’t. As consumers, we are much more at home with loading a website on our browser, doing what we need to do and then simply clicking the cross in the top right corner. Of course, it’s likely that there will be a market for mobile apps in the social media sphere for some time yet (has anyone ever tried using Facebook on a mobile browser?). However, for the most part, our need for downloadable apps is slowly diminishing and unless something drastic happens, this could spell the end for the mobile app.
View this post on Instagram