Mobile Apps, What are they and How Beneficial Are they
in our Business?
This article might be trivial for many, but beneficial for
those who don’t see benefits of using Apps in their business. Some still use
the terms Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites interchangeably which is not correct. For detail
explanation of Mobile Websites and their differences from Traditional website,
What is an App?
App (full name Application) refers to a stand-alone program
that causes a computer to perform specific tasks.
A mobile app (or mobile
application) is a software application designed to run on smartphones,
tablet computers and other mobile devices. They are usually available through
application distribution platforms, which are typically operated by the owner of
the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows
Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World.
Some apps are free,
while others must be bought. Usually, they are downloaded from the platform to a
target device, such as an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry phone or Windows Phone,
but sometimes they can be downloaded to laptops or desktops. For apps with a
price, generally a percentage, 20-50%, goes to the distribution provider (such
as iTunes), and the rest goes to the producer of the app.
A mobile app is a complete mobile application, which
usually requires installation on your mobile device. It consumes system
resources and memory.
How Many Apps Are There?
There are Millions of Apps from around
the world and the number is increasing daily.
Here is an inventory of apps, as of March 2013,
available on Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry (some are official, some are
estimates as reported):
Google Play/Android is estimated to have
800,000 apps (Jan. 4, 2013).
Apple iOS App Store recently reported
775,000 apps (Jan. 7, 2013)
Windows Phone Marketplace is up to
125,000 apps (Oct. 25, 2012)
Blackberry World is now up to
70,000 apps (Jan. 30, 2013)
Why Apps Are Important?
The popularity of mobile applications has
continued to rise, as their usage has become increasingly prevalent across
mobile phone users. A May 2012 comScore study reported that during the first
quarter of 2012, more mobile subscribers used apps than browsed the web on their
devices: 51.1% vs. 49.8% respectively. Researchers found that usage of mobile
applications strongly correlates with user context and depends on user's
location and time of the day.
On March 4th
ABI Research estimated mobile users will download 72 billion apps in 2013 –
58 billion to smartphones and 14 billion to tablets. As one put it, that’s over
10 apps downloaded per human being on Earth!
Examples of Some Apps:
Anything you can think of, there are
already apps for it or soon be available. As we shown above, there are
Millions of Apps, some free and others for a fee. As an example, I am showing a
free real estate app which I found very useful in our business and for
public as well. That is homesnap:
Let’s say you are
showing some houses to your buyer client, while passing some street they see a
sign for sale in front of house, they ask you if you can find them some
information about that property. You don’t have to go back to your office and
pull information from MLS, Tax records, Appraisal District, etc. Just take a
picture of the house and immediately all information about the house will appear
on your smartphone. Remember, you don’t have to be real estate agent to access
this information, even you client can get this information while they are
sitting in your car.
Disclaimer: The information you
receive from this App is from public records, Tax records, Appraisal district, etc. This
not supposed to replace the MLS data which is more accurate and reliable than
public data and can be obtained only by licensed real estate agent or REALTOR®.