Apps still beating mobile web, by 6 to 1 minute spent!
Six years into the race for your attention on mobile, apps are winning. A recent report by Flurry, who sits on the world’s most detailed mobile analytics, show that Americans are spending 6 minutes in apps, for every 1 they spend on mobile web.
Apps were considered a fad by some, but statistics clearly show the opposite trend
It has been widely speculated that consumers were getting tired of apps, and that mobile web was the future, however the stats show the opposite.
It looks like consumers actually consider the mobile browser to be “just another app”.
Travel apps are popular
The new statistics are in line with the general trends in the travel industry, where recent reports show that almost half of people have travel apps on their phones, and 26% have several.
Branded travel apps and destination apps should probably aim to conquer the “download, use, retire” app segment, where consumer downloads an app to use specifically during their holiday and they retire it to the back of their phone afterwards, similarly to how they would use a travel guidebook. This is a time where travelers are actively looking for help, and where brands and DMOs can play a positive role.
Alternatively (or concurrently), travel brands could ensure their content is well placed in the apps that are battling for the “preferred global travel app” market, such as Foursquare, TripAdvisor and our own Everplaces app.
The time to invest in apps in now
Given consumers are likely to download only a certain number of apps, the investment in getting into the market is only going to increase. Therefore, now is a good time to start investing in your app presence, as pointed out by Lee McCabe, Facebook’s Head of Travel at IBT recently.
Facebook themselves have been amongst the most aggressive investors in mobile, and are seeing that investment paying off. Between the Facebook app, Instagram and WhatsApp they sit on a large percentage of the usage now, especially compared to Google’s meager 5% spent in their mobile web browser.
Time on mobile has grown, again.
4 precious minutes more, that’s what the average American spends more per day on his mobile compared to last year, that’s 2.5% increase.
The total time spent on mobile is now a whopping 2 hours and 19 minutes per day!
Native apps, not web apps
The report is major vindication for native apps (developed in iOS, Android, etc, the software the actual phones run on).
86% of time on mobile (US consumers) is spent in native apps. So, despite web apps (also called HTML5 apps) getting a lot of attention, because they in their one-size-fits-all nature, are cheaper and faster to develop. But the performance is simply not keeping up with native apps, which has also made big companies like Facebook and LinkedIn shift to native apps. For the record, the 70 apps developed by Everplaces are also all native apps.
“It is still too early to predict the trajectory apps will take in 2014,” Flurry said. “But one thing is clear — apps have won and the mobile browser is taking a back seat. Now every company in the world, including Google, is adjusting to that reality.”
Considering an app? Let us help! It can be faster and cheaper than you think. Email email@example.com
Android vs iPhone, why you should start on one platform
Every marketeer would like to reach as many people as possible. So why is it a good idea to start building your app only on one platform?
The team at Everplaces has built 70 apps, both for Android and iOS. Based on our experience with that, here’s why we suggest starting simple, it could end up saving you a lot of time and money.
1) It’s not the build, it’s the maintenance
Most people calculate a budget for building their apps. They agree on a feature set with the developer who starts building and everyone is happy. But what about the maintenance costs? What surprises most people about development is that the product isn’t just built and then it works, it has to be constantly improved, tweaked and bug fixed.
For one, the platform providers keep coming out with new updates you have to be compatible with. For example, when Apple released the iPhone 5 we suddenly had to make all our apps fit the new taller design of all the pages (iPhone5 is taller).
Then Apple came out with iOS7, the new operating system which has “flat design”. This meant that to keep looking good, we had to redesign the icons, reconsider several pages, and had to decide what to run with in the changeover period, where we have users on both systems.
And this is just the platform provider, we also connect with Facebook, Twitter and a number of other services which constantly update the integration. Recently we spent a month building a deep Facebook integration, which was offered to us because we have a special partnership with Facebook. Four days after we released it with big hurrah, Facebook changed something at their end and a lot had to be rebuilt.
For every platform you’re on, integrations and functionality have to be rebuilt all the time. Do you really have resources to do that, or will you become bogged down in maintenance so you can’t develop new features or grow your business? So set aside 20% of your building budget for updates during the next 12 months. Or choose a provider who includes updates in their prices (hint hint).
2) The audiences behave differently
Users on iPhone are more valuable than on Android. That’s an objective fact. They download more apps, they use more of them and they spend more money via their phone.
To a wide extent, you can predict behavior based on which phones people have bought. In the case of Everplaces the app, we have an app targeted urbanites and food lovers. These people tend to be on iPhones because they appreciate that the user experience is usually better on iOS devices. (This is both because of the superior design on the hardware, but also because of the strict guideline Apple impose on all software distributed through the App Store.)
So when choosing the right platform to start with, you could consider what’s important to you in terms of in-app purchase, upfront app purchasing, business vs personal usage, average income of users, etc.?
Because of the above, we recommend starting with iPhone or iPad apps.
3) Designing for Android is filled with compromises
It is correct that the Android user base is growing the fastest. Currently their market share is 70.4% in Europe and 52% in the US (vs Apple’s 17.8% Europe and 41% US).
While most of this growth comes from a lower-income demographic, who probably isn’t your target audience, it still feels natural to ask whether it wouldn’t be best to start with Android. The below image is why the answer is no.
The image shows all the different formats you have to consider when designing for Android. There are simply so many screen sizes and resolutions that you have no fighting chance to deliver a good user experience for all of them. No matter what you do, you’re compromising. Compromise isn’t great user experience.
4) Delivering a consistent brand experience
We have to admit it, we once fell for the temptation to build on a second platform ourselves, since we had so many user requests for Android. But as soon as we started testing it the truth was obvious. It was simply a worse experience than the iPhone app, it looked less pretty, it was slower and clunkier. Most of this was because of the compromises we’d have to make to fit so many screen sizes.
For a company with strong design DNA, and a product that’s renowned for its UX, we couldn’t live with the poor user experience. So we had two choices; shift the majority of our efforts from iOS to Android, or live with a worse experience. We chose a third, and pulled the app back, despite the many requests. We lost hundreds of hours working on it, which we could have spent optimizing our core experience.
5) Reiterate, Perfect and then Expand. It worked for Instagram
Most companies have limited resources and have to use them wisely. You’re probably up against competitors who have more people and budget than you. Therefore it may be a better strategy to be world-best at something. Kick ass at one smaller field, rather than be average at a whole range of things. If you start with one platform, you can test, fine tune, get the metrics right, observe how people use it, adjust the features and tweak the design.
When it’s perfect, absolutely perfect, then you build it for the second platform.
Staying on one platform during the exploration phase halves your development costs in that period.
Instagram famously stayed on iOS until they had 30mil users. Only then was it perfect enough that they were convinced it should be replicated to Android. They did, and the user base sky rocketed.
6) The hidden platforms
Most brands don’t only connect via mobile, but also on web. As an example, in the case of Everplaces the app, even though we’re focused on mobile, we’ve got to consider 7 platforms.
We’ve got a web interface, so we are actually always building and testing on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, plus some smaller browsers and mobile versions of some of them. All of these come in many different versions, so some of them count as four or five. So that’s like 30 experiences to consider. That’s a lot for as a small team who want to develop fast.
7) What about Windows?
If you are building apps for the general consumer you don’t have to worry about Windows phones, Blackberry or other of the smaller platforms to begin with.
While Windows are gaining a bit of market share, it just doesn’t pay off. There’s two reasons. The first is that there is limited consumers on that platform, but it’s just as hard and expensive to build for. And secondly, because the users of those phones are used to not being able to get the apps they want, since most apps are missing from that app store.
So unless you’re in a very particular segment (like certain American B2B segments, where Blackberry still leads) you can stick to the two major ones. At least until your apps are hugely popular or you have done everything else you want on the main platforms and have budget to spare.
Different platforms will be good for different companies, we are not arguing that Android is inferior to iOS. What we are arguing, however, is that you can make a better mobile app, for less money, if you start with one platform, and then watch and learn. Once you’re convinced your app is perfect, then you have it built for the next platform.
Good luck selecting the best for your company. Let us know if we can help.
The space for mobile travel will be dominated by apps, says Facebook.
Facebook Head of Travel Lee McCabe spoke today at the international travel conference ITB, where he predicted that apps will account for the majority of time spent on mobile. He believes the brands who invest in building app followings now are in a good position for the future, where people will trust fewer apps for more of their decision-making and transactions. Well said, we say!
Everplaces wins top Innovation Prize, plus shortlisting for 6 awards
Last night was a good night for team Everplaces. We took home two major prizes and a host of short listings in the prestigious Danish App Awards.
- Winner: Category of transport and navigation
- Shortlisted: Category of Events and Tourism
After the winners in each category were given, the time came to prizes for the best app overall in each of the important app disciplines. As we live and die for making quality apps, we see this as particularly. Therefore it was an enormous honor to find the jury had shortlisted us for every single one of these awards!
- Winner: Innovation Award
- Shortlisted: Best Design
- Shortlisted, Best Usability
- Shortlisted, Best functionality
- Shortlisted, App of the Year
The short listing for Events and Tourism was particularly important to us, as the nomination was not for the app “Everplaces”, but for Copenhagen Cooking Festival, which we have made together with our partners at Wonderful Copenhagen.
Top level competition
The competition for the awards, and for even making it to the final, has been incredible tough. Denmark is on the forefront of mobile usage and development so the standard of innovation and programming is high.
This is not surprising, as the country has one of the highest smart phone penetration rates in the world, and 200 hundred years of tradition for engineering and design.
Here’s a full list of the winners
App of the Year: Mobile Pay - Danske Bank, Trifork & In2Media
Best design: Classic Winnie-the-Pooh - Egmont & Shape
Best functionality: Mobile Pay - Danske Bank, Trifork & In2Media
Best usability: Nabby - Nabby og Trifork
Aller Innovation Award: Everplaces – Everplaces
Games: Pack a Puzzle (Guld) - Set Snail & Hello Monday
Sport & health: Min Hovedpine (Bronze) - De Allierede, Frankly Web & Pfizer Danmark
Lifestyle: Minibar (Guld) - Shape
Tools: Haze (Sølv) - Robocat & Taptanium
Finance: Mobile Pay (Guld) - Danske Bank, Trifork & In2Media
Education & Kids: Nabby (Guld) - Nabby og Trifork
Shopping: (Sølv) - Lauritz.com, Hello Group & Spoiled Milk
Navigation & Transport: Everplaces (Guld) - Everplaces
Events & Turisme: Distortion 2013 (Sølv) - Shape
News and Reference: Den Danske Ordbog (Bronze) - Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab, Sylvain Fay-Châtelard & Miracle
Status of the year - and Merry Christmas to all!
2013 has been a big year for Everplaces, a year where we’ve changed our focus, built a new core technology and established the perfect team. We’d like to thank all our customers, users, investors, community and contacts and wish you a fantastic new year. You’ve been a big part of making our year great.
In the beginning of the year we decided to shift our focus from the Everplaces the travel tip community, our most well-known product, to the app-making engine we’d started building in late 2012. The travel community around Everplaces is thriving, and people all over the world use it daily to save travel tips and locations they love. But we decided it would jeopardize the trust that’s essential in the product if we monetized directly, therefore we built-out our technology to become an app-making engine. Today we make our money outside Everplaces travel site.
The world’s best engine for location-based apps
During 2013 our brilliant engineers have built the world’s easiest way to make top quality location-based apps. What our engine essentially does it allow any marketing manager to turn location content, often for travel or tourism, into beautiful branded native iOS apps.
We’re now able to reduce both cost and time to make an app by two thirds!
Working with wonderful companies
We now power 65 apps, we specialize in location-based and work a lot with the travel and tourism sector. We are proud to be working with some of the most innovative companies in that field on cool projects such as:
Copenhagen Cooking by Wonderful Copenhagen
We partnered with one of the world’s most innovative DMOs to create a sleek and smart app for the big Copenhagen Cooking Festival. Delicious!
UNESCO World Heritage Sites by German National Tourist Board
The smart people at the German tourism board have a tough time choosing what to promote in their beautiful country, this year they choose the 38 world heritage sites and promoted it with an app. Magical locations!
Global travel guide series by Urban Adventures
Australian tour company looked all the way to Denmark when they had to choose their mobile partner for their new travel guide series. Their ambition is the publish a guide for all 82 cities where they work, they’ve already published 12 mobile guides!
Some of the things we’re particularly proud of from 2013
- Build world-class app generator for location-based apps
- Now power 65 apps, 27 released in 2013
- Increased turnover by x17
- Partnered with Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, DigitalTourismThinkTank & TellUs
- Thought leader in mobile marketing, app building and working with UGC - spoke at 28 events all over the world
- Everplaces the app featured in Apple’s lists every single week of 2013 and is now used in 95 countries.
- We had 15 separate apps featured by Apple and several apps nominated for awards.
We hope you have had just as good a year as we have. And look forward to seeing you in 2014.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Karlo, Simon, Mark, Ani, Jane, Stefan, Chris, Angie, Tine
London’s best champagne bars
Any plans for New Year’s Eve? If you are in London here are some awesome places to check out.
John Maynard Keynes once said: “My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne.” The famous British economist may be surprised to know that London’s champagne establishments today offer much more than chandeliers and caviar.
Check out this collection of unique champagne bars in London from 33rd level views to gourmet hot dogs.
Share your favorite places directly on your blog
Great news for you who have a blog and would like to share your recommendations with your readers.
We have just released a Wordpress plugin that will help you embed any of your Everplaces collections directly in your blog, either as a map or as pictures.
Say you’ve created a collection with the best places you discovered in your last trip to Italy and would like to share it on your blog, now you can easily do it by embedding your collection in a blog post or on theside bar of your blog.
It’s super easy to use and the perfect way to help your readers save and share your tips.
Apps with in-destination information are an opportunity for DMOs, says eMarketer
"As smartphones become ubiquitous among travelers, DMOs and SMBs can attract and retain customers by offering mobile features that guide travelers through their destination, not just to their destination”
This was the verdict of eMarketer, based on a new analysis of the usage of mobile to do local searches for restaurants and things to do while traveling.
Almost half have travel apps now
Almost half (43%) of US travelers with smart phones have installed travel apps, and 30% has several of them.
That’s in line with the general trend, as most travelers today get their mobile out during their trip. MMGY Global, a travel marketing agency, and Harrison Group have discovered that among US leisure travelers, 62% used their smartphones and 43% used tablets.
Travelers who search are open for suggestions
Travelers use their phones to search for places to sleep, eat and things to do, says a comScore report, which found that two-thirds of local business searches for hotel and travel information in December 2012 were nonspecific, suggesting that people looking for travel information on the local level are seeking suggestions, rather than planning pre-decided activities. This means they are open for new restaurants, hotels and experiences to woo them. This is great news for businesses that have made sure to optimize for mobile search with mobile optimized pages.
Travel info missing in most hotel apps
Despite the demand for travel-related information most organizations in travel, in particular hotels, have so far failed to provide their guests with this service, this provides an opportunity for DMOs and hotels to engage travelers with this kind of information.
Guests appreciate curated recommendations
One hotel which is leading the charge on this is Hotel Alexandra, a boutique hotel in Copenhagen. The hotel has a distinct Design-focused identity with classic furniture and art all over the hotel. As such, they attract many design-interested travelers.
Hotel Alexandra recently decided to service their design-loving target audience with a custom city guide focusing on design. It includes places to eat and visit that provide a great design experience. All the locations in the guide are personally selected by staff and management at the hotel, who’ve also taken into account what guests ask for at the front desk most often.
Their app is free, you can check it out here
Read more about the report from eMarketer
By Tine Thygesen, CEO of Everplaces
If you’re considering making a in-destination app we’d love to help. Here’s some of the 60 apps we’ve already made with our partners and clients.
New study: Branded apps increase purchasing intent
A report about branded app usage helps digital marketing managers understand how consumers use branded apps. The report is full of good news for marketeers.
Most people use branded apps
More than half of smart phone users say they regularly use a store, brand or product app, says a February 2013 study conducted by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global Advisor, this demonstrates that it can be worthwhile producing apps for engagement.
Most popular for More info, then Deals
The good news for marketeers is that most people use the apps because they want to engage with the brand. In earlier years, many brands made games and gimmicky apps to create contact, but now utility apps are becoming more popular.
Apps are best for engagement
The general trend we’re seeing at Everplaces is that organizations are starting to use apps more to engage, than to build awareness. For example, in tourism we see a lot of focus on “in destination” information, the purpose of which is to improve the stay of the tourist, who then in turn is more likely to spread their good experience and talk about the destination on social media. Or brands that use apps to extend the experience for visitors to their website, offering an app that showcases products and shows the nearest store. This is in order to capitalize on the traffic and extend the conversation.
Apps increase purchasing intent
Perhaps the best news from the report is that consumers seeking more information via an app typically become more interested in purchasing in the process, as such 52% are more interested in buying after using the branded app.
What’s also clear from the report is that mobile apps often act as the gateway to the organization, so the consumer can find their way to web pages, social media pages, competitions or tools. As such, the consumer uses the branded app almost as a bookmark so they get to the information they need in the fastest possible way.
By Tine Thygesen, CEO of Everplaces
If you’re considering making a branded app we’d love to help.
A Guide to Cool Copenhagen: From Vesterbro to Amager
After having spent a day in Nørrebro, let’s move on to some of the city’s other neighbourhoods. We’ll start the day in my second favourite neighbourhood: Vesterbro. Copenhageners often say that while Nørrebro is for the young, poor and rebellious at heart, Vesterbro has been occupied by the more settled families with 9 to 5 jobs. This may be partially true, but Vesterbro is as diverse as any other neighbourhood and there’s something for everyone here.
If you’re into fashion, Vesterbro has a pretty large variety of shops that will make your banker lose his mind. One of these is DANSK on Istedgade. Here you’ll find locally designed clothes that are colourful, comfortable and very pretty. A block south of Istedgade is Sønder Boulevard – a popular place to hangout during the summer. Buy a refreshing drink at the popular café Dyrehaven and watch the Copenhagen life pass by.
One of the best things about Copenhagen is the amount of water and open space that characterize the city. Harbour baths are everywhere, and it’s perfectly safe to just jump into the water and cool off. Being able to swim in the middle of a city is like balm for a busy soul, but the popular spots can be a bit crowded in the summer. Nokken is a quick bike ride from Vesterbro, and this little gem is rather unknown to most people, so around here you’ll have the water all to yourself!
From Nokken you have easy access to the island of Amager, home to some of the most interesting architecture in the city. Start off with a visit to the Tietgen Student Hall, a fascinating round dorm just next to the University of Copenhagen. Ride your bike south down Ørestad Boulevard and stop by the VM-Bjerget, another cool piece of architecture designed by the Danish darling Bjarke Ingels and his team at BIG.
If your stomach has started to rumble, it’s time to ride your bike or jump on the new metro straight into the city centre. Though crowded and touristy in the high-season, Torvehallerne is definitely worth a visit. These two covered food markets are like heaven for anyone with a culinary interest, and there is a lot to both eat and see. Take your time and be sure to visit both the section with commodities and prepared food.
All that biking around calls for an ice cream break, doesn’t it? For that, there’s only one place to go: Hviids Is on Østerbro. You have to do another quick bike ride from the city center, but once you taste their homemade Italian popsicles, you won’t be sorry you came here. Actually, you’ll probably be screaming for more! So have as many as your conscience allows you to and be sure to enjoy them here on Olufsvej – a beautiful cobblestoned street with house facades in all colours of the rainbow.
When it’s time for dinner, get back on your bike. Destination: the Meatpacking District of Vesterbro. Still home to the city’s meat production, this industrial area has actually become a hipster hangout. A few years back, the Copenhagen Municipality decided to rebrand the area and they have been successful in doing so – the place is filled with popular restaurants and bars. Have a tasty sourdough pizza at Mother and end the day with a drink and dance under the stars in one of the neighbouring bars.
You can check out and save Nana’s Copenhagen collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Nana is a freelance travel journalist and a big food lover. She loves taking photos and uses the city as an inspiration.