4 Trends in Mobile Apps for 2013

Publishers, app developers, and marketers have been saying it is the “year of mobile” for a few years now. While that statement can be debated back and forth for hours, there are four trends to take advantage of in 2013 that will undoubtedly make it the year of mobile for you and your customers.

Location-based targeting

This trend gained momentum in 2012, and it is guaranteed to only continue growing in 2013. I’m not talking about apps like Foursquare when I say this. I’m talking about being able to walk or drive around your city and discover special coupons, time-sensitive discounts, daily deals, etc. — all according to your location. Drive traffic to your location and build loyalty by targeting those already near you.

Tablet Browsing

With tablets becoming more affordable for everyone, it’s no surprise that users are now turning to their iPads, Google Nexus, Kindle Fires, etc., as the primary device for browsing and reading. What does this mean for mobile developers? In response to the exploding tablet industry, developers must create actual websites and services to cater to this crowd — websites and apps that take advantage of the touch and swipe capabilities the tablet has. These interactive features open up a whole new world of uncharted opportunity outside the “app industry.”

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Mobile Music Sharing

Global revenue for mobile music was at $11.7 billion in 2008 and is estimated to hit a staggering $19.2 billion by the end of 2013. Spotify cornered the mobile music market in 2012 through their web and app services, and you will only see more of these apps surface in the coming year. For example, Kim Dotcom has been working on the “Global Music Industry Takeover” plan with his upcoming MegaBox. If you’re an app developer and interested in the music space, 2013 is your window of opportunity to leverage the up-and-coming mobile music industry.

Mobile Gaming

If you think this is a “crowded market” — you’re right. However, after 12 years in the industry the one thing I’ve learned from being a successful Internet entrepreneur is that, “the money is where the competition is.” Global revenue for mobile gaming was at $5.5 billion in 2008 and is estimated to hit $9.8 billion by the end of 2013. It’s no surprise that if you look at the top grossing apps in the iOS App Store, nearly ALL of them are mobile games. So if you enjoy gaming and have a passion for building games like I do, then now is as good time as any to get onboard. You’ll be glad you did.

After you develop your app, I recommend getting TestFlight Live. This tool for developers lets you view real-time data about user activity within a beautiful dashboard — for free. Of course there are other similar services out there, but they either have poorly designed dashboards, or they are enterprise solutions that are extremely expensive.

One last piece of advice: Don’t let the window of opportunity close — just sit down and get to work. I like to use surfing as an analogy for being a successful entrepreneur. If you want to be successful, the secret is to jump on EVERY wave that comes your way (i.e. these trends I’m talking about). When you do, your chances of the wave turning into a swell are much better. It’s a numbers game — the fewer waves you attempt, the fewer chances you have to succeed.

Adding to this analogy, the more you “surf,” the more knowledge and experience you’ll gain. As time goes on, your chances of riding the perfect wave increase — or, in your case, developing a successful mobile strategy.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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