Gen-Z-Mobile-smallIn 2006, if you wanted to find a new song or discover a great restaurant, you would turn to Google. Desktop search was hands-down the best way to sift through and uncover content. Today, you probably aren’t using a desktop nearly as much to find information. More likely than not, you’re using the device in your pocket–even if your computer is in the same room.

Okay, so you know that more people (including, most likely, yourself) are using their iPhones instead of their desktops. But what you might not have considered is how the process of using our mobile devices has changed.

When mobile computing began to ramp up speed with the first iPhone in 2007, the technology was largely treated as a “smaller” lightweight version of the web. You can search on your desktop; you can search on your phone. You can view a website on your desktop; you can view it on a phone. Same…but smaller. A little slower. A little less robust.

Mobile Is THE Web Experience.
Today, in 2016, we’re finally starting to view mobile in the mainstream as less of a “compressed-desktop” experience and more as its own unique experience that, in many instances, is actually superior to the desktop experience.

Perhaps one of the most significant ways that the mobile experience has changed since the original iPhone is in how we access content. Instead of using the Google search app on your iPhone, you are probably much more likely to use a specific app to find the information you need.

Instead of Googling a cab company, you open Uber. Instead of searching for a restaurant, you open Zomato. Instead of searching for new artists, you open Spotify. Instead of searching for hotels, you open Expedia.

App Experiences Offer Faster, Better Results Than Search.
Desktop search opened us up to an entire world–a world with an overwhelming number of choices. Mobile has reined us back in. Instead of filtering through a dozen websites to find our next TV series, we can open Netflix on our iPhone and allow the platform’s expertise and knowledge about us, as individual users, to guide us in making a quick and superior decision–when compared to whatever we might come across in an impersonal list of 700 million search results.

The idea that users are shifting from mobile browsers to apps is supported by numerous studies. This past summer, mobile marketing platform Swrve reported that users spend “five times as much time on mobile apps as they do on mobile internet browsers” (via Geo Marketing).

A new infographic from Fluent (via AdWeek) shows how Gen-Z, in particular, is using apps for discovery. Will the app experience overtake the mobile browser? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.