26 Nov /12

Mobile Phone Apps: Life-Mobility?

How mobile is your business? How mobile is your life?

mobile phone appsBusiness tools that consistently add value can not only find their place in the market but help to shape it. If customers judge a business on speed of delivery, then the ability to respond to any situation through any available medium is crucial. The mobile app market trades heavily on the promise of helping business people stay in complete control of their work, regardless of location.

EVS Translations works with clients whose lives are driven by the need to communicate clearly in different languages and media. In many cases, their working lives have been transformed by their mobile apps.

iPhone tools such as FlightTrack Pro, which allows business travellers to monitor flight and reservation updates, or ClockIn, which helps self employed freelancers track the work allocated to individual client projects, offer not only convenience but scheduling efficiency, maximising the most precious commodity; an individual’s time.

It’s not only those in paid employment who need to use their time wisely, of course, and it’s interesting to see that “mobile mothers”, notably in the United States, are increasingly important drivers of economic activity. A recent report by mobile advertising specialists InMobi confirmed that American mothers control $2.4 trillion in annual household purchases and are the key drivers of most buying decisions. This group is turning en masse to smartphones. On average, “mobile mothers” are spending 10.1 hours per day online. Organisational apps are seen as invaluable tools to help to keep busy mother multitasking, coping and spending, and the market hasn‘t been slow to recognise the group’s influence and the ways in which it can be influenced.

Many emerging economies are powered by social groups that have leapt directly from technological innocence to sophisticated smartphone usage. In Brazil, for example, smartphone sales rose 77% in the first half of 2012. A government initiative to offer free Wi-Fi has made Brazilians the third highest internet users on the planet, with latest research indicating that 91 million people are online. An aspirational, switched on population is vaulting forward, and recent trends show that people who previously hadn’t even been computer literate have quickly become owners of smartphones and constant users of mobile applications. As consumers in the BRICS economies emerge into the sunlight, many are enjoying the perceived social status conferred by mobile apps as well as the practical organisational benefits.

EVS Translations deals with a wide range of exporters seeking to communicate clearly and accurately with these new target consumers. An effectively translated website is an excellent starting point for them, with Brazilian Portuguese an increasingly popular option. And in addition, the advertising spend on mobile marketing in emerging economies is skyrocketing.

In July 2012, the number of internet users in Africa passed the one billion mark. Across the African continent, mobile apps are becoming tools of social change, putting key information into the hands of ordinary Africans. The Huduma app allows citizens of Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique, to report local and regional issues via SMS and the net. Issues raised by Huduma users include broken water pipes in deprived areas, teaching misconduct in schools, inadequate policing and injustice in the legal system. In Nigeria, BudgIT allows access to official government financial statistics, bringing new levels of transparency. The MedAfrica app, originating in Kenya through Shimba Technologies, allows users to check a doctor’s credentials, locate a convenient hospital, and verify pharmaceutical treatments. There are now plans to roll it out across the whole of Africa.

While they should be applauded for stimulating positive social change, app manufacturers are naturally eager to keep a close eye on their consumers.

At the time of writing, Nokia has unveiled plans to offer a free maps app on rivals’ devices. Here Maps offers downloadable street plans available for offline use, and audio directions for pedestrians. Here Maps is competing head to head with Google’s rival product, and both parties are fully aware that this particular app offers them a market research goldmine. Here Maps will tell its creators exactly where their customers are at any given moment, and also exactly where they plan to go. With this information, sales can be targeted with precision.

Mobile apps bring convenience and organisation, and shape the world we live in, often in very positive ways. They serve us and they empower us, and lest we forget, they also monitor us. EVS Translations is a global service partner to the communications technology sector, with specialist in-house teams ensuring information is conveyed with absolute clarity in any format and any language. In 2012 the message to users of mobile phone apps has echoed all around the world.