Making Sense Of The Application Landscape

By Lauren |

This was originally published on YoungEntrepreneur by Lauren Perkins. You can view the original here.

New year, new toys. Consumer electronics, that is. I’m just getting back and reflecting on CES (Consumer Electronics Show), the largest tech geek kickoff of the year.

This year I got the chance to see the new consumer electronics and tech industry trends from three lenses: that of a journalist, an entrepreneur, and a marketer working with EachScape, an application creation and management platform.

This year’s gadgets and exhibits confirmed the expansion of the tech market as a whole. This results in large opportunities in the application space, which is now trending well beyond smartphones and tablets. The result? The app landscape is becoming increasingly complicated to navigate.

What is “App”lification?
One of this year’s pre-show trend predictions from Shawn DuBravac, research director for the Consumer Electronics Association, was that we’re moving from “Amplification” to “App”lification. Amplification of a company or brand’s message used to be a top KPI (key performance indicator) in the digital space. Now, content creators have the ability to use apps on a number of different screens in their audience’s life to create a robust and interactive user experience to share their story. In other words, “app”lification closes the gaps that historically have fallen between content creators and hardware or product manufacturers, resulting in a frictionless experience that seamlessly integrates with everyday life beyond just mobile phones.

Emerging App Screens
We are seeing the three-screen trifecta of the pre-tablet era disappear with more products being app-enabled than ever before. This year, CES showcased everything from cars to toys to traditional household consumer electronics like refrigerators sporting screen interfaces with built-in apps. With more screens becoming part of the daily user experience, there are an increasing number of creative solutions for entrepreneurs to consider for new products or extensions of existing products.

So what does this mean for entrepreneurs?
Fragmentation. Whether you’re creating an app that is your product and core business or you’re using an app to share content and market your business, you have multiple screens to take into consideration in your mobile and digital planning. You may decide that you need to have an application for every screen or that your target audience is primarily on one or two of the available screens.

“Both on the business and technology front, fragmentation and mobile are two sides of the same coin. Fragmentation has many dimensions – the code (iOS, Android, HTML5 etc.), the type of screen (phone, tablet, TV), and the content format (video, photo, etc.). At EachScape we are trying to help our clients solve the fragmentation problem by allowing them to create and manage across the entire landscape,” explained Ludo Collin, co-founder & CEO of EachScape.

To minimize fragmentation, EachScape lets you create, customize and/or manage apps across multiple platforms. As a marketer and entrepreneur, I found their solution to fragmentation issues to be the gem of their product. EachScape’s platform allows content producers with or without development skills to create highly customized applications that can be configured for the requirements of multiple screens, across iOS, Android, connected TV and HTML5.

Browser Preference and HTML5 Apps
Another emerging trend in the app space that assists with the fragmentation issue is the use of an HTML5 app, as Google opted to do with their iPhone app. They created an iPhone app that has limited functionality but gives the user access to many of their other products (Calendar, Docs, etc.) in their own HTML5 apps. In Google’s case, their iOS app allows users to have all their products in one place and then click a link out to the appropriate HTML5 app. In addition to iOS and Android users, we also see some users that still prefer using web browsers on blackberries and connected TVs. Apple’s operating system upgrade particularly encourages this type of user behavior by allowing you to save a web browser as a badge to your home screen.

The Key Takeaways
Expect to see more industry-wide collaboration and focus on the user interface in 2012. “App”lification is reducing barriers between content creators and manufacturers, creating a wealth of opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to get into or expand their presence in the app space.


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