What is a Smartphone Application? 

A smartphone application is a program made specifically for use with a mobile handheld device. The purpose of a smartphone application ranges from social networking to online-shopping, to entertainment as well as general information distribution. Although manufacturers feature their own applications, a large portion of applications are created and published by third party sources.

Ever since 2007, the introduction of Apple’s first iPhone has started the fast-growing smartphone trend. With competitors such as the Blackberry, Google’s Android, and Samsung’s Galaxy, many people have been making the switch from cellular phone to smartphone. As of 2010, MobileHealthNews reported over 42% of the US population had begun using smartphones, and it is predicted by The Nielson Company that 1 in 2 Americans will own a smartphone by Christmas of 2011.

 

What should Business Owners Know?
 

With the increase in smartphone user population, business owners should consider the smartphone as a significant platform for marketing. Since smartphones rely on the innovation of applications to connect users to their favorite interests, whether it’s world news, social networking, weather, or even games, many businesses have been creating smartphone applications in order to keep their potential and returning customers updated. For example, Chipotle released an application that allows its customers to place orders and pay via smartphone. eBay has also released a mobile-friendly version of its site, eBay Mobile, for bidders and sellers who wish to be constantly updated on potential deals and buyers.

Of the businesses already investing in smartphone applications, most have noticed a marked increase in conversion rates, up to 10%, and reported a savings of 50% or more on staffing, fees, and maintenance. Additionally, as of 2010 Apple reported a cumulative revenue of $1.43 B from paid apps since the app market’s creation in June 2008. Roughly 15% of apps in market are paid, or freemium-based.

Benefits of Smartphone Applications

There are several benefits from creating a great smartphone application.

  • A smartphone application is made for convenience, both to the customers and to the business. If potential customers want to access your business, or if you feel that your business would benefit greatly from increased access, then smartphone applications are a definite way to go.
  • Smartphone applications help brand promotion by placing itself in an application market for smartphone users to browse and download. Users who like your application can then rate and recommend it to their friends and relatives, thereby acting as unofficial brand ambassadors.
  • Smartphone applications can increase your business’s ability to handle customer service. Having a ratings system on your application means customers can give product and service feedback, which gives you invaluable insight on trends and allows you to improve your products and services without driving your customer base away.
  • The smartphone application is used for more than marketing; it can also generate income. Game applications can be sold as products, contain purchasable premium content, or host advertisements to directly generate income. A survey conducted by The Nielson Company shows that nearly 64% of available apps on the market are games, and the smartphone is quickly overtaking handheld consoles (PSP, Nintendo 3DS) as the go-to system for entertainment. Other viable income-generating products include navigation services, accessories and utilities (body health/fitness apps, help tools), and news/weather services. The possibilities for smartphone applications are nearly endless in number and design.
  • If you already have an online website, perhaps you should optimize it to be smartphone-compatible. Past research has shown that web-surfing via smartphone is more convenient than with desktops and laptops for the nation’s ever-moving consumers. Having a smartphone-friendly website means that you’re not only attracting unique visitors on the web, but also visitors on the go, which can potentially lead to a significant ROI and larger customer base.
Choosing the iPhone Application

The iPhone, iTouch, and iPad are among the most used hand-held mobile devices, with over 85 million reported sold by Apple’s founder Steve Jobs. As such, choosing to develop an iPhone application is beneficial if you wish to market to the largest audience. The iPhone application has several features that potential clients should be aware of:

SDK-optimized applications: Service Development Kits are developing programs designed for specific use with a platform. The iPhone’s SDK controls several functions of the iPhone, such as touch-screen capability, camera support, and motion/orientation sensing.

WiFi-optimized applications: Some applications are only developed for 3G wireless network access, even though the iPhone is capable of using WiFi signals to access the internet. Optimizing your application for WiFi compatibility means your application can access and be accessed almost anywhere at any time.

Backwards-compatibility: While the latest versions of the iPhone and iPad are trendy purchases, many potential customers still rely on older versions. An application that has backwards-compatibility will be able to be accessed by all iPhone/iPad variants, thereby allowing your company to reach a larger audience.

Choosing the Android Application

The Android is Google’s answer to Apple’s iPhone.
With an ever-growing fanbase, user-friendly interface, and Flash compatibility, Android is slowly propping itself to become iPhone’s main competitor. Although creating an Android application means your business won’t be marketing to Apple customers, rest assured that the Android has several benefits:

  • Performance sustainability: The Android’s SDK is an open-source program, which means that developers can invest more time and effort into specific application features, rather than producing the general application code. More time and more effort invested means that the final product will be better tailored for you, the client. It also means that the application will run more smoothly and have less chances of malfunctioning or crashing.
  • Versatile Information Acquisition: The Android phone uses JAVA programming language, and sends/receives data with CDMA, GSM, Wi-Fi, EDGE, EV-DO, Bluetooth and UMTS features (varies by device platform). This means that the Android is capable of sending and acquiring information at a faster rate and with more accuracy. Your business benefits from this by processing analytical data (conversion rates, trends, and incoming traffic) at a much faster rate.
  • Optimal porting: All applications developed with Android’s SDK can be ported, or adapted by different operating systems. Because porting an Android application is hassle-free, your business won’t have to worry about investing resources to develop a backwards-compatible application or create a new application from scratch.
Why Cybertegic?

Here at Cybertegic we offer smartphone applications as an alternative to website creation or as a supplement to an existing website. With Cybertegic’s help, your business can have its very own iPhone/Android application, complete with your personalized logo and title. Whether for the purpose of directly generating income or brand marketing, we will accommodate your needs to ensure satisfaction. We cater to a variety of smartphone application needs and categories, including entertainment, utilities, news/weather, navigation, music, and social networking. We also offer three development models to suit your needs and budget: Fixed Cost Model, Hourly Basis Model, and Dedicated Model (price and development times vary per model).

Here’s how it works: Cybertegic’s professionally trained web and app designers work with you to design the preliminary features of your application, analyze marketing/business goals, and project a budget. Once we have presented several app drafts, you select the right one and we’ll begin developing the project. We then incorporate our diverse marketing solutions to introduce your smartphone application to a variety of interested parties, helping you manage traffic and website efficiency. Our expert business analysts can trace revenue forecasts and synchronize your application with your business to relay pertinent information such as special offers, newsletters, and smartphone app benefits, to your customers.