Was thinking about apps today when I wanted to change some privacy levels on some Facebook friends and couldn’t really do it from my tablet, phone or mobile site. Similarly, my iPad Facebook app opens links in it’s own browser, an extra step is needed to get it out to Safari, where I can have multiple tabs. And then I have to go back in to the FB app. It’s more powerful and versatile to use the desktop site in a browser.
The full desktop experience seems to becoming more and more about user control and empowerment. And apps may be corrals for sheeple. I can’t view source on my iPad safari. Mobile sites and apps strip out features and functions in the name of eliminating cruft and improving UX. PC sales are falling, mobile is rising.
But making is hard and time consuming. Makes me think again of Charlene Li’s old concept of the ladder of engagement. A big chunk of consumers, and smaller and smaller sets of makers as you climb the ladder. Apps are walled gardens, pushing users where the creators want them to go.
May turned out to be a banner month for mobile as it delivered on some huge milestones which underscored just how impressive the medium’s ascendance has been in the past few years. Mobile platforms – smartphones and tablets – combined to account for 60% of total digital media time spent, up from 50% a year ago. And perhaps more impressively, mobile apps accounted for more than half of all digital media time spent in May, coming in at 51%.
It used to be hard to just get on the Internet. Create a winsock, get an IP, no search engines, just a web of links to each others’ hand-made sites and word of mouth. It got easier and easier and more and more people came on board. And tablets are as easy as it gets.
But also…. how much of that time is inside streaming apps like netflix or spotify (which is app only)? Lots.