Technology has paved way for a myriad of things and has brought great change to every sector. It has experienced a lot of change itself, owing to the changing needs and abilities of the population. Everything has become a little smaller and easy to carry and use. Mobile technology, which can be defined as devices that are portable and provide instant access to information, has taken over the device world.
By 2012, about 4.3 billion people from all over the world owned a mobile device of some sortii. Experts estimate that this number could shoot to about a billion by 2018. The launch of the Apple iPhone in 2007 definitely triggered this move and set it on an upward trend. A lot has happened over the years but what should users expect in the mobile world?
A detailed report by Cisco said that global mobile data usage increased by a mind-blowing 70 percent in 2012 alone. The amount used, the report said, was almost 12 times more than all the internet traffic on mobile data networks around the world in 2000. Just in case you forgot, this is when the web was starting out and slowly gaining popularity. That is big data and the numbers are set to go higher, with an estimation of a growth of 66 percent every year until 2018.
As the design of smartphones continue to get better, lighter, faster and easier to use, uptake of these devices is increasing with it. An expected increase in data traffic is foreseen at 81 percent and it is easy to see why considering we now socialize on these devices when talking to friends, watching television, while waiting for the traffic lights to change, doing research for school projects and we even use them to settle simple arguments about facts on our favorite football stars.
Data access on tablets is estimated to grow to a staggering 113 percent. With such figures and a visible increase of smartphones in the market, coupled with the fact that consumers are less likely to access the internet from basic-feature phones, mobility has become an essential part of this industry.
The cost of cellular data has significantly increased over the years and consumers have adjusted accordingly. No, they haven’t stopped using data altogether. Instead, they have learned how to use Wi-Fi networks whenever the opportunity presents itself so as to keep their spending on data to a minimum without interfering with their actual consumption.
About half of all the mobile traffic from 2012 went to Wi-Fi and other fixed connections. Considering that the price of tiered data plans may not decrease and the availability of Wi-Fi-only devices, this number is expected to grow. With regard to mobility, wearable devices are slowly penetrating the market with consumers buying smart watches that can link to their phones and still tell them the number of calories they have burnt in the number of steps they have walked.
Design remains one thing that continues to improve and not just the hardware but the software too. Mobile applications continue to develop into smooth and suave interactions with consumers. Developers have realized that shrinking websites from PC view to allow users to access content on mobile devices will just not cut it.
Content is being designed to be seamlessly accessible on all technologies consistently so that users do not feel a difference, mindless of the device they are usingiii. These trends and developments definitely point towards mobile devices becoming and remaining an ingredient of basic life and interaction for a while.
Information Technology at King University
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