As smartphones and mobile apps celebrate their first decade, Indians are among the world’s top users.
Did someone say “small is beautiful”? When it comes to smartphones Indians say “bigger is better”! They prefer handsets that are at least five inches in screen size and if they can afford it, they pick phones that are closer to seven inches... The entire range is what are called phablets, just a whisker short of a tablet. In India, six out of 10 smartphones sold are phablets, outstripping even the US. Having acquired a jumbo phone, Indians are eagerly lapping up mobile apps. To mark ten years of mobile apps, a survey last week by Flurry, the analytics group within Yahoo, gave some fascinating insights into the preferences and tastes of this ’appening nation:
Music, media and entertainment are the top three categories, growing at a galloping 188 per cent. Next in popularity are business, finance and productivity apps. Indians are also emerging as fitness freaks, with a mix of health apps and fitness wearables. They like to shop online, but not as often as the global average. Finally, they are creatures of the night, with peak app usage at 9 pm. Unsaid in all this, is the Indian preference for freebies — we don’t like to pay for apps and will go for the free version even putting up with advertisements.
Have you noticed how so many mobile calls these days are preceded by a few annoying seconds of an ad? That means the guy at the other end has done a free recharge and you have to pay the price! That said, developers have come up with truly cool-and-free mobile apps for all tastes. According to a study by Indian mobile advertising leader InMobi, “State of the Developer Nation”, Android now has an overwhelming 79 per cent mindshare amongst mobile developers. Here are a couple of recent apps, “Made in India”:
RideSafe with this app
RideSafe is a Real Time Route Deviation Detection tool, developed by Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg, that women will find particularly useful. If the driver of your taxi deviates from the route or halts without reason, the system raises a red flag by sending an SMS to all on the rider’s emergency contact list. This is an automated process without the user having to manually push a ‘Panic’ button. The app has been recently updated with useful new features for carpooling as well.
Virtual visiting cards
Carrying and exchanging business cards is one of the pains of professional life. It is another hassle to manually enter email IDs or phone numbers to send those obligatory “Nice to have met you” messages.
Delhi-based Handshake Global Technologies has created a useful app called HS Cards which does away with physical cards and lets you custom-design cards, store them on your phone and exchange them electronically. The app comes with a range of design templates for making your card and also to share.