Mobile and Voice App Update

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Mobile and Voice App Update

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Last week I wrote about chatty apps, which keep contacting the network for continual updates, so users won’t FREAK OUT because they don’t have the absolute latest info.  But what is the status of what is going on with mobile apps anyway?  Is the craze of downloading apps to your smartphone over?  Or do we have all the apps that we need?

Gartner predicted users would download 102 billion apps by the end of 2013, up from 64 billion in 2012. This increase is driven by sales of new smartphones, and it isn’t expected to continue. Once users get their new phones up and running and find the apps that suit them, their download activity levels off.  People will still download billions of apps per year, but the growth rate will not be as sharp. But the mobile app is alive and well. According to Business Insider, social media is the top Internet activity, and 60 percent of social media is done from a mobile device. Clearly, the Diameter signaling issues I discussed in the blog last week will remain issues for some time.

Do any of the apps really deal with voice? Or video? Surely many of them are games or some kind of  “app” that shortcuts getting to a website. But there are social media apps, and “social” by definition would include voice and video, right? Sure. Bubbly is one that includes a voice element. And there are fun ones that change the sound of your voice.  And there are voice recorder apps, maybe to record ideas while you drive. But likely the most used voice app nowadays is Siri and the like, which perform voice recognition and Internet search. Newer ones deal with voice biometrics

Many of the social media apps enable you to launch to a voice or video call if you want.  Think about any kind of instant message or chat app, such as those that connect you to an agent when you’re buying something online. With the press of a button you can talk. This could be a voice only or a voice-and-video call. WebRTC will enable these “enhanced” apps, with voice and video as integrated elements, because of the ease of app creation with WebRTC. This voice or video integrated element would be there in an as needed way, coming or going as required by the app or user. This is kind of a new realm of application development – building the app and asking the communication resources to come and go as required. As HD Voice becomes more widespread because of the advanced wired and mobile LTE networks, (see the recent AT&T announcement on this subject) we should see even more apps that incorporate this voice element. This should all add up to voice and video becoming more embedded into social media apps. 

What are your most popular apps? Which ones would you like to include voice?

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