I recently bought myself the new 32gb iPod Touch (as Apple decided not to produce a 16gb one this time) and I have been looking at a lot of the iPhone apps. I was almost surprised when I came across a vast number of “consumer applications”. I am unsure if there is a more technical term for this; I’ve tried searching to see if there was one. What I mean is when an established company develops a mobile application. In this case, I’m talking about the iPhone. I downloaded a few of them to see what those applications can offer and some of them are developed very well.
The iPhone has so many features integrated in it that can be utilized by developers and some people have really figured out how to maximize its potential. Some of the features that the iPhone/iPod Touch have that developers have taken advantage are:
- Geolocation over Wi-fi which identifies where the users are. This makes it plausible for the user to use store locators and item locators right from the application. (I didn’t even know my iPod Touch could do that… I read more about that here for an explanation)
- Facebook Connect allows users to share reviews and photos of items with their friends.
- Push Updates allow applications to give users real time information and with retail stores always updating inventory, users can constantly be updated with new items and promotions
- The touch screen allows for easy navigation when flipping pages or browsing in general
- The iPhone has a accelerometer that can tell when it has been shaken or moved
- It allows for personalization. Since the application is on a personal device, users can save their favourites without even having to have an account or log in.
I’ve seen a lot of applications where the company allows for users to post ratings and reviews. That’s another powerful tool. I think users trust other users more than they trust companies sometimes. It’s amazing how those little stars can mean so much.
A lot of these applications have their full catalogs displayed and they can be organized based on type, price, size or colour. Each application is unique in its own way but some of them are more successful than others. I’ve noticed that he applications with lots of information and user interaction seem to have better ratings and downloads than the applications in which you can only browse. It makes sense. It’s something for developers to think about when making applications