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Broadplay

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Mobile Apps: 10 Reasons Why They are Important to Your Business

Vivek Verma's Photo

July 2017

1) Studies show that 55 percent of Canadians own a smartphone, compared to one in five people on a global basis.

2) The amount of time people use apps has increased by 21 percent in the last year.

3) Digital radio and photos now generate 96 percent of their total engagement from mobile devices

4) In 2014, 42 percent of all mobile sales generated by the leading 500 merchants came from mobile apps.

5) Global mobile app revenues are expected to grow to 94.82 billion Canadian dollars by 2017.

6) Today, 85 percent of people prefer native mobile apps to websites. (Native mobile apps provide fast performance and a high degree of reliability.)

7) Mobile app use is becoming more prevalent at home, and it continues to grow. For example, in 2014 59 percent of those using their devices at home accessed apps to read an article. This year, the figure has risen to 71 percent.

8) Similarly, of those who use smartphones as their primary device, 68 percent preferred using an app to access their bank account last year, rising to 82 percent in 2015.

9) The 18-24 age group of Canadians has the highest monthly mobile app usage, with an average of 8.88 applications. Given that they are out future, it once again proves the importance of mobile apps moving forward.

10) As a whole, the number of apps used 11 or more times has increased from 13 percent to 39 percent during the last four years.

Photo credit: @responsevivek

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Mobile Apps: The History, Present and Future

Benhar Office's Photo

June 2017

We all pretty much accept mobile apps as part of our daily life. However, no matter how much we are used to them, when you really think about it, they haven’t been around that long.

Along those lines, we thought it would be interesting to look at where apps originated from, where they are now and where they are headed in the future. The story begins 32 years ago, in Aspen.

In the summer of 1983, a young man of 28 was giving a conference speech, in which he predicted the evolution of a new digital distribution system. His name - Steve Jobs.

(At the time, Jobs was a mere six months away from launching the first Macintosh. However, more amazingly, we were still 24 years away from the first iPhone and 27 years before the first iPad.)

During his speech, the future Cofounder of Apple Inc. explained how this new digital system would be similar to a record store, with software being downloading over phone lines. Right there and then, Jobs saw that apps and app stores were coming.

And of course he was right, with apps coming from early PDAs, through the ridiculously addictive - yet simple - Snake game we all used to play on the Nokia 6110 phone. (When the Apple App store opened in 2008, there were 500 different apps available.)

Since then, there have been three phases of development, taking mobile technology from telephony to gaming and utilities, to apps that would - in effect - be your home screen and dominate your experience. The third phase has seen apps come with content that is more about maximising their usefulness, as opposed to dominating your attention.

The question is what comes next? Matt Strain of theguardian.com believes the volume of content being produced is going to lead towards consumers managing their apps in different ways.

Strain writes that the most likely concept is similar to what we already see on Facebook and Twitter. This design will allow content to be aggregated and presented to users in a consistent way.

The second potential development will likely be influenced by the fact mobile is moving out of the pocket and transitioning to becoming wearable. With this growth, there is a need for intelligent aggregation of content, with fuel app innovation.

The third possibility is the most fascinating of all, with app developers no longer designing for desktop and mobile. Instead, they could well produce a single experience that stretches across any internet connected terminal.

Content presented in this way could work effectively for users on almost any type of screen and still be meaningful. Overall, it will be intriguing to see what the future holds for us in the world of apps.

Photo credit: @BenharOffice

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Online security: How to Deal With the Increasing Challenge of a Global User Base

IBM Security's Photo

May 2017

There’s no denying the introduction of the internet has made it easier to do business on a more global scale, something which numerous companies have taken advantage of. However, despite having access to a bigger potential customer-base, it doesn’t come without issues, with one of the biggest problems being the challenge of online security.

Previously, companies would almost exclusively deal with people face-to-face. This translated to little - or no - concern about the identity of customers.

Nowadays however, as with a lot of aspects of life, business is being increasingly conducted online, whether it’s purchases, transactions, etc. Unfortunately for companies, this leaves them vulnerable to fake profiles and online identity scams.

As technology continues to evolve, more companies and customers are going online to do their banking, place orders, book holidays, dating and so on. As a result, this has led to a growing number of online profiles, web interfaces and - of course - mobile apps.

As per a report from www.infobip.com, companies with large, international and exclusively online user bases, such as social networks, e-commerce sites or cloud providers, suffer even more complications. This leads to the pressing question of when and how to decide to allow access to their online service?

Additionally, a lot of companies may have several online accounts, but not follow recommendations to have different passwords for each one. Yet again, this increases the potential for a security breach.

So, what’s the solution? One possible option is to issue everyone with a dedicated hardware token as a second authentication factor. However, this could become extremely complicated.

Deploying a key fob to a global user base can become a major issue in terms of both cost and logistics. Fortunately, there is an alternative way to deliver 2-factor authentication, through SMS messaging.

As www.infobip.com wrote:

“Professional SMS emerged as a convenient component of 2-factor authentication, the only one able to reliably deliver one-time PINs (OTPs) to a global audience.

“The OTP serves as an additional credential for logging into an online service to dispel any doubts as to user identity and prevent frauds, hacks or phishing. The online account is tied to the mobile number of the user, which is also used as the number to which OTP is delivered, effectively proving the identity.”

The beauty of this is that it covers several essential points for companies reliant on the internet. This includes global coverage which doesn’t rely on a data connection, and being supported by all types of mobile phones.

On top of this, users are accustomed to SMS messaging and the cost is inexpensive. Finally, and arguably most important, APIs are the standard for seamless integration into any system.

Photo credit: @IBMSecurity