The Pros And Cons Of Responsive Web Design

Responsive design, a technology that stretches or shrinks Web pages to fit differently sized screens, has emerged as the most-often recommended manner of optimizing content for mobile devices. This dominance was cemented in mid-2012 when Google recommended responsive design as the best strategy for smartphone-optimized websites.

As the iPhone, Android phones, and iPad became bestselling consumer gadgets, businesses realized their Web presence needed to translate to those smaller screens. Otherwise, their websites would bear tell-tale signs of a business clueless to mobile: tiny text, tinier links, and a jumbled layout. They risked lost traffic and sales.

These days, responsive design is recommended as the gold standard. But as with most technologies in a multi-device world, it has disadvantages, and it’s not right for every business, or every application.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we describe what responsive design is and compare it to other mobile optimization tools, analyze responsive designs pros and cons, examine data and statistics that track responsive design adoption and performance across mobile, and evaluate whether dedicated mobile websites have their place, and detail the ramifications for HTML5 development.

To access the full report, sign up for a free trial of BI Intelligence today >>>

Here’s an overview of the main mobile optimization tools:

Google Is Working On 10 Mind-Blowing Products Right Now

Everyone knows Google isn’t just a search company.

Besides developing the Android smartphone software and Chromebook Pixel laptops, Google has a ton of other projects and services in the works.

These products are being developed by Google’s secret skunkworks group, Google X.

Google X is tasked with building products and services that make the world a better place for everyone. Take for example, blimps that fly high in the sky and provide rural areas with wireless Internet, or the development of new drugs that help doctors to better diagnose patients.

And those are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the other things Google is hard a work at through Google X and its various other product divisions.

How location-based feature have boosted engagement for apps

With over 770 million GPS-enabled smartphones, location data has begun to permeate the entire mobile space. The possibilities for location-based services on mobile go beyond consumer-facing apps like FourSquare and Shopkick. It’s powering advertisements, and many other services — from weather to travel apps. In a recent report from BI Intelligence on location-based data, we analyze the opportunities emerging from this new local-mobile paradigm. We specifically examine how location-enabled mobile ads have generated excitement, look at how location-based feature have boosted engagement for apps, and demystify some of the underlying technologies and privacy issues. Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >> Take a look at this infographic: f A pure GPS approach and the “lat-long” tags it generates is considered the standard for location data. But there are at least four other methods, sometimes used in combination, for pinpointing location: Cell tower data: When GPS signals can’t reach the device’s GPS chip, which often happens indoors, the device will often report its location by communicating with the cell tower it’s connected to and estimating its distance. It’s less accurate than pure GPS data. Wi-Fi connection: It’s an accurate method but requires an active Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi locations are matched with GPS coordinates. It can pinpoint a user to a specific storefront, which is why many retailers are rolling out free public Wi-Fi to enable in-store mobile ads. IP address: Location can be gauged by the IP address associated with the data connection. The accuracy of this approach varies between carriers, and is far less reliable than the above methods. User-reported: When users sign up for emails or register for mobile apps and services, they often enter their addresses and zip codes. This data can be translated into GPS coordinates to build a geolocation profile of a single user or user base. The ability to collect user location data and track it has raised some concerns over privacy. However, Android and iOS give users the ability to opt out of location tracking altogether via their settings. As we detail in our report, there are many opportunities emerging from this new local-mobile paradigm, including location-enabled mobile ads, search, and features that boost engagement for apps. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-mobile-location-data-is-collected-2013-7#ixzz2XxMNCob0

The HTML5 Vs. Native Apps Battle

An HTML5 app is housed on the Web and runs inside a mobile browser. Unlike apps built specifically for Apple devices or Google‘s Android operating system, it does not need to be built from scratch for each OS. The promise is that it can be “write once, run anywhere.”

It’s true: In many cases, HTML5 can work just as well as a native approach. But it is not the silver bullet it is often made out to be, for several reasons.

So where are we in the HTML5 vs. native apps debate?

In a recent report, BI Intelligence breaks down this question, doing a head-to-head comparison of the two and looking at the current state of the performance gap between HTML5 and native apps.

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Take look at this table from our report: 

 

UntitledBI Intelligence

 

As the chart illustrates, native apps still reign supreme over HTML5 in a few areas, including:

Analyze mobile showrooming's influence on retail.

The practice of “showrooming,” or viewing an item in a retail store and then buying it online, has brought the e-commerce threat directly to bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Mobile raises the showrooming threat to a new level since price comparisons are available to shoppers immediately, as they make decisions and browse e-commerce websites in stores.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we analyze mobile showrooming’s influence on retail, examine the various different types of consumer behavior that make up showrooming, look at what the big retailers are doing to combat showrooming, and identify the five broad strategies that will help brick-and-mor ter retailers win business from showroomers.

How Amazon Is Trying To Create A Huge Mobile Business

U.S. mobile commerce is exploding. Amazon, as a leading ecommerce site, is set to grab a big chunk of that.
But when it comes to mobile, Amazon’s ambitions are anything but limited to ecommerce.

Recent reports from BI Intelligence detail Amazon’s mobile ambitions, analyzing everything from the potential impact of a rumored Amazon smartphone to Amazon’s ability to become a huge player in mobile advertising.

Access the Full Reports By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today

Here’s a brief overview of Amazon’s mobile ambitions:

Tablet Sales: Amazon’s Kindle tablets and Android tablets had a big third quarter last year. Kindle shipments, including e-readers, jumped 104% in the quarter, likely helped by the early September launch of the new Kindle Fire tablet line and the fact that the 7-inch version began shipping that month. It’s tablets priced very competitively. With the release of the Nexus and the iPad mini, the competition has never been hotter.

Software sales: The Amazon Appstore has been a huge success on the Kindle Fire. Developers make almost as much revenue per active user as they do on iOS. Google Play has many more users, but it does not generate substantially more revenue in the U.S. than the Amazon Appstore. Apple executives reportedly worry that Amazon’s controlled, iTunes-like approach makes it more competitive than other app stores, including one operated by Google. Given strong early results, Amazon shouldn’t have a hard time convincing developers to bring their apps to an Amazon phone.

Media sales: The Kindle Fire is best understood as an interactive catalog which drives sales of all sorts of Amazon products. The Kindle ecosystem includes ebooks (Kindle app), music (Amazon MP3), movies and TV shows (Amazon Prime), and apps. Almost 50 million Americans visited an Amazon site on their smartphones in July. Over 86 million U.S. smartphone owners accessed a retailers’ app or mobile site, meaning 47% went to an Amazon property. The next largest smartphone draw was eBay, which had 33 million visitors with a reach of 31%.

Smartphone Sales: Amazon continues to push forward with the makings of a smartphone platform. The potential platform has been widely rumored but not yet confirmed. The beginnings of a platform strategy are coming together: a recent purchase of 3D mapping startup UpNext, last year’s acquisition of voice recognition software creator Yap, and the launch of a prepaid wireless service in Japan. However, big questions remain about its ability to build out and manage a software platform and design the hardware to deliver it.

Mobile ads: Amazon has the potential to be a huge force in mobile advertising. Data is the lifeblood of online advertising and Amazon has a unique data trove. It’s not just data on what people like to buy, but data on what recommendations work in getting people to buy things.

How Consumers Are Using Their Phones, And What It Means

Mobile is no longer a communications utility, but a media distribution hub. According to eMarketer, mobile now accounts for 12 percent of Americans’ media consumption time, triple its share in 2009.

Where is this consumer attention being focused?

The biggest beneficiaries have been mobile apps. Time spent on apps dwarfs time spent on the mobile Web, and smartphone owners now spend 127 minutes per day in mobile apps.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we analyze the main mobile usage trends developers and publishers should consider to be successful in mobile, detail how users are consuming content on their mobile devices, take a look at the most popular mobile activities, and examine how mobile usage is an additive activity.

To access the full report, sign up for a free trial of BI Intelligence today >>>

Here’s an overview of the four usage trends developers and publishers should consider:

The rise of gaming: Games are the largest mobile app category and the biggest money-maker in the app stores, accounting for 70% of Apple’s top-grossing apps. However, even with the most addictive games, consumers’ attention is fleeting and companies run the risk of becoming “one-hit wonders.”
Mobile-social synergies: Social networking apps are the second largest time bucket for mobile users. 39% of mobile users access social networks. This includes mobile versions of desktop favorites, as well as mobile-first networks like Instagram. Mobile holds promise for the social category, but monetization is far from a sure thing.
The piggyback rule: The only tried-and-true way for a mobile success is to take a popular usage category and build a product that piggybacks on that activity to provide a unique mobile-native experience. Instagram did it with photos, “Angry Birds” with games, but other usage categories — news, weather, travel, video etc. — are waiting for a similar hit.
Portal erosion: Mobile is a fragmented space, and consumers seem to like it that way. No one has succeeded aggregating services via a single app or mobile website. The desktop portal is fading with the advent of mobile. Yahoo Mail Traffic declined 12% in the 12 months leading up to December 2012. Carrier attempts to build mobile portals have failed miserably.

 

Inside The Rise Of Responsive Design And Its Pros And Cons As A Mobile Strategy

Responsive design, a technology that stretches or shrinks Web pages to fit differently sized screens, has emerged as the most-often recommended manner of optimizing content for mobile devices. This dominance was cemented in mid-2012 when Google recommended responsive design as the best strategy for smartphone-optimized websites.

As the iPhone, Android phones, and iPad became bestselling consumer gadgets, businesses realized their Web presence needed to translate to those smaller screens. Otherwise, their websites would bear tell-tale signs of a business clueless to mobile: tiny text, tinier links, and a jumbled layout. They risked lost traffic and sales.

These days, responsive design is recommended as the gold standard. But as with most technologies in a multi-device world, it has disadvantages, and it’s not right for every business, or every application.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we describe what responsive design is and compare it to other mobile optimization tools, analyze responsive designs pros and cons, examine data and statistics that track responsive design adoption and performance across mobile, and evaluate whether dedicated mobile websites have their place, and detail the ramifications for HTML5 development.
To access the full report, sign up for a free trial of BI Intelligence today

Here’s an overview of the main mobile optimization tools:

Mobile apps: Particularly at the beginning of the mobile boom, when some believed apps would channel virtually all mobile activity, businesses rushed to create apps. Apps may be dominant in some mobile markets like the U.S., but consumers use their mobile browsers too — and not just for casual browsing, searching and information look-ups. A great deal of e-commerce happens in the mobile Web browser, not in native apps. Not to mention: Apps are expensive. Apps are not the be-all, end-all for mobile.

Dedicated mobile websites: Some usability gurus advocate for separate mobile sites that offer a stripped-down version of its content and carry their own Web address (often with the URL that looks something like this: m.website). These mobile-only sites tend to perform very well in terms of load speeds.

Responsive design: In responsive design, the same Web code or HTML is delivered to every device, but tweaks to CSS code which determines the layout of Web pages — allow it to determine the device size and adjust layout accordingly. The website maintains the same Web address or URL regardless of what device it’s seen on. In sum: The fluid layout means that content adapts to all form factors, even smart TVs — a fast-growing source of Web traffic.

Responsive Design With Server-Side Support– This is a variant of responsive design. The difference is that the computer server that hosts the website will deliver different batches of HTML and CSS Web code depending on what device the user is on. This method solves some of responsive design’s performance issues, but requires device detection. It means a company can use responsive design and enjoy its advantages where it wants, but deploy more customized components too. It may deploy responsive elements across mobile, while keeping a more traditional fixed layout for the PC. It may even deliver customized experiences for certain device models (like a feature that only works on retina screens, etc.).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Coming to U.S. on July 7

The first tablet to offer a serious alternative to the iPad has come a long way. The Samsung Galaxy Tab, which originally debuted in late 2010 and quickly earned status as Android’s de facto tablet offering, is now in its third generation of products. Fittingly, it comes in three sizes — with screens that measure 7, 8 and 10.1 inches — and they’re all coming to the U.S. on July 7.

Of course, there are tons of other Android tablets now, and the Tab has evolved into Samsung’s entry-level “consumption” tablets, leaving the high end to the company’s premium Note line, which adds more features and processing power (not to mention a stylus) for people interested in “productivity” from their tablets.

The Tab, on the other hand, is all about kicking back and enjoying some good old-fashioned content. All the models include an infrared blaster for controlling your TV as well as preloaded remote-control software.

Part of the package is Samsung’s WatchON app, which displays TV content visually, letting you browse shows as if they were Pinterest pins. The search function integrates with more than just your TV’s content, surfacing shows from digital video services as well.

All three models come in white or dark brown, which Samsung calls “Gold Brown.” If you see it in the dark, you’ll think it’s black.They’re all Wi-Fi models; any carrier partnerships for 3G or 4G connectivity will come later.

Here’s the rundown on the three models:

Galaxy Tab 3 7.0
The littlest of the Tab 3 line, the 7.0 sports a 7-inch LCD with 1,024 x 600 resolution. The chip inside is a Marvell dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. There’s only 8GB of storage, but you can augment that with a microSD card. Although it’s the lightest of the three at 10.6 ounces, its 0.39 inch thickness is actually thicker than the Tab 8.0. It runs Android 4.1 and costs $199.

Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
With its 8-inch screen and ultra-thin (0.29 inch) casing, the Tab 8.0 is clearly targeting the iPad mini. At least this model runs Android 4.2, backed by a Samsung 1.5GHz dual-core Exynos processor with 1.5GB of RAM. Screen resolution is 1,280 x 800, and there’s 16GB of built in storage, plus a microSD slot. Price is $299.

Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
The daddy of the line, the Tab 10.1 is notable for being the first mainstream Android tablet to pack an Intel processor, an 1.6GHz dual-core Atom chip with 1GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.2 and has 16GB of storage, plus a microSD slot. The 10.1 is also thinner than the 7.0 — just 0.31 inch — and weighs 1.1 pounds. Like the Tab8.0, the screen resolution is 1,280 x 800, and it costs $399.

After Eight
Although Samsung is offering three models in its new Tab line, it’s clear where the focus is: The 8.0 model is the thinnest, has the best camera and has the largest pixel density. It also happens to be $30 cheaper than the iPad mini, a tablet it actually bests with a couple of specs.

Watch for reviews of the Galaxy Tab 3 devices in the coming weeks, and let us know which one you like the best in the comments.

A Day in the Life of a Mobile Consumer

The mobile revolution has been dubbed by many as the trillion dollar revolution. While it is still hard for anyone to quantify the overall economic impact of the mobile revolution, it is clear that mobile devices and apps are changing every aspect of our lives. From news consumption, to photo sharing, to gaming, to hailing a cab to depositing a check, every moment has become a mobile moment. In fact, most consumers who have a smartphone or a tablet can’t imagine their lives without these devices and apps. We have become addicted to instant gratification and the back pocket proximity of powerful computing technology.

At Flurry, we have been at the epicenter of the mobile revolution for more than five years now and today we see activity from more than 300,000 apps and three billion app sessions every day, giving us a unique vantage point into the behavior of over a billion worldwide mobile consumers.

Today, SourceDigital13 we are sharing a peek into a day in the life of a U.S. adult mobile consumer. (We’ll blog some other parts of my keynote in future posts.) For this depiction (see chart below), we have used a random sample of 15,271 U.S. iOS users and we measured their app usage throughout the month of May, 2013. We also cut the data based on a 24-hour cycle to help understand the usage throughout an entire day.

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