I went through App Annie's 2014 trends report and there are quite a few interesting tid-bits in the report to write about. Mobile applications are proliferating. They are tracking more than 3.7mn of them, simply because the barrier to entry is pretty low, especially on Android. Anyone can download their free SDK and pay $25 to register and publish an app on Google Play Store.

Google Play Store’s revenue increased as expected, however it brings in less dough than Apple’s App Store. Despite having 84% of market at end of 2014, Android’s lower premium nature means it’s users don’t spend nearly as much money on it’s App store than iOS. There’s also a decidedly crowded and unpolished nature about Android. Even when Android apps can be much more versatile than iOS because of it’s more open SDK, in reality top developers reserve their best work for iOS instead of Android. Typically when an application is preseted, the iOS version is preferred, even when it’s decidedly loopy to send demo apps for iOS to third parties.

Here are the trends that are noteworthy

  1. Travel Apps - 2014 was the year of the rise of transport and taxi hailing apps. These serve as on-demand transport gateways, and the category increased 30% over the year.

  2. Messaging - Messaging apps continued to grow on their mobile domination. This category for me defines the primary reason for owning a smart phone. Cheap, friction free communication. This was also an year where VOIP threatens to demolish the pricy voice calls. At some point telecom companies need to accept that they cannot prevent people from using their data packs for communication, and need not rely on their text and call packs at all.

This recent trend is really disturbing. Airtel, which is the carrier I use currently is worried of it’s ability to monetize voice traffic. I see myself not relying on voice calls, but using VOIP calls from Viber/Skype instead. Going forward, with apps such as WhatsApp also integrating VOIP in their apps, telecom companies are increasingly worried. I am also irritated that Airtel plays an audio advertisement every time I call someone, and their voice call quality is not necessarily better than Viber.

  1. Super Casual Games - Flappy birds created the foundation and companies such as KetchApp are taking it in their stride. Super Casual games seem to be a tour-de-force on their own in 2014.

  2. Local Music Apps - It seems there was a surge in region-specific streaming music apps are emerging. Music is evolving on mobile and these represent the latest front-end of how music industry and artists take their product and art to the market. The same is currently not happening for video market, because it’s a decidedly more difficult medium to get right technologically.

Well there’s ton more info in the source report itself. You can get it from App Annie’s website - link.

For me mobile = Communication (Messaging) + Camera. The rest is bonus (Maps/Navigation, Notes, Email, etc. etc.)

Best, Umang