In 2010 we saw the take off of the tablet computer with the introduction of Apple’s touchscreen iPad. It was also the year of the smartphone and the app. Mobile technology is everywhere and gaining momentum giving consumers, students, and professionals information, tools, and resources anywhere and anytime. Almost twice as many smartphones were sold last year than the previous year. The demand for the iPad has outpaced supply and so far it is in a class by itself although the Blackberry Playbook and other competitors could change this, at least for business users. This is no longer the case for the iPhone now that there are many high quality, popular phones running on the Android mobile operating system.
The price of smartphones may come down but the cost of data use will probably be going up, for instance, AT&T is no longer offering its unlimited data plan. On the other hand consumers are being empowered with barcode scanning apps that allow them to immediately compare prices online and location enabled services are providing coupons and marketing offers for the tech savvy shopper. Privacy and security are major concerns going forward in using apps and mobile devices and will need to be greatly improved in order for people to feel comfortable using their mobile devices for purchasing products and services online. This year apps are predicted to “go corporate” with companies developing apps specific to the needs of their employees and sales force.
GFU Library’s are interested in learning more about how our patrons are using mobile devices and we are working hard to provide better resources, access, and information for mobile devices. We have recently launched our first mobile website which provides information on hours and locations, access to your library account, ability to search many of our databases, and more. We’d like to get your comments about mobile devices and the library. Thanks!
Dowell, Andrew. “The Rise of Apps, iPad and Android.” wsj.com 27 Dec. 2010. Web. 11 Jan. 2011.
- Washburn: Library Mobile Apps [OCLC] (oclc.org)
- Mobile Trends: The Future Guide To The Best Predictions For 2011 (masternewmedia.org)