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One of the good things from the mobile trend is that it gives manufacturers the chance to change the way of controlling machines or physical objects, which in turn help them transform their business models.

Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding tremendously. Two years ago, Gartner forecasted that 26 billion units excluding smartphones, tablets, PCs will be installed and connected each other, sharing data via the Internet of Things. As a medium of data generation, data collection and data transition, mobile apps undoubtedly will be playing an important role under the next generation of the Internet. They are no longer accessory but are becoming a necessity.

Today quite many mobile apps developed by home appliance manufacturers can be found on Google Play and Apple App Store. These apps are supposed to provide an easier and hassle-free way to remotely control products from light bulbs to thermostats to refrigerators to other industrial machines. Probably due to the nature of revenue generation, however, manufacturers obviously have put more efforts on the core features of the physical objects. This is proved that most of the related mobile apps are not well rated by consumers.

Your Product Success Relies on Your Mobile App

Mobile apps for home appliances or other devices are unique from other popular apps or games. Consumers can switch back and forth between different shopping apps or download new apps and delete old ones easily at no cost. But this doesn’t apply to home appliance apps and the like. Once they dig into their pocket for an expensive home appliance, consumers have no chance to switch the application for this specific device. For example, one who is looking for a smart TV definitely expects a bug-free and easy-to-use mobile app to act as a remote TV control. TV control apps with a low rating will not convince the consumer to buy the smart TV, even though the TV itself is highly valued. It turns out that IoT related mobile apps are no less important than the Things.

A Well Developed and Tested Mobile App Sees No Frustrated Customers

While IoT apps are a unique case as they most likely account for 50-50 with the core physical products, native mobile apps as core products are everything that the developers have and need to focus on.

Take mobile retail or m-commerce as an example. The traditional shopping season is around the corner. It can be foreseen that a huge amount of people will use mobile apps to go through browsing, adding cart and checkout. Now you can say mobile apps here are just another channel for consumers to do mobile shopping, but it is the mobile apps that facilitate people to buy clothes, shoes, gadgets, etc. Put it another way, mobile apps should be regarded as part of the overall product, a.k.a shopping experience. To some degree, they might be a major part of the decision to make a purchase from a retailer. Any glitches found by consumers will stop them buying anything.

To conclude, mobile apps are heavily used nowadays due to a few reasons – an innovative way to use or interact with traditional products, or a new way to experience something that was not possible before. They are built to ease and simplify the complex tasks and should be easy to understand and navigate with more focus on the core features. Buggy and malfunctioning mobile apps only make things complicated and create an unpleasant user experience. And those troublemakers will eventually get abandoned no matter how they were successful before.

Lingkai Shao

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