/ Mobile Productivity: Why It Isn’t Delivering and Why That Will Change

Me and my smartphone are inseparable—just ask my wife. And because of that, I’m part of a larger global trend that’s on track to reach a major milestone. At some point during the course of this year, Comscore predicts that mobile device usage will eclipse that of desktop usage. Pretty remarkable if you think about it. 



But if you think people are clamoring to use these new mobile devices to help them become more productive, think again. Research from Flurry suggests that mobile users are 8X more likely to spend time gaming than using a productivity app. In fact, productivity apps account for a measly 4% of time spent on iOS and Android connected devices. Check out this fascinating breakdown:


You’d think that with everything we humans need to do, mobile productivity would own a larger piece of the pie. But it doesn’t, and here’s why:

  1. Mobile is an inherently awkward platform for productivity apps. Ever tried editing a spreadsheet on an iPhone? It’s miserable. Even the best mobile developers will struggle with the constraints of a clunky keyboard, small screen and the blunt navigational instrument we call a finger.
  2. Many productivity apps aren’t designed with a ‘mobile-first’ mentality. It’s stating the obvious, but mobile is an entirely different animal. If the mobile experience is developed as an afterthought, it’s guaranteed to be fraught with problems. Since most established productivity solutions predate the rise of mobile, they’re finding themselves playing catch up. And the experience often betrays that fact.

So what’s the good news for believers in mobile productivity? Check out the following chart. It indicates that growth in “average time spent in productivity apps” over the last year eclipsed that of all other categories. It’s a small piece of the pie, but its growth is outpacing the rest. 


So despite the lack of quality, adoption, or whatever else is contributing to the sad state of productivity apps—I’m  bullish on their future. As mobile adoption rises, so will the expectation for seamless mobile experiences. It will push businesses and developers to think “mobile-first”, which, in turn, will inspire a wider audience to make smart decisions with their smart phones.

[And if you’d like to see how Domo brings mobile-first to BI, click here to request a demo.]


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