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How Mobile Are Mobile Apps?

Do you remember the last time you traveled abroad? The first thing you did when you arrived at the airport was probably to turn off cellular data in your smartphone.

Not only did it save you from huge phone bills, but also let you fully enjoy your vacation. No more “important” IMs or notifications about the likes you got on Instagram… After your Fear of Missing Out finally calms down, you can relax. 
Life is great when you no longer feel the urge to check Facebook all the time.

But there’s also another side to that. What if you need directions? Like which metro line you should take to get to the Louvre. Sadly, even Google Maps cannot help you with that when it’s offline. As the time passes, you discover that your mobile became slightly useless once disconnected from the internet.

So the question is – is it really mobile?

Smartphones Are Used Differently

Smartphones brought a lot of freedom into how we interact with computers. We’re no longer limited to our desks or couches. They’re in our pockets most of the time, ready to be used in even the most unusual situations.

We use them to kill time during lengthy commute. We check our shopping lists while at a grocery store. And then check them again while waiting in the checkout line to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We use them at the bathroom (oh, come on!), during long flights and in beds, right before going to sleep.

This means that what works well for desktops and notebooks may not be the best for mobile apps – our interactions with them are totally different.

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The WebRecital is a dedicated User Interface/User Experience professionals who come together to provide design and research workshops, portfolio reviews, and educational outreach to the greater Seattle area.
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