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October 17th, 2014

Weekly Mobile Insights- 8: Phablets and Android Lollipop

Phablet users spend 34% more time in mobile apps than their smaller screen counterparts
Or could it be that Phablet users are early adopters and that they spend more time on mobile services in general? The study by Localytics provides more insights. The conclusion seems to be that larger device screens appear to be linked to higher user engagement, especially when it comes to gaming and music apps, although this correlation appears across pretty much all categories. In the beginning of the year we forecasted that Phablet uptake would be a key trend in 2014-2015 and it certainly appears to be the case.

Phablet app development
When working on apps for the new iPhone 6 Plus, designers and developers should consider the benefits and challenges of the new size to maintain a great user experience. Apple has already provided good examples with the built-in apps available such as Safari and Mail, filling the larger portrait and landscape screens with more information visible to the user.

You should also consider how the phone will be held, particularly where the user’s fingers will be able to reach. If you have important functionality controls at the top, it may be useful to move them further down the screen to make it easier to tap them.

The “reachability” option included in the iPhone 6 also helps us reach top areas of the app when using one hand and our thumb to navigate. However, this option is only a quick fix and not a fully explored solution when designing for bigger screens. We need to explore the possibility of making solutions that are not only responsive, but also adapt to the new and bigger screen sizes- a hugely exciting area. We should also remember that with “phablets” we should choose the best of each former separate world of smartphones and tablets.

Additionally, look to release updates on existing apps to allow for the best experience for users regardless of which screen size they are using.

iOS8 upgrades slow but iPhone 6 Plus gains momentum
Apple reported that 47% of its users have downloaded the new iOS8 software up 1% from two weeks ago. Not only has the uptake been very slow over the past few weeks, but iOS8 is now tied with iOS7 in terms of the OS running on iPhones, with only 6% using a previous version.

On a related note, roughly 20% of the new iPhones delivered are iPhone 6 Plus according to Flurry. What the sales are is actually unknown since Apple has not had enough stock available from the start. Read more here.

Android L = Lollipop
At the launch event of Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 tablet on Wednesday, Google announced that the release previously referred to as Android L or Android 5.0 is going to be called Lollipop according to the sweet-themed naming conventions. Lollipop includes 5000+ new APIs and features, Google’s new runtime ART, enhanced battery management and the design language Material Design. For more see our previous blog and presentation on Android L below.

Feature image from NDTV, used without permission.

Tags: android insights iOS mobile apps phablets

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