Mobile computing has allowed millions of people worldwide to do to whatever they want anywhere and anytime. Where before, one had to at least have a computer with an Internet connection to go about their business, consumers can now go to their favorite websites using smartphones or tablets that are small enough to fit in their pockets. Users also have the choice of platforms by which they could access their data. By far, the most popular are BlackBerry, Android, iOS, and Symbian.

This new trend has spawned an entire industry based around creating small yet powerful applications for mobile platforms. One of the most exciting applications around is Rippln, an advanced mobile application platform that allows ordinary people to earn revenue using mobile apps. It is possibly the first platform for mobile computing that rewards users for setting up their social networks. It has the potential to get even bigger than the likes of Twitter or Facebook.

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While mobile computing itself is a trend that will stay, consumers are always on the lookout for the latest in terms of trends and apps. Most game apps have feature excellent graphics and simple gameplay, proof that mobile users prefer ease of use over complexity – they have gaming consoles for larger games anyway. These same app manufacturers have pioneered and improved upon the once-primitive mobile marketing platforms that have accompanied gaming for years.

Gone to the Birds

The latest installment of the highly successful Angry Birds franchise, Angry Birds Space, adds a new factor – gravity – to the equation. While it is a bit easier than the original game, Angry Birds developer Rovio makes up for it with new levels and bonus rounds. Rovio has also cashed in on the puzzle-game craze with Amazing Alex, a game inspired by Rube Goldberg physics.

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Play and Connect

Games like 4 Pics 1 Word are big this year, but the trend of connecting games to social networks started with the likes of Draw Something and Words with Friends in 2012. These games allow players to ask for help on their social networks, and have also become social networks in themselves as well. There have been reports of couples getting together because of Words with Friends, and the world is better for it.

My 8 Bits

Mobile games have featured increasingly more detailed graphics and gameplay since they were first introduced. One fun trend, however, caters to the nostalgia of people who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, who comprise a huge chunk of smart phone users.  One such trend, Gurk, features 8-bit graphics reminiscent of the first Nintendo RPGs. App developers have also introduced emulators for NES and SNES games such as Super Mario Brothers and Battle City, both of which feature simple gameplay and graphics.

Welcome Our New Android Overlords

While BlackBerry has embarked on a remarkable image transformation and Apple has introduced the new iPhone 5, the Android mobile operating system still rules the smart phone landscape. Industry observers predict that 2013 will see the one-billionth Android user. This is hardly surprising, as 1.3 million devices running on Android are purchased and activated daily.

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Mobile Advertising = Mobile Sales

Industry pundits also predict that advertisers will recognize the power and potential of mobile computing, and position themselves to take advantage of the situation. Whereas before, a shopper needs to go to a physical store to make a purchase, all a buyer has to do now is to go to an online store and pay for it using his card details.

Mobile advertising seeks to bridge that gap by shifting the decision-making progress from the physical store to online ads, including apps for coupons, web banners, and ads embedded in games. Mobile video is also a trend that cannot be ignored, and needs to be leveraged as an integral part of the total advertising process. Finally, advertisers will start measuring mobile performance, with the aim of targeting ads to specific user classes.

 

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