Wearable devices are likely to drive the growth of mobile apps until at least 2017, given that such apps will no longer be confined to smartphones and tablets, a US-based market information advisory firm said.
Wearable devices will account for 50 percent of total app interactions by 2017, Gartner Inc said in a statement, adding that such devices will use mobile apps as their conduit for data exchange and user interface, because many of the apps will have little or no user-interface capabilities.
“Offloading that responsibility to the mobile device means the wearable devices will depend on apps for all types of user input or output, configuration, content creation and consumption, and in some cases, basic connectivity,” Gartner said.
Small and efficient wearable devices will be a way for manufacturers to reduce device costs in favor of using apps, which are more easily maintained and updated, Gartner research director Brian Blau said.
“Apps are an obvious and convenient platform to enable great products and services to be developed,” Blau said.
He said mobile apps have become the official channel to deliver content and services to consumers.
“From entertainment content to productivity services, from quantified-self to home automation, there is an app for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve,” he added.
By 2017, there will be more than 268 billion downloads of mobile apps, generating revenue of more than US$77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users, the advisory firm said.