Leveraging Mobile Technology To Achieve Teaching Goals

Leveraging Mobile Technology to Achieve Teaching Goals

The sudden move to remote online instruction, coupled with social justice issues plaguing the United States, has forced college and university instructors to grapple with what it means to be a good teacher in socially distanced, unpredictable, and emotionally charged circumstances.

As instructional designers, we have noticed an undercurrent in our interactions with new and experienced university instructors that indicates they are doubting their teaching skills, confronting uncomfortable questions about their roles, making pedagogical decisions on the fly, and trying to use technologies that were once only written into science fiction novels.

While the move to remote teaching has been challenging, it has also provided an opportunity to reenvision pedagogy. As colleges and universities have collectively moved online, teaching and learning professionals can leverage mobile learning (m-learning) to inform and facilitate effective teaching in a virtual environment.

Mobile learning: Using portable computing devices (such as iPads, laptops, tablet PCs, personal digital assistants [PDAs], and smartphones) with wireless networks enables mobility and mobile learning, allowing teaching and learning to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. Within the classroom, mobile learning gives instructors and learners increased flexibility and new opportunities for interaction.Footnote1

Contemporary m-learning definitions and discourse focus on using technologies that support the mobility of learners and teachers and that are based on constructivist and learner-centered pedagogies that promote individualization, flexibility, and communal engagement with content regardless of whether a course is online or face-to-face. To benefit from affordances like these, Yu (Aimee) Zhang, CEO of WEMOSOFT in Wollongong, Australia, recommends using m-learning in formal higher education to supplement face-to-face or online classes.Footnote2 Near-ubiquitous mobile-device ownership and a stable combination of agile technological infrastructure and widespread internet connectivity offer opportunities for the key affordances and strategies of m-learning to take center stage during the coronavirus pandemic.Footnote3 That is not to say that all students (or instructors) have fully equitable opportunities to access tertiary education through mobile devices—as the pandemic has revealed—but it does emphasize the current collective ability among colleges and universities to maintain a somewhat reasonable level of instructional continuity—something that would not have been possible just ten years ago.Footnote4

Amid the challenges of emergency remote teaching and learning, college and university instructors confront a complex set of pedagogical decisions as they try to balance the affordances and constraints of technologies with student access, learning outcomes, and the instructor’s teaching goals.

Our Mobile Learning Special Interest Research Group has been investigating this pedagogical balancing act for a few years, and although our participants were teaching face-to-face classes before the pandemic, our findings about the ability of instructors to achieve their teaching goals via m-learning remain applicable—and possibly more relevant—today.Footnote5

Teaching Goals: Prevalent Themes

As instructional designers, part of our work focuses on supporting instructors as they integrate technologies to improve their teaching. Understanding instructors’ experiences provides invaluable insight into the benefits of m-learning. This article presents findings from interviews with nineteen instructors (at four University of California [UC] campuses) who were using m-learning strategies in their teaching before the pandemic.

We examined the instructors’ perceptions of how m-learning supported or helped them to achieve their teaching goals. During the interviews, instructors told us that integrating m-learning in their courses supported their teaching goals by increasing student engagement, allowing students to learn specific skills, enabling the creation and use of analytics in class, and boosting instructor efficiency.

The Most Prevalent Themes Related to Teaching Goals

  • Student engagement (n=11): Using m-learning helped to increase student participation by stimulating their interest, creating a safe environment, building a class community, and/or providing multiple opportunities for and means of participation.Footnote6
  • Teaching specific skills and concepts (n=14): Using m-learning made it easier to teach complex concepts and skills related to future professional careers.
  • Analytics for and about learning (n=11): Using m-learning helped to inform the teaching that is going on, whether it is students collecting and analyzing data or teachers collecting data as a formative assessment.
  • Efficiency (n=6): Using m-learning helped students to get through content faster and/or allowed students time to think more deeply.

Student Engagement

The instructors noted that the use of m-learning helped to increase student engagement by stimulating their interest, creating a safe environment, building a class community, and providing multiple opportunities for and means of participation.

First, the instructors we interviewed for our study said that they used mobile strategies in ways they felt would stimulate student interest and motivation. For example, Ozcan Gulacar, a member of the chemistry faculty at UC Davis, found that student engagement occurred by heightening students’ ownership of their learning.

Giving students a chance to share their answers via proper technology increases their ownership of the material, and they become more engaged in discussions. They pay more attention to the explanations. Basically, their interest in learning the right answer increases immensely.Footnote7

Similarly, our interviews showed the importance of student ownership when they were collecting and generating data as part of their learning experiences; students’ agency in that process kept them motivated and engaged (see “Analytics for and about Learning” below).

Second, instructors felt that using m-learning increased student engagement by creating a safe environment in the course. Interestingly, this safe environment was created in one of two opposing ways: Some students appreciated that mobile devices lowered communication barriers so they could get to know their peers better, while other students liked that using personal-response systems allowed them to participate anonymously in discussions, thus encouraging their engagement.

As Heather Macias, now an education faculty member at California State University, Long Beach, explained, “The anonymity and low stakes make [students] more willing to [share their ideas] because nobody knows what” any individual student responded.Footnote8

Third, m-learning allowed instructors to create a sense of community because the familiarity bred through the use of m-learning strategies helped to make large classrooms feel smaller. Emma Levine, now a member of the music faculty at California Polytechnic State University, reported that when her class uses Slack for instant messaging, “[students] don’t feel anonymous. They come to [class] because I know who they are, and other people know who they are. Having that sense of belonging, wanting to come, and [having] some type of accountability” encourages them to attend.Footnote9

Finally, students could engage more often during the course, as they had multiple opportunities and means to participate. As Macias said, “[Using mobile technology] gives me more . . . ways to get students hooked into a lesson or participate. I like it because it gives all the students the chance to participate, assuming they all have . . . access to a device, without the pressure of [having] to raise [their] hand.”Footnote10

When their teaching goals centered around increasing student engagement, instructors appeared to feel that mobile technologies helped to stimulate student interest and motivation, create a safe environment and a sense of community, and provide students with multiple opportunities and ways to participate. It is interesting to note that these four benefits of m-learning occurred in overlapping and intersecting ways, not in isolation.

Specific Skills and Concepts

Instructor comments indicated that m-learning facilitated improved student mastery of specific skills and concepts in two important ways. First, instructors felt that m-learning helped them to teach students specific digital skill sets that they needed for their future careers. Nic Barth, a member of the geology faculty at UC Riverside, said that m-learning skills help to provide students with a competitive advantage:

The motivation [for using iPads] was to not use [them] as a replacement for teaching students how to map with pencil and paper but to extend it to the next skill level, where okay now you know how to do that, now we can train you how to do this digitally. And that’s something that is a highly sought-after, marketable skill that they can then take and make themselves more competitive either in grad school or in the job pool.Footnote11

Second, instructors indicated that integrating mobile learning allowed them to more easily create rich learning environments in which to teach complex concepts. For example, Ashish Sood, a business faculty member at UC Riverside, uses a fully online, game-based approach to teach his students about empathy in a business setting. He describes how students learn about risk tolerance by completing a pricing strategy simulation:

In a standard case analysis, you [try to] put yourself in the shoes of a company or a manager and [consider why a manager chose a particular strategy]. But when you are actually playing a simulation game . . . it changes the perspective to, “How should I decide? What is the best way to think about this issue?” and that’s when the learning and the understanding of the concept really sinks in.Footnote12

Whether making use of simulations, visual representations, or demonstrations, instructors who used mobile technologies to illustrate or expand concepts in a more concrete way found that students could more easily understand and apply those concepts, skills, and methods. Often, the application of the technology was taught for future professional careers, and skills or concepts were made relevant by providing opportunities to apply twenty-first-century digital skills to authentic, real-world problems or contexts.

Analytics for and about Learning

Instructors noted that m-learning gave students the opportunity to practice collecting and analyzing data, contribute data to course content, and demonstrate understanding in formative assessments.

Randall Long, who is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, wanted to provide more robust opportunities for his students to fully develop sampling methods and data-analysis skills. His teaching goal was to have students create a large dataset from their fieldwork to complete their final group paper.

Long asked students to play Pokémon Go and systematically collect Pokémon data in a Google Sheet over a few weeks. After students used Pokémon Go to practice sampling concepts and methods, Long was impressed by the obvious improvement in the substance and overall quality of the group papers compared to those from previous years.Footnote13

Student-generated data can also help to facilitate meaningful class discussions. Bob Blake, a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Davis, noted that using mobile technologies in his linguistics class helped to fuel discussions about course content because students themselves were represented in the data. He said that he uses mobile technology to get students to talk and share with each other.

Nobody wants to talk or share very much about their language. It’s a very personal thing. . . . So, we try to use technology to kind of give us a screen to look through. . . . They’ll type in [a word or phrase from their language in response to a scenario], and then suddenly I have all of that data right there. . . . So, we just analyze it, and it provides me the raw data for the types of points I’m trying to make [about language use].Footnote14

These student-generated examples became the data that was used to teach course content. Drawing from real-life examples prompted meaningful discussions.

Finally, data collected from students in formative assessments provided an invaluable opportunity for some instructors to gauge student understanding. Shane Jimerson, a professor in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara, described how he uses data collection to gauge student comprehension in real time:

During the class, I tend to use [Kahoot] as a way of seeing what folks are knowledgeable of, and then that informs me in the moment that “we already know about this,” based on the readings and discussions and other resources. But then there seems to be a few [questions] where there is more variation in the responses. So then I can provide further discussion and exploration to try to make that clear.Footnote15

In Jimerson’s case, using Kahoot to formatively assess students’ learning provided an opportunity in which he could immediately address any confusion students were having or move on to more difficult concepts.

These examples highlight how instructors leveraged m-learning strategies—in which students collected or generated data—for teaching and learning. These techniques invited students to be active participants and make important contributions to the exchange of ideas. Additionally, real-time learning analytics for formative assessment immediately informed instructors about students’ knowledge gaps.

Efficiency

Instructors also noted that m-learning allowed them to get through content more quickly or deeply and improve the speed of the feedback cycle.

Barth distributed “geo pads,” iPads equipped with GIS software, to teach skills and concepts needed for field mapping. He said that this integration of mobile technology resulted in “surprise” time-saving affordances, allowing students time to dig into the more meaningful aspects of the content.

[The use of iPads] simplifies and makes a lot of things more efficient, such [as] the more mundane task [of] locating yourself on a map, for example. It could take a minute, but if you have a tablet that has built-in GPS, it’s a second. Or, if you’re taking a measurement with the tablet, that’s like two or three seconds versus like a minute of playing around with the compass to take that same measurement. And so it’s making things a lot more efficient. [Students] can then focus more of that time on actually understanding what’s going on around them using more critical-thinking skills.Footnote16

Jim Burnette, an academic coordinator at UC Riverside, noted that using e-notebooks made the feedback cycle more efficient:

The paper notebooks took a little while to grade, and so the feedback cycle was a little too slow. So [students] didn’t improve very much in their notebook skills. I think having gone to the e-notebook made the feedback cycle much faster; [students] are actually keeping better notebooks.Footnote17

In these cases, mobile technologies made teaching more efficient and provided students the opportunity to spend more time digging into the more meaningful aspects of the course content. In addition, mobile technologies also provided the instructor the opportunity to give students feedback more quickly, resulting in improvements in students’ work.

Takeaways

While the use cases in this study are all unique, span disciplines, and largely represent m-learning within face-to-face courses, m-learning strategies could also help to guide instructors’ pedagogical balancing act during emergency remote teaching and beyond. This study demonstrates the variety of ways that m-learning technologies can help instructors in their ongoing efforts to become better teachers:

  • Build and maintain classroom community by creating safe spaces that allow for peer interaction as well as anonymity.
  • Increase student interest and motivation by providing multiple means and opportunities for participation.
  • Illustrate concepts or topics more clearly.
  • Develop students’ emotional, cognitive, and technology-based skills for their future careers.
  • Increase engagement by having students use their mobile devices to generate, collect, and analyze data.
  • Identify and adapt to gaps in student learning.
  • Facilitate a more efficient feedback cycle for student learning.
  • Get through basic concepts more quickly, allowing students more time to engage deeply with complex concepts.

Although our study focused on faculty members’ experiences, research on student perspectives demonstrates that m-learning benefits students in similar ways (by creating safe spaces for peer interaction, increasing student interest by offering multiple opportunities to participate, and supporting students who increasingly rely on mobile technology).Footnote18

As instructors and instructional designers, it is essential that we understand the innovative ways in which using m-learning helps us to achieve our teaching goals during this time of instructional upheaval. As a majority of students use mobile devices to complete online coursework, and almost all students have more than one mobile device, designing with m-learning in mind is essential to support student learning, provide more equitable access, and improve instructors’ confidence in their ability to grapple with pedagogical issues in new ways.Footnote19

By:

Source: Leveraging Mobile Technology to Achieve Teaching Goals | EDUCAUSE

Notes

  1. “Mobile Learning,” EDUCAUSE (website), n.d., accessed January 19, 2021. Jump back to footnote 1 in the text.
  2. Yu (Aimee) Zhang, “Characteristics of Mobile Teaching and Learning,” in Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning, eds. Yu (Aimee) Zhang and Dean Cristol (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2019), 1–21. Jump back to footnote 2 in the text.
  3. Michael M. Grant, “Difficulties in Defining Mobile Learning: Analysis, Design Characteristics, and Implications,” Educational Technology Research and Development 67 no. 2 (January 2019): 361–388. Jump back to footnote 3 in the text.
  4. Nate Ralph, “Perspectives: COVID-19, and the Future of Higher Education,” Bay View Analytics (website), 2020. Jump back to footnote 4 in the text.
  5. Alex Rockey, et al., “Spotlighting Innovative Use Cases of Mobile Learning,” The Emerging Learning Design Journal 6 no. 1 (2019); Mindy Colin, et al., “M-Learning at UC: Practices, Affordances, and Teaching Styles,” (poster presented at ELI Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, February 19, 2019). Jump back to footnote 5 in the text.
  6. N refers to number of participants. Jump back to footnote 6 in the text.
  7. Ozcan Gulacar, interview by authors, audio recording, Davis, November 20, 2017. Jump back to footnote 7 in the text.
  8. Heather Macias, interview by authors, audio recording, Santa Barbara, February 16, 2018. Jump back to footnote 8 in the text.
  9. Emma Levine, interview by authors, audio recording, Santa Barbara, February 2, 2018. Jump back to footnote 9 in the text.
  10. Macias, interview, February 16, 2018. Jump back to footnote 10 in the text.
  11. Nic Barth, interview by authors, video recording, Riverside, December 14, 2017. Jump back to footnote 11 in the text.
  12. Ashish Sood, interview by authors, video recording, Riverside, March 16, 2018. Jump back to footnote 12 in the text.
  13. Randall Long, interviews by authors, Santa Barbara, February 16, 2018; October 26, 2018. Jump back to footnote 13 in the text.
  14. Bob Blake, interview by authors, audio recording, Davis, November 30, 2017. Jump back to footnote 14 in the text.
  15. Shane Jimerson, interview by authors, audio recording, December 1, 2017. Jump back to footnote 15 in the text.
  16. Nic Barth, interview by authors, video recording, Riverside, December 14, 2017. Jump back to footnote 16 in the text.
  17. Jim Burnette, interview by authors, video recording, Riverside, February 13, 2018. Jump back to footnote 17 in the text.
  18. See, for example: Enrique Alvarez Vazquez, Manoel Cortes-Mendez, Ryan Striker, Lauren Singelmann, et al., “Lessons Learned Using Slack in Engineering Education: An Innovation-Based Learning Approach,” (presentation, 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, Virtual Online, June 22, 2020); Jorge Fonseca Cacho, “Using Discord to Improve Student Communication, Engagement, and Performance,” (poster presentation, UNLV Best Teaching Practices Expo, University of Nevada Las Vegas, January 23, 2020). Jump back to footnote 18 in the text.
  19. David L. Clinefelter, Carol B. Aslanian, Andrew J. Magda, Online College Students 2019: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, research report, (Louisville, KY: Wiley edu, LLC, June 2019); “Mobile Fact Sheet,” PEW Research Center, Internet & Technology, June 12, 2019. Jump back to footnote 19 in the text.

Mindy Colin is an Instructional Consultant at UC Santa Barbara.

Samantha Eastman is an Instructional Design Consultant at UC Riverside.

Margaret Merrill is a Senior Instructional Design Consultant at UC Davis.

Alex Rockey is an Instructional Technologist Instructor at Bakersfield College.

.

 

 

 

Six Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing A New Cellphone Company

Thinking about switching wireless providers? We highlighted some of the most important things to consider while making your decision.

Whether you’re looking for a cheaper phone plan, a great deal on a new phone or just better coverage where you live, switching cellphone providers presents a great chance to step up your phone game.  

Unfortunately, wading through all the marketing buzzwords in cellphone plans can feel like the least fun kind of homework. To make things simple, we broke down the process into the six most important questions you should consider before switching.

Should I go with a prepaid plan?

If you’re looking to save money with your new carrier, prepaid carriers have some of the cheapest phone plans you’ll find anywhere. This means that you’ll pay for your monthly bill upfront instead of after the fact. Many carriers also offer some decent discounts if you prepay for multiple months at a time. 

This is one of the best ways to save money on a cellphone plan. Here are a few popular phone plans, along with the money you’d save by switching to a cheaper prepaid plan:

PlanMajor carrier planCheaper planYearly savings
Four lines of unlimited dataVerizon Get More Unlimited ($220/mo.)Total Wireless ($100/mo.)$1,440
One line of unlimited dataT-Mobile Magenta Plus ($85/mo.)Mint Mobile ($30/mo.)$660
One line of 2GBAT&T ($35/mo.)Tello ($14/mo.)$252
One line of 5GBVerizon ($40/mo.)Boost Mobile ($25/mo.)$180

All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. Auto-pay discounts not included. As of 11/24/20.

These companies are called mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. That means they piggyback off the major networks — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — rather than use their own cellular towers. 

The conventional wisdom says that MVNOs have worse coverage than the companies who operate their own networks. But in practice, customers have often been more satisfied with their service. According to a Consumer Reports survey of their 103,000 members, MVNOs almost always scored higher than carriers that operate their own network. (T-Mobile was the lone exception.) Learn more about prepaid phone plans

Do I need a new phone?

One of the best perks of switching to a new cellphone company is that you can usually pick up a free phone in the process. Unfortunately, these phone deals are mostly confined to the major carriers. If you go with a prepaid plan, you’ll probably have to go with an older phone if you want to get one for free. Here are some of the best deals available through the “big three” carriers right now: 

To get deals on new phones from these companies, you’ll have to commit to a two-year contract and open a new unlimited data line. Many times, you’ll also have to trade in an eligible phone. But those steps are usually worth the hassle. Right now, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are all offering free iPhone 12 models when you switch.  Learn more about phone deals

Which carrier has the best coverage in my area?

While most people switch carriers because of price, it can also be a good opportunity to improve your coverage, too. In most third-party tests, T-Mobile and Verizon usually take first place, with AT&T coming in last. Here’s how some of the major analyses rank the networks:

SourceAT&TT-MobileVerizon
Ookla Speed Score™41.6533.4931.40
Ookla Consistency Score™81.4%80.8%76.9%
RootMetrics Overall Performance94.186.795.2
OpenSignal Download Speed Experience32.6 Mbps28.2 Mbps27.4 Mbps
OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience9.58.89.8
Consumer Reports Data ScoreFairVery goodGood
Consumer Reports Reception ScorePoorGoodGood
Allconnect Score7.507.897.85

Data as reported by Ookla, Root Metrics, OpenSignal, Consumer Reports

Of course, just because one carrier scores well overall doesn’t mean it will be the strongest in your specific area. We recommend checking out each of their coverage maps to find one that has a strong network where you live.

Keep in mind, if you go with a prepaid carrier, it will use one or more of the networks above, so it’s still a good idea to check its coverage before you sign up.  Learn more about cellphone coverage

Is it time to get a 5G phone?

If you’ve turned on a TV in the past year, you’ve probably been inundated with commercials telling you that the “best 5G network” is already right in your backyard. The truth is a little more complicated. 

While AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have all made great strides on their 5G networks, the next generation of wireless technology is still not available everywhere. According to tests from Ookla, T-Mobile users in the U.S. connected to 5G 54% of the time in October, compared 18% for AT&T and less than 1% for Verizon.

But wherever we currently are in the 5G race, there’s no debating that it’s the future. If you’re looking to switch cellphone providers, it’s worth factoring into your decision. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon include 5G coverage in all of their unlimited plans, and you can also get good deals on 5G phones when you open a new line.  Learn more about 5G plans and coverage

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology. Just like the 4G rollout a decade ago increased data speeds — the internet connection your phone uses when you’re away from Wi-Fi — 5G promises an even faster connection. Right now, average 5G speeds in the U.S. are 52 Mbps, which is about twice as fast as 4G, but they should rise much higher. Verizon’s average 5G speeds are a whopping 494.7 Mbps already, although its network is much more limited than that of AT&T and T-Mobile.

Should I open a family plan?

If you’re already on a family plan with your current cellphone company, it’s a no-brainer to open another one with your new carrier. But if you’ve only been looking at one-line accounts for your new plan, it’s worth getting a few people together who might also be interested in switching. The savings can be enormous.  

For AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, the price per line on family plans is half the price of a single line.

What’s more, phone deals for new customers are typically available for each line that’s opened. So, if four people open a new family plan, all four would likely be able to get significantly discounted phones in the move. 

You don’t always need to have one account-holder handle the bill every month, either. Carriers like Visible Wireless let each line manage their own account, so you can skip the frantic Venmo requests at bill time every month.   Learn more about family plans

Which streaming services do I want?

All of the major cellphone companies tie in perks like free streaming subscriptions to their plans. Here’s what you can get right now:

  • AT&T: HBO Max included with $85/mo. plan (one line)
  • Boost Mobile: TIDAL HiFi included for six months
  • T-Mobile: Netflix included with two or more lines ($60/mo. plans and up)
  • Verizon: Apple Music, Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+ included 

But while these are certainly enticing, they shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding where to switch. In some cases, these plans are so much pricier than cheaper options that you could subscribe to the services separately and still save money with another carrier.

FactorAT&T Unlimited EliteT-Mobile Magenta PlusVerizon Play More Unlimited
Price$85/mo. (one line)$140/mo. (two lines)$80/mo. (one line)
Streaming perksHBO MaxNetflix StandardApple Music, Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+
Streaming value$15/mo.$14/mo.$23/mo.
Price minus streaming perks$70/mo.$126/mo.$57/mo.

All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/24/20.

That’s certainly the case with AT&T and T-Mobile — after the value of the streaming services is factored in, their plans are still pretty pricey — but Verizon’s perks actually add up to a whopping $23/mo. Granted, you might not even want each of Apple Music, Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+. But if these promotions catch your eye, it’s worth doing a little math before making a decision based solely on these.

By: Joe Supan

.

.

Reviews.org

What cell phone provider (or network) should you go with? We have a full review on that at https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-c… but… We think choosing a cell phone provider comes down a combination of price, data, coverage, and what your needs are. We’ll discuss it all in this video review. Related reviews: Best Cell Phone Plans For Seniors — https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-c… Best Cell Phone Plans For families — https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-f… Best Cell Phone Plan Coverage — https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-c…

5 Reasons Your Ecommerce Store Needs a Mobile App Today

1

Ecommerce websites and mobile commerce, or m-commerce, options aren’t an either/or situation. Both play different roles in the customer journey and cater to different audiences. What is essential is that you don’t overlook mobile experiences while designing the ecommerce strategy for your business.

According to Pew research, 8 out of 10 Americans are online shoppers, and 51 percent of them use mobile devices for shopping. If you aren’t leveraging mobile traffic, your business is likely missing out vital conversions even as you are reading this.

While a responsive website is an excellent starting point in your m-commerce journey, having a mobile app has distinct advantages over mobile websites. Here is a list of compelling reasons why your ecommerce business needs to go for mobile-app development in addition to having a mobile-responsive website.

1. Ease of use and better user experience

Even if you have a responsive website, every time the user logs onto it, the browser would prompt the user to sign into the account to continue with the shopping. In the case of mobile apps, the user details are stored in the app and the users only have to sign in once, when they download the app.

728x90

Since the users don’t need to sign in every time they shop, the ease of use is higher and the resultant user satisfaction is also high. Mobile applications also allow the users to switch between the different tabs, making navigation and overall user experience simpler as compared to that of the website.

2. Access to phone-native features

The phone’s native capabilities can be leveraged using mobile apps, which isn’t a possibility in the case of mobile websites. The integration of built-in smartphone components like GPS and cameras provides the user with enhanced user experience. Interactive shopping using augmented and virtual reality is an app-only feature.

Another advantage is the fact that native apps are available for offline use. While the apps do take up space on the user’s device, they can be used even when the phone is not connected to the internet, resulting in an on-the-go shopping experience for the users.

3. Using mobile apps as a marketing channel

Mobile apps give you a chance to deliver a unified omnichannel experience to the customers. Apps can allow social media integration that combines the different channels of customer engagement. The customer preferences are saved within the app, leading to tailored content being displayed to the relevant customers.

Using geofencing and push notifications sent out to the user’s device when they are in proximity of the physical stores or in case of any special offer can also result in a more engaged customer base.

4. Seamless checkout with multiple payment options

Shopping-cart abandonment is the biggest issue that retail businesses face. Whether in-store or on an ecommerce platform, customers are more likely to give up on completing shopping if the checkout process seems cumbersome.

Mobile apps remove friction from the checkout process by making it interactive. The widespread popularity of mobile wallets exists only because they allow fast processing of transactions. Features such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition help remove friction from the checkout and payment process by enabling faster authentication.

5. Incorporation of advanced tech for interactive customer experience

Mobile apps and technology go hand-in-hand. Incorporation of augmented reality in smartphone apps is already taking place, with brands such as IKEA and Sephora spearheading the transformation. The incorporation of AR/VR in apps makes them more interactive and results in engaging customer experiences.

Apps also allow for the integration of artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots in order to facilitate the customer in searching for their preferred items and getting them through the checkout. Personalized shopping assistants that are powered by machine-learning algorithms would soon become the norm, making shopping easy and fun — as it should be.

Rahul Varshneya

By:

 

Start Your Own Member Directory Website:
All websites built on the Brilliant Directories platform are already mobile friendly and adapt to all mobile devices and tablets which is what we want for the mobile app.

Is Huawei’s Worst Google Nightmare Coming True?

The soap opera that is Huawei’s loss of Google software and services from its new smartphones has taken twist after turn in recent weeks. We had been warned (by Google) that the new flagship Mate 30 Series would launch without full-fat Android, but we had also been promised (by Huawei’s consumer boss Richard Yu) that workarounds would be found. To cut a long story short, the device did launch without Google, workarounds were then found, but then those workarounds were taken away.

All of which kind of leaves us back where we expected to be—Huawei continues to launch great devices, those great devices don’t carry Google, most analysts expect sales outside China to take a massive hit as a consequence. But, in reality, it’s not that simple. And what has actually happened could be even worse than it seems for Huawei, with the consequences not yet fully understood.

The Mate 30 has become the focal point for this on/off Google apps story. But what happens to the Mate 30 will impact the forthcoming Mate X and anything else after that until the U.S. blacklist changes. Just ahead of the Mate 30’s September launch, Android Authority reported that Yu had told the media Huawei “might have a workaround on-hand” to recover Google functionality, that the process would be “quite easy,” that “the open-source nature of Android enables ‘a lot of possibilities’, and that third-party developers had worked on workarounds for some time, given that “Huawei is unable to provide Google Mobile Services on new products due to the ban.”

Today In: Innovation

I asked Huawei for an official statement at the time, regarding Yu’s comments, to be told that the official word from the Consumer Business Group is “we can’t comment on that.” In private, it seemed there was internal nervousness at being seen to flaunt the ban, enabling workarounds to be publicly applied to the devices.

And, sure enough, despite Huawei confirming on launch the lack of Google Mobile Services, essentially the framework to which Google apps attach, the internet was soon abuzz with videos and tutorials on the use of a Chinese app to sideload all those familiar Google apps back onto the device. Notwithstanding the security concerns in giving a Chinese language app of uncertain origin access to a phone’s core system, the workaround was widely welcomed and we seemed to be back to business as usual.

Meanwhile, reports from China, where the Mate 30 first launched, suggested the devices were flying from the shelves. Helped by a steep price cut and domestic pride in a national champion, a million devices quickly shipped and Huawei’s plan to shore up any hit to international sales with strong demand at home seemed fine.

But then, quite suddenly, everything changed.

The app that was being used to enable the after-market Google load on Mate 30s is LZPlay—available on some app stores and from LZPlay.net. On loading, it seeks permission to access hidden system settings, opening up Google “stubs” deep within Huawei’s version of the Android open-source core to enable apps and services to be installed. With some exceptions—notably Google Pay—everything seemed normal.

                                    

But then came the inevitable deep-dive into that app—what was actually happening under the phone’s covers. Cue John Wu’s Medium post. It transpired, according to Wu, that for LZPlay to work required “undocumented Huawei specific MDM APIs,” implying that the use of such APIs were “signed with a special certificate from Huawei, granted privileges nowhere to be found on standard Android systems.”

In essence, the implication was that Huawei was sanctioning or overlooking the app restoring banned Google apps and services onto Huawei devices. “Wait a minute,” Wu asked in his post, “does that mean either Google is sneaking the stubs to Huawei, or Huawei is blatantly stealing Google’s stub binaries?”

                                     

And Wu’s answer? “It is pretty obvious that Huawei is well aware of this LZPlay app, and explicitly allows its existence. The developer of this app has to somehow be aware of these undocumented APIs, sign the legal agreements, go through several stages of reviews, and eventually have the app signed by Huawei. The sole purpose of the app is to install Google Services on a non licensed device, and it sounds very sketchy to me, but I’m no lawyer so I have absolutely no idea of its legality.”

                                     

All of which has resulted in the workaround being withdrawn from the market. LZPlay is no longer available. Any installs from before it was pulled no longer work. And, more intriguingly, “devices that used LZPlay to install GMS no longer pass ‘SafetyNet Attestation,’ rendering many apps and services unusable.”

And so to the real issue for Huawei that will start to become clear when the dust settles on this on/off story. Whether Huawei was aware or unaware, whether Google was involved or uninvolved, the fact is that the addition of Google Mobile Services will now fail to pass a security and verification test on the device—unsurprising, given the device is unlicensed. And that suggests no other workaround will be forthcoming.

And that will be a major issue for the future of Huawei’s smartphone business outside China. It will also make it impossible for users inside China to deploy the Google workaround that was designed for their market—because if the Mate 30 can’t be after-market updated outside China because of the U.S. blacklist, then it cannot be after-market updated in China either. The restriction on Huawei is not geography-specific. Chinese consumers who would otherwise buy Huawei devices and then add Google, deploying VPNs to use the restricted services, will not be able to do so.

                                    

This story is moving all over the place right now—albeit it’s becoming more difficult to see significant changes without U.S. approval. What we do know is that Google has apparently slammed the backdoor to the Mate 30 shut, enforcing its lack of license, ensuring that even if the GMS stubs remain they cannot be enabled. And it’s a safe bet that those stubs may well be pulled altogether.

Huawei confirmed to me that the “latest Mate 30 series is not pre-installed with GMS, and Huawei has had no involvement with http://www.lzplay.net.” But the implications of this latest twist could be devastating. It’s too soon to get a read on what might happen next, and there are no comments from Shenzhen, but we will know soon enough.

In the meantime, anyone who had planned to buy a dazzling Mate 30 and apply the “easy workaround” is now faced with a very different set of options.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

As the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, a developer of disruptive AI surveillance solutions for defense, security and commercial organizations in the US, EMEA and Asia, I work with those responsible for national security, counter-terrorism and critical infrastructure protection. I have been in tech for 25 years, with the last 15 of those years in video surveillance, analytics, cybersecurity and AI. I write about the real-world challenges, opportunities and threats from technology advances that impact the defense and security sectors as well as cybersecurity more broadly. I also focus on the appropriate use of those technologies and the balance of privacy and public safety. Contact me at zakd@me.com.

Source: Is Huawei’s Worst Google Nightmare Coming True?

437K subscribers

Appportunity – How To Start An App Business With No Programming Knowledge Or Whatsoever

You need to learn this “secret” in today’s new commerce economy – micro-transactions. It simply means this, people are happily spending the $0.99’s and $1.99’s all day long, regardless of whether there’s a recession or not. Obviously, those who can “predict” the future are going to make fortunes for themselves. I mean, you’ve heard stories of marketers who make $100,000 from this opportunity alone. The proof is already in our faces. And the truth is, it’s happening so fast. But the good news is it’s not too late for you to be a part of this “Internet reborn”. It’s like getting to start all over again at the ground floor opportunity – having the “second chance” to make it big. This time, it’s yours to take. Read more

The Nigerian Serial Entrepreneur Who Built A $14 Million Mobile VAS Content Business – Mfonobong Nsehe

1.jpg

Nigerian-born serial entrepreneur John Orajiaka, 43, is the founder of Adnol Multimedia a $14 million (annual revenues) Pan-African value-added telecommunication service provider. Active in more than ten African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Liberia, Cameroon, Rwanda and Swaziland, Adnol Multimedia provides everything from basic messaging and voice applications to digital lifestyle solutions using short codes for subscription services such as caller ring-back tunes, mobile advertising, mobile health, coupon services and mobile games to more than 7 million customers……….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2018/11/16/the-nigerian-serial-entrepreneur-who-built-a-14-million-mobile-vas-content-business/#5ba16a192f0c

 

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

 

 

 

 

Mobile Agency Apps – How You Can Tap Into The Insanely HOT Market By Selling Amazing Professional In Demand Mobile Apps

Your Complete  ‘Done For You’ Solution To Click, Build Amazing Apps – Includes Amazing Software, Ready Made Sales Video pages and much more. Social Media Is here to stay. We integrate with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. Point and Click integration. Encourage Repeat Business with Loyalty Card and Coupons. These are incredibly popular with food places but can be used in multiple industries. Send or schedule a push message to everyone who has downloaded your app. Target by Area. Provide clients with their own white label area and Create beautiful appointment forms – perfect for service based business. Collect leads in app with opt in forms…….

Read more: https://mobileagencyapps.com/

Apple Confirms Radical New iPhone Technology – Ewan Spence

1.jpg

While Samsung fights the hardware behind it’s presumptively named Galaxy F folding smartphone, recently published patents show that Apple continues to experiment with the same transformational technology. Details of the new patent have been highlighted by Jack Purcher at Patently Apple. In essence it extends the previous folding iPhone patent to include new hinge arrangements and new materials to cover the workings of the hinges……..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2018/10/16/apple-iphone-xs-folding-smartphone-ios-patent-published/#be833dc6d437

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

SMSBOT – Highly Targeted Buyers SMS List Using Mobile Widget Bot Messages

While Your Competitors Struggle To Figure Out Email Marketing, You Could Be First In Line To Get Text Messages Directly Into Your Buyers’ Sms Inbox, Where They Will Get Opened, Read & Acted On. Upload a CSV file of your existing buyers or followers directly and start sending them SMS messages directly. You can just ask for their contact number in person (like in an networking event or any place) and add them manually to SMSBot. Every time someone texts you, they are added to your SMS list. This is very powerful when used correctly. These are the people highly interested in your service and convert to buyers easily…….

Read more: http://getsmsbot.net/go/special/

 

Call Direct Mobile Lead Capture

Call Direct is a cloud-based software that solves the biggest problems with online marketing. The response rate using this software is sky high, and using it lets you tap into the biggest trend in modern marketing: mobile phones!

With Call Direct, your promotion campaigns will produce significantly better results than traditional email marketing. Call Direct lets you operate in the same way as a traditional email campaign. You offer a valuable download in exchange for the interested prospect’s contact information.

But Call Direct doesn’t use email at all! It uses the mobile phone numbers of your prospect! They call the phone number you promote and you deliver the download directly via SMS text messaging!.

Call Direct Flow Chart Infographic

People don’t like giving their email addresses for fear of spam. So what do they do? They enter fake email addresses just to get your coupon, your free report, or whatever it is you use as your lead magnet to get them to subscribe to your list.

You can overcome this by using a double-opt in requirement but that cuts your subscription rate in half in many cases. If you use single-opt in to get the highest subscription rate possible with email marketing, you’ll still lose up to 25% of your subscribers because you can’t reach them

2

All MP3 recordings and SMS messages are subject to review and must comply with AdHitcher Technologies Inc. guidelines. Any messages not in compliance will be removed.

Full rules and guidelines will be supplied on request and are included in your package when you order. As long as what you offer is legal, ethical and is not in violation of existing U.S. and International law, your messages have a high probability of being accepted.

a-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1