How Mobile Application Development Can Benefit The Rural Customer?

Mobile application development has surely done wonders for the digital economy of India over the last three years. Business enterprises and customers have gained from the revolution in mobile applications technology. The surge in urbanization, a growing middle class with a healthy purchasing power, improvements in IT infrastructure and government initiatives to attract more investment in telecom and internet services coupled with social mobility have all contributed to the this phenomenal movement. The Indian consumer residing in cities is beginning to embrace business transactions on the internet and the value generated by online purchases and sales. This trend notwithstanding, there remain some bleak facts about rural India. Is the consumer of rural India moving as fast as the urban counterparts? While empirical evidence suggests that there are some roadblocks, we later in this article take a look at some economically feasible solutions to those challenges.

Some Reflections on the Internet Economy in the World and India

Current estimates indicate that 4.2 billion people across the world will not have internet connectivity even in the year 2017. The compounded annual growth rate of internet users has climbed down from 14 percent in 2006-07 to 10 percent now. Aided by factors such as rising income levels and low technology costs, the internet economy could see an addition of another 500-700 million users by the year 2017. While these are statistical accounts of the scenario there are factors underlying this sorry state in developing countries like India. Data collected by World Bank on the digital divide says the following:

  • 64% of offline people live in rural areas
  • 18% of offline people have an age of 55 years or above
  • 28% of these people are illiterate
  • 52% of offline people are women
  • 15% market penetration of internet in countries like Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, etc.

The World Bank study suggests that millions of people do not go online because they believe that it is against widely accepted social and cultural norms. People retired from their professions do not find computers for use. There is also a perceived threat to information and privacy from internet use. While governments and businesses have been making big strides in urban areas for economic growth and internet connectivity, the rural households are still left out. Millions of people consider the sage of computers to be rocket science and hence avoid it. The stark truth is that as long as internet connectivity in rural offline communities remains absent, there will be a drag on their lives.

Mobile Apps Can Drive out the Entitlement Failure

While the above data and its analysis clarify the existence of the digital divide, there is hope in the form of mobile applications development. Mobile development services can reach the for-profit enterprises and their offerings to the bottom of the pyramid markets. While computer purchase and usage may be unaffordable and technically complex, using a smart phone is child’s play. Plus, the smart phone is a personalized device. The portability of the device and real-time information that mobile apps offer, present an opportunity to stay rooted in the local culture and yet modernize. While banks, retail enterprises, insurance companies and micro-finance institutions may find it economically impractical to set up brick and mortar models of business, mobile application developers can connect the dots. Web solutions providers will have to design and deliver mobile application development services in an efficient way to create a viable business model. Rural markets offer a tremendous window for lifestyle applications development, entertainment applications development and games applications development even in emerging economies. Provided that language, user friendliness and distribution of apps are dealt with smartly, business enterprises can look forward to exploring untapped markets in rural areas. The understanding of ground realities of rural markets, focus on rural business models and organizational collaboration with client companies is crucial in this regard. Android business solutions and Windows business software solutions crafted with business intelligence can make a real difference to the lives of offline people and drive out the entitlement failure. The internet is for everyone and mobile development service enterprises with an eye on local context specific innovation are the enablers of this proposition.


The 10 Best Productivity Apps For Business Professionals

Whether it’s the cooler weather, back-to-school season, or just time to get down to business, we’ve turned our attention to the best apps for business professionals. And, considering that most business professionals don’t have time to spend hours wading through the numerous ‘productivity’ apps available in the App Store, we’ve tested and compiled a list of the ten very best apps for time management, organization, and, of course, increasing productivity. Though these apps don’t prove that iPhone owners are all work and no play-they do provide some evidence that the iPhone is a functional tool for the workforce (and not just gamers). For Android users, we’ve included well-rated alternatives for most apps that are not available in the Android App marketplace.

So if it’s time to roll up your sleeves and increase productivity on the go, check out these apps-tested and recommended by yours truly:

1. Evernote & Springpad Free

Alright, alright-we’re only on the first recommendation and we’ve already thrown out two different apps-but that’s because they’re both really great and serve, well, virtually the same purpose.

Use either of these programs to quickly file and sort all of the various bits of information you encounter daily with notes in the form of text, images, and voice recordings. Both are aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. Evernote is slightly better at synchronizing desktop and mobile notes, however with Springpad you can additionally create barcode notes, and notes on what’s around you. And for the fantastic price of free, why not use them both? (Both available for iPhone and Android)

2. ListPro Free

ListPro is a pretty simple app that allows you to do just what the name suggests-create as many lists as you could ever want or need. There are several formatting options that allow you to build basic lists for grocery shopping or running errands, as well as lists that enable you to create complex maps of all the tasks related to a given project. With this app, you can streamline your to-do list for free-and never forget the milk again!

3. Calengoo $6.99

If you’re an iPhone owner that, like many of us, prefers to use Google Calendars to manage your schedule, this app is a must-have. It allows you to access and edit your Google Calendars from your iOS device. View your events for the month, the week or the day, and add tasks to be completed in the form of a checklist.

For seven bucks, this app is a bit pricey, but for the added functionality that Calengoo provides, and the ability to keep your almighty calendar with you at al times, it’s well worth the splurge. (No Android alternative is necessary-the default calendar provides the same functionality and syncs with Google Calendars. For a more advanced calendar app for Android, try Jorte-free).

4. Due $2.99

Due may actually be the simplest app ever created. The program allows you to createtasks on the fly and schedule a reminder for later. Perfect for ensuring that minor tasks are completed on time without the hassle of logging an item in your calendar. Additionally, the app includes a timer for managing time spent on routine tasks. Though not quite free, the time this app saves you will quickly make up for its minor cost.

5. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite $7.99

If you’re helpless without your docs, this is the productivity app for you. Access, modify and share your Microsoft Office suite documents, including PDF’s, Word Documents and Excel Spreadsheets. Transfer files from your desktop to your mobile device and vice versa, and never be stuck without critical documents again. Quickoffice, available for the iPhone, as well as Android devices, isn’t cheap (as apps go), but it’s not unlikely that many professionals would shell out twice as much to have this functionality in a bind-get it now, and be prepared.

6. Read It Later Free

For anyone that does a lot of reading or researching on the job, this app is essential. Send articles and web pages directly to your mobile device with just one click. This app eliminates the need to bookmark, or save browser tabs for later-just select pages that you want to view on your mobile device, and they’ll be ready and waiting for you within the app, making the workflow much more fluid when you’re on the go. (Available for iPhone and Android)

7. TripIt Free

If your job requires you to travel-at all-this app is absolutely indispensable. Sign up and forward your flight confirmation, hotel reservation, rental car booking information-everything associated with your trip-to [email protected], and the app will create a detailed itinerary for you, storing all of your reservation information and details in a color coded, linear presentation format. While the app isn’t guaranteed to get you to the airport on time, it will definitely make your next business trip less hectic. (Available for iPhone and Android)

8. Dragon Dictation Free

This app is perfect for multitaskers. The program converts speech into text, so you can dictate e-mails, text messages and more on the fly-and stop wasting your time pecking away on a miniature keyboard. (Low quality voice to text capabilities are built into the Android OS, but for more advanced functionality try Handcent, or Chomp)

9. Text’n Drive Free

Look Ma-no hands! The opposite of Dragon Dictation, T’n D converts text to speech, reading your text messages aloud so you’re free to do more important things-like beat the traffic to work! (Android version is currently in development)

10. LinkedIn Free

Social media is becoming more essential to business professionals every day, so what better app to close on than one that keeps you connected with your network? Don’t attend another conference without this app, which allows you to instantly add new contacts to your network, and stay in contact while you’re out of the office. (Android users are limited to DroidIn-download the Lite version for free, or upgrade to Pro for $2.00).

Now that you’ve read our recommendations for the best productivity apps, don’t you have a report to get back to? In the meantime, take a few minutes to check out these apps, and give your productivity a boost!