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How Mobile Apps Impact the IoT World


Mobile apps and IoT often go hand-in-hand

The Internet of Things market and mobile apps development are closely intertwined. In fact, today it is very difficult to imagine using an IoT-powered device without interacting with it via a mobile app interface.


There is a steady rise of active connected devices, including IoT worldwide.

Today, the number of IoT devices surpasses that of mobile devices. One study, by IoT Analytics, puts the number of IoT devices at 7 billion in 2018, with the projected growth to 10 billion by 2020 and 22 billion in 2025. On the other hand, the number of mobile devices exceeded 5 billion in 2018, according to GSMA, with more than half of that number being smartphones.

Why is this comparison important? 72% of IoT devices are designed to connect to mobile apps and 34% of those use smartphones as a gateway into the IoT ecosystem. Mobile apps undoubtedly have a big impact on the Internet of Things and with the wider adoption of 5G (expected around 2020), this connection between mobile apps and IoT should only grow stronger.

Where are Mobile Apps Vital for IoT Devices?


Wearables like the Apple Watch are just one example of IoT technology used every day

There are countless areas where mobile apps and Internet of Things devices have linked, but in these following three, their connection and the impact mobile apps have on IoT is shown the best:

1.       Smart Homes

Smart home technology, also known as "home automation" or "domotics" offers modern homeowners comfort, security, convenience and energy efficiency by allowing them to control their IoT devices using an app on any networked device, which of course includes mobile devices.

Some examples of smart home technology include:

  • Smart lighting systems like Philips Hue, which allows you to switch the lights on and off in your home and also detects if anyone is in the room to adjust the lighting accordingly
  • Smart locks, which not only prevent intruders from entering your home, but also detect residents and open for them
  • Smart thermostats like Nest Labs' Nest, which enables users to monitor, schedule and control the temperature in their home remotely
  • Smart security cameras and motion sensors, which allow residents to monitor their home while they are away
  • All kinds of home appliances from coffee makers to washing machines
  • Smart TVs and home entertainment systems. Smart devices can, for instance, find you a good movie to watch or music to listen to, offer news, sports results and so on.

2.       Connected Cars

Although connected cars are still considered somewhat of a luxury item, the increase in consumer demand for connectivity solutions and a greater need for constant connectivity contribute greatly to the rise of this market.

In 2017, the global connected cars market was valued at $63,026.0 million. By 2025, however, it is expected to reach $225,158.0 million, with a CAGR of 17.1% between 2018 and 2025, according to Allied Market Research.

What makes connected cars technology that sought out?

Let's say its winter months and you need to go somewhere, but your car has been outside all night. The windows are frosted and the interior cold as a refrigerator.

Using a mobile app connected to your car, you can start the engine a couple of minutes before you enter the car to defrost the windows and warm up the interior. Then, using the sat-navigational system, you can check on the traffic for any traffic jams on your route and select an alternative one to avoid it. Finally, there are also apps that can park the car for you in case you need some help fitting it into a narrow space or with the dreaded parallel parking.

In addition, connected cars commonly come equipped with a service that connects you to that manufacturer's customer service in case you need some help with directions in a new city.

3.       Wearables

While the other two technologies we mentioned here - smart homes and connected cars - is still a few years shy of complete adoption, wearables are already something you can commonly see on people around you.

A lot of people can't imagine exercising without them and use wearables to track their time, distance, and monitor their heart rate and so on.

But the uses don't begin and end with exercise. Smart watches have a limited screen real estate and are, on their own not well suited for more complex tasks like operating home appliances. However, connecting them to a smartphone via a mobile app significantly expands their use in a manner that you can see a notification on your smart watch much sooner than on your smartphone and then simply use the mobile app there.

How a 20-Something-Year Technology Impacts IoT?

Mobile apps, however, come with one or two problems. First of all, they demand constant connection to the Internet, which is in some cases not possible. Your connection may break, leaving you without the means to monitor or operate your connected device.

The app may also fail, get hacked and let's not mention app fatigue. The average smartphone user in the United States spends 3 hours on apps each day and downloads 2-3 new mobile apps per month.

While you may not be able to do a lot of things you could using a mobile app, SMS still provides a reliable and cost-effective way to communicate with your IoT devices and receive important notifications and alerts.

What's also great about SMS is that it's widely used by almost all generations in smaller or greater measure. In particular, Millenials love texting and by some estimates, this generation will account for more than a third of the global workforce by 2020, making it well worth the effort.


Smartphones ushered in a new and, many would say a better way for people to get and stay connected with each other and with the Internet. Now, with the rise of IoT, there is a great demand for connecting our other devices beyond the laptops and smartphones.

Mobile app development pushes the Internet of Things market forward and brings this technology closer to consumers, allowing them to interact with connected devices, whether that's cars, security cameras, home appliances, wearables or something else with greater convenience and comfort.


About the Author

Jennifer Houghton 

Jennifer Houghton is a junior editor at TextMagic. She writes about the latest marketing trends and shares useful tips for practical mobile marketing and building customer relationship.

Published Tuesday, October 08, 2019 9:08 AM by David Marshall
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