Reports indicate that by 2025, 75% of people will use their smartphones as their sole means of accessing the internet, seeing a huge move away from desktops. The remaining 25% will no doubt consist of many who are using the two mediums collaboratively. Indeed, what we can do on our mobile devices has increased as our reliance on desktop has decreased. What does the future hold for the symbiotic relationship between desktop and mobile?
Increase in Industries Moving to Mobile
We can see the move away from our desktops and iPads and towards our mobiles through other industries. The gaming industry is beginning to utilize new 5G technologies in order to allow gamers to play games that require a lot of processing power, such as Minecraft and Fortnite multiplayer modes, on their mobiles. The online entertainment industry has seen sites be further optimized for mobile, with the William Hill offering being available as an app so players can engage with entertainment just as they would be able to on the desktop.
Most people searching for websites, no matter what the topic of the site, use their mobile devices. Google recently announced that it would incorporate a mobile-first indexing for the entire web from September 2020 onward. This means mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized sites will be given priority. This move is important for businesses who utilize search engine optimization and use Google to feed into their sales. Google is already instrumental in the latest technological implications, such as ensuring data can be synced across mobile and desktop. Their indexing change will mean that mobile sites and desktop sites will need to interact in a more mutually beneficial way.
Desktops Will Adapt Their Uses
The main challenge for the desktop is to emphasize the benefits it provides that mobile simply doesn’t. 90% of those 50 or over own a PC, while only 70% own a phone. So, desktops will still appeal to older people who aren’t as tech-savvy and prefer to surf the web the traditional way. Moreover, there are many applications that just don’t work on mobile – from video editing to publishing, graphic design or even anything that involves a lot of typing. Businesses are unlikely to move totally away from desktops towards mobiles. But, the industries will need to work together. Desktop and mobile can be used for different things in a complementary way. Each medium needs to focus on its independent offering so they can be used holistically.
PC gaming shows how popular desktops still are, too. Projections estimate that while mobile gaming will increase, PC gaming’s revenue won’t take the hit. The types of games on PC and the style of gaming are wildly different to what mobile offers. Minecraft, for instance, can be played on both, but many favor the PC for the range of controls and the processing power of the machine. Those who develop PC games understand their audience and what they want from a game, while mobile gaming is more hit and miss, appealing more to fair-weather, casual gamers.
Mobile’s surge in popularity was a surprise even to those who have played the largest roles in developing its delineations. We knew it would be useful to have a portable phone, but didn’t envisage that so much of our lives would end up being in the palm of our hands. The future won’t see mobiles slow down, but it won’t necessarily see things like desktops eclipsed. What we will see is them working in harmony. We might make casual searches on mobile, but there will always be some things that work better on desktop.