The Apps Women Want Report

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:30 AM on November 22, 2011:

From Anne Piedmont, Piedmont Research Associates:

Piedmont Research AssociatesIt is hard to believe that “apps” - software applications for mobile devices - were non-existent before 2007. Fewer than five years later, about half the mobile phone users in the United States have apps on their phones, according to a Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project report released November 2, 2011.

The Pew number includes users who bought phones with preloaded apps and those that have downloaded them. U.S. adults who’ve downloaded apps doubled from 2009 to 2011, according to the report. Pew’s figures put the percentage of adults with mobile phone apps at 42.

Pew's survey shows that app downloaders skew younger and male, but that the gap is narrowing. Tablet owners who download apps tend to be female.

Handshake Media asked Piedmont Research Associates to help answer the question of what women want in mobile apps. It follows the survey and report we did in the fall of 2010 on how women use their mobile devices, The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps.

The 13-question The Apps Women Want Survey ran from October 4 through November 8, 2011. It was distributed virally through social media platforms and emails to members of various networks. Tracking data from the bit.ly link used showed 170 clicks. Seventy-three women actually took the survey, a higher percentage – 42.9 – than the 36 percent of female mobile phone owners who’ve downloaded apps (according to Pew).

The Apps Women Want Report - Conclusions

After we asked women what apps they liked and used, and how – or whether – they spent money on apps, we asked them what apps they wanted.

Some of the mobile apps they described are incredibly well thought-out. Some are pie-in-the-sky dreams. Many speak to women juggling busy lives, wanting easier ways to do the things they do. None listed games or entertainment.

More specifically, they asked for

  • better ways to coordinate recipes, ingredients and shopping
  • the ability to comparison shop throughout their local areas for gas and products
  • ways to bring together the various parts of their lives
  • better ways to work.

For the most part, these women wanted to bring clarity and simplicity to the palms of their hands. 

Download the full The Apps Women Want Report (9-page .pdf)

Reports by Piedmont Research Associates for Handshake Media:

The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps, December 2010
The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smart Phones and Mobile Apps - Survey Results, January 2011
The Apps Women Want - Survey, October 2011
The Apps Women Want Report, November 2011 (this post)

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Anne Piedmont is the founder of Piedmont Research Associates, an organization specializing in community research and statistics, competitive business intelligence, corporate writing services, and public relations.

For further reading:

Thought Full - an app to remember

Best Mobile Apps for Women
Mobile Apps for Women in Business
Women and Smartphones 2011
How Much Does a Mobile App Cost?
Women and Mobile Apps category on Handshake 2.0

Women and Smartphones 2011

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on July 14, 2011:

With the generous assistance of Stephanie Lyn Flosi, Senior Marketing Communications Analyst with comScore, we have been able to update our June, 2010 post on Women and Smartphones.

In this data from comScore reporting three month averages ending May, 2011, the base audience is U.S. female mobile subscribers.  An additional column in the table highlights the smartphone female subscribers.  The data is from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending May 2011.  

comScore:  Female Mobile Subscribers May 2011

Thank you so much, Stephanie!

***

Here's updated information with excerpts from our original post, Women and Smartphones:

In 2008, women smartphone users in the U.S. numbered 10.4 million. (New York Times)

At the end of 2009, 16 million U.S. females were smartphone subscribers and 28 million were subscribers by the end of 2010. (comScore via Stephanie Flosi)

At the end of May, 2011, over 120 million U.S females were mobile subscribers and over 35 million were smartphone subscribers. (comScore via Stephanie Flosi)

In sum, according to comScore's data, U.S. female smartphone subscribers numbered 16 million in 2009, 28 million in 2010, and 35 million at the end of May 2011.

In 2008, 12% of male cell phone users had smartphones, and 8% of female cell phone users had smartphones (18to34.org citing Nielsen Mobile)

By the end of May, 2011, 39% of U.S. men owned smartphones and 31% of U.S. women owned smartphones. (Pew)

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These posts may be of further interest:

The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smartphones and Mobile Apps
Best Mobile Apps for Women
Mobile Apps for Women in Business
How Much Does a Mobile App Cost?
Getting Started in the Business of Mobile App Development

as may be our category, Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0.

Look, Mom! I Made an App!

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:38 AM on March 29, 2011:

At the heart of a first mobile app When people ask me about my childhood, my mind fills with images of pads of construction paper, boxes of Crayola crayons, gold foil stars, white paste in a tub with a stiff yellow spreader, and scissors.  When we went to the grocery store, my mother spent my father’s graduate student stipend so carefully on roasts and Spam and Bird’s Eye frozen vegetables - and on a new coloring book, one each for me and for my sister. To Socrates, the unexamined life is not worth living.  To my mother, the creative life was the only one to live.

My mother taught us to make Valentines with construction paper by demonstrating how it was done. I remember feeling wonder at the finished beauty, and then such frustration and sorrow.  I saw the flat piece of paper, I saw her fold it, I saw her use scissors, I saw her unfold a beautiful and perfect red heart.  I knew I could never make one myself.  I had missed a part of the process.  Where did she cut? 

I felt the same desperate grief as we began to undertake learning to make mobile applications.  Once the mobile application development tool we’re using was installed on my laptop, I kept clicking and clicking, trying to understand how it worked, where to begin, what to do.  I watched the instructional videos, I read the Q & A, I listened studiously to our CTO, Alex, as he explained the tool.  I was not getting it.  On Sunday, he had a GoToMeeting session with me where he tried one more time to help me.  Somehow, somehow, through my questions, he understood what part I was missing.  He showed me where to cut.

I felt as if iron-braced timber doors swung inward. Inside, all was light.  With stacks of construction paper and boxes of crayons!  My mother never made us color in the lines.  I cut this and added that, I made this piece and that with my adult version of crayons - my graphic artist would shudder - Paint, and clicked the emulator.

I made an app!

I told my co-founder of She Chooses, Laureen Fleming, that I made an app and she asked with excitement, “What does your app do?”

“Why, it toggles back and forth between ‘yes’ and ‘no’!” I crowed with pride and joy.  She laughed.  She knows.

Some mothers might say, “Honey, you can do better than that.”  The image and text overlap each other in my tabs and it’s definitely no Angry Birds.  Some mothers might say, “Honey, what a wonderful app!”  But it’s not.  It’s got dings in it.  My mother wasn’t into judging my creative work, either negatively or positively.  We had creativity as a daily meal. 

My mother showed me where to cut.

I feel as free and triumphant sharing my first app as I did sharing my first heart with my mother.  I made one!  I can make another!

Anne's first mobile app

My Mom Would Have Let Me Play with This App

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:34 AM on March 16, 2011:

I have searched for but cannot find the NPR story I was listening to while cooking dinner one night about moms and kids and iPhones, but I was delighted to hear that moms readily hand over their iPhones to their children for their amusement, especially while waiting - at a doctor's office, or in a grocery line, for example. I remember one mom laughing and saying she sometimes says to her child, "Honey, please give Mommy her iPhone back. She needs to make a phone call!"

When I was a child, I remember during very long waits, when we had already read many books and colored many pages in many coloring books, my mother would let me look in her purse.  I can still feel the sense of wonder at rolling up, then rolling down, a bright red tube of lipstick, opening and closing her silver compact, snapping and unsnapping the button on her billfold. 

As a child, if she had had an iPhone in her purse? I can only imagine how enchanted I would have been to play with it.

My mother would have been very thoughtful about what apps she had on her iPhone that her daughter would see. My mother would have considered that her daughter saw enough of real life through the family's subscriptions to Life and Look magazines and through David Brinkley's and Walter Cronkite's reports on the television - Buddhist monks self-immolating in Vietnam, children starving in Biafra. She would have wanted my games to just be for play.

As her grown child, I still like games to just be for play.  In another life, I was a teacher; when the students gave me a demo of Halo, I had to lie down on a table, faint from all the blood.  The idea of a game where pigs and birds kill themselves or each other just makes me sad.

When our CTO, Alex Edelman, asked me what kind of mobile app game I wanted, I asked for a slide puzzle.  His family took the photographs and they like nature, so many of the puzzle choices are beautiful landscapes, or close-ups of flowers, the "home" puzzle sporting a green lizard. One photograph probably doesn't quite fit with all the others, but Alex let me pick that one.  It's for a kid like me.  Just for play.

Foto Puzzler is available in the iTunes App Store.

1 of 20 Women Who Developed Mobile Apps

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on March 11, 2011:

Thank you, Jenna Drew, for including our experience with mobile apps in Mobile App Development: 20 Women Who Developed Mobile Apps Share Their Experiences, International Association of Women Entrepreneurs Online (IAWEO), March 1, 2011.  Here's an excerpt with our story:

Anne Giles Clelland"A company needs to reach people - a.k.a. customers – to whom it can sell products and services in order to survive and thrive. According to Juniper Research, mobile device downloads are expected to reach 25 billion in 2015. A website potentially reaches only 2 billion people on the Internet, a Facebook page a paltry 500 million, and a Twitter account a mere 100 million. 25 billion downloads? Of course a company needs a mobile app.”

“For us, our corporate mobile app needed to be 1) of value to the user, 2) mission-based. Our site’s mission is to extend the “it’s who you know” handshake of what begins business deals in person to the “it’s still who you know” Handshake 2.0 of what can begin deals online. We had the proverbial light bulb moment when we realized that our mobile app – used, of course, on a hand-held device – needed to feature the people on Handshake 2.0 to make them available for business-beginning handshakes!”

“Even in 2009, Forrester priced minimal corporate mobile apps at $20K, so we created our app in-house. This was my first experience with the software development process and I found it heart-poundingly exciting and mind-bogglingly complex. Our development efforts succeeded and multiple versions of our Handshake(TM) App are now part of those billions of mobile app downloads.”

“Business results for us? We extended our brand, added mobile app development as a new line of business since it fit our company’s strengths and vision, and added a new revenue stream. And learning any new technology increases the likelihood we can innovate again and again,” said Anne Giles Clelland, M.A., M.S., the President of Handshake Media, Incorporated and founder of Handshake 2.0.

Handshake Media's latest Handshake(TM) mobile app is Foto Puzzler.  Here are all the mobile applications from Handshake Media.

What Do Women Want from Mobile Apps?

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2011:

We've been working on answering that question - "What do women want from mobile apps?" - on Handshake 2.0.  We were delighted to have our work cited by iAlja in Android for girls: a new frontier.  Here's an excerpt from her comprehensive post that includes links to a post by Maureen Carruthers and research on women and mobile apps by Anne Piedmont of Piedmont Research Associates. iAlja's "A girl's app manifesto" is a beautiful synthesis of what we, too, have found that women want from mobile apps. 

What do women want from mobile apps?

The big question for all app developers is, of course, what do women want from mobile apps? How can we make apps that women will want to download?

I found a really good answer to this on the Handshake 2.0 blog, where Maureen Carruthers writes about what she's looking for in mobile apps (emphasis mine):

"The final quality of my favorite apps is how they make me feel - about myself. ... these apps help me feel loved, well-read and prepared. ... Most importantly, they are intuitive, so they never make me feel stupid. No matter how potentially amazing an app may be, if I can’t easily figure it out, it will gather virtual dust."

Another survey among female mobile app users came to the conclusion that (emphasis mine):

Women want to be connected. They want to be informed. They want apps that help them through the day, whether it is comparison shopping, turn-by-turn directions, or a way to be more organized.”

So, we don't want clutter, we don't need extra bling - we want apps that are easy to use and that makes our lives better or easier! Women are probably more likely than men to see their phones as tools that shouldn't require a manual, but should provide clear value in everyday life.

Of course, this doesn't apply to just women - many users outside the geeky, tech crowd feel the same! And here's my advice for app developers: focus on everyday usability and experience, not on fancy algorithms and tech talk.

Instagram, for instance, is a good example of a great mobile app service that isn't anything special from the technological point of view, but it does provide great experience and community. And that's what counts for most users, not necessarily just women. (Excellent blog post on a related note: Quora is from Mars, Instagram is from Venus)

A girl's app manifesto

Finally, here are 7 key points I wish every app developer, male or female, would keep in mind when planning, designing or programming mobile apps.

  1. Think about me.
  2. I don’t like wasting time.
  3. Make my life better or fun.
  4. Don’t make me feel stupid.
  5. Don’t make me change for you.
  6. I’m looking for experiences, not features.
  7. Yes, I like pretty, but I’m not a princess.

via ialja.blogspot.com

Here's our category on Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0

Thanks again, iAlja. We'll definitely have your key points in mind as we launch a network of women mobile application developers.

Network of Women Mobile App Developers to Launch

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on March 4, 2011:

While I may not currently be in the midst of developing an app, I know that when the times comes, having a network will be critical to my education and execution of a "killer app."
- Gail Billingsley, Executive Director, YMCA at Virginia Tech

I love Gail's reason for attending the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers!

We have almost 25 who have responded to our invitation to attend the meeting on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Interest and support have been so strong!

Thanks to the support and sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust CompanyHutchison Law Group, and Handshake Media, attendees will be treated to a complimentary reception on March 7.

The first group of 12 to receive training on March 16 will be treated to a complimentary meal thanks to the support and sponsorship of VT KnowledgeWorks.

And thanks to Ryan Hagan, Shierod Russell and Wesley Ferrell - who are volunteering their time to help - we will have on-site technical support during the training.

And I got this in an email from a software expert yesterday:  "What can I do to help?"

Overwhelming.

We welcome more to our first meeting.

Women in the Blacksburg, Virginia area interested in joining other women to learn about mobile application development are invited to the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers. The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, anne@handshake20.com, for an invitation. 

***

Here's the "history" of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

How Will the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers Work?

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 9:00 AM on February 25, 2011:

About the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers, in addition to "Who will be there?", I have been asked, "How will it work?" and, more specifically, "How will you select the first 12 women for training?"

A Network of Women Mobile Application DevelopersThe second question first. 

How will you select the first 12 women for training?

I won't select the first 12 women.

They will select themselves.

They'll know who they are.  They'll be the ones who want this skill, who have the perseverance and self-forgiveness required to learn something new and difficult, who will take the time and give themselves the time to learn it, who understand and value how women can learn together in groups, who want to participate in the giving and receiving that group membership asks of each individual member, who will take the initiative to form, keep and build groups, and who are willing to teach others. 

How will it work?

l will offer a greater context and provide more details at our meeting on March 7, 2011, but here's an overview:

Thanks to the support and sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust CompanyHutchison Law Group, and Handshake Media, interested women will attend a complimentary reception and meeting on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

After the meeting on March 7, women who want the initial training will email me, Anne Giles Clelland, anne@handshake20.com.  I'll send them more specifics about the training that will be held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Thanks to the support and sponsorship of VT KnowledgeWorks, the women will be treated to a complimentary meal prior to the beginning of the training.

Thanks to a to-be-named software company's willingness to launch a pilot program in Blacksburg, Virginia, the women will receive free beginning training in the use of that company's mobile application development software via webinar.

Thanks to Ryan Hagan, Shierod Russell and Wesley Ferrell, we will have on-site technical support during the training.

And then we'll see what the 12 self-selected women do next.

***

Women in the Blacksburg, Virginia area interested in joining other women to learn about mobile application development are invited to the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers. The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, anne@handshake20.com, for an invitation. 

***

Here's the developing story on the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Who Will Be at the First Meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers?

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:30 AM on February 25, 2011:

While I may not currently be in the midst of developing a mobile app, I know that when the time comes, having a network will be critical to my education and execution of a "killer app."
- Gail Billingsley, Executive Director, YMCA at Virginia Tech

Network of Women Mobile Application Developers Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust Company, and Hutchison Law Group joining us at Handshake Media, the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers will be treated to a reception for their very first meeting on March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

"Who will be there?" I've been asked often about the meeting.

Gail Billingsley will be there.  She is one of 20 women so far who have responded to the invitation to form A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers in our locale.

I know, or know of, many of the women who have responded.  Who I hoped would be there will be there:

  • Women who want to get right to it and learn mobile application development.
  • Women who have no idea about whether or not mobile app development is for them but are attending in case it is.
  • Women exploring the possibility that mobile app development might be a new opportunity for them or for their companies, organizations or institutions.
  • Women who want to be part of a network of women who are learning something new and intentionally sharing what they learn with others.
  • Leaders in the community - business, government and service - who have no interest in learning mobile app development themselves but want to support the women who undertake the challenge.

And I'll be there!  We'll enjoy the reception from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM.  At 6:00 PM, I will make a brief presentation on mobile application development and how our network will begin.  We will have plenty of time for questions and answers, and to talk after the presentation.  Our current plan is to start the network by beginning training for the first 12 women the week after our meeting.

Women in the Blacksburg, Virginia area interested in joining other women to learn about mobile application development for any of those reasons above - or others! - are invited to the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers. The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, Anne Giles Clelland, anne@handshake20.com, for an invitation. 

***

Here's the developing story on the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers.  Posts are listed in  chronological order and where they appeared, some with descriptive notes.

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers - Who and How

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:46 AM on February 14, 2011:

In A Network of Women Mobile Application Developers, I predicted that a shortage of mobile application developers may eliminate our locale from current and future opportunities in the mobile application industry.  My proposal to solve that problem is to begin a local network of women mobile application developers who create expertise for themselves and each other.  I have been asked, "Who are you looking for?" and "How will it work?"

Here's my vision for who might become members of the network:

  • spouses of faculty members and graduate students from all over the world at local universities
  • women tending children who want to work flexible hours at home
  • enterprising women interested in learning new skills
  • women entrepreneurs interested in creating new companies
  • software developers who want to add mobile application development to their résumés
  • students and faculty members at local universities who want to share their expertise and receive that of others in return
  • women who fall into none of these categories but find that the idea speaks to them
  • women who don't want to learn mobile application development, but want to support the efforts of those who do

Here's my vision for how the network will work:

  • We have an orientation meeting for everyone interested.
  • Women self-select themselves to become members of the network based on what they learn at the meeting.
  • Volunteer instructors assist group members in setting up development tools on their computers, provide a context for future learning, and teach the first and most-needed fundamental skills.
  • From that initial group, one or more groups form and meet regularly - in each others' homes for play dates with their children, at libraries, in conference rooms, at restaurants, whatever works for each group's members - sharing what they've learned on their own since the last meeting, teaching and learning from each other to form individual and collective expertise.
  • Group members intentionally and consciously teach their new skills to other women and either invite them to join their groups or encourage them to form new groups.
  • Even if only one woman mobile application developer emerges from the network, I would consider the program a resounding success. As far as I know, that's one more than our locale has now!

I think the primary determinant of who initially becomes a network member and who remains one is not who the woman is, or how the network works, but how she works. For someone who has never been a programmer or developer before, that world can seem as surprising and threatening as Narnia with its uniqueness and complexity.  To tolerate the unknown, to study and learn on one's own, to look things up, to struggle, to walk away and come back - all of these are required over and over again of someone who undertakes this work.  For those who have these traits, the work can be deeply gratifying and personally and financially rewarding. 

Women in the Blackburg, Virginia or the New River Valley, Virginia area who want to learn how to be a mobile app developer, or are interested in finding out if they might want to learn, please email me: anne@handshake20.com

For more information on this subject, you're invited to peruse the category Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0.

Added 2/18/2011

We're delighted to announce that thanks to the generous sponsorship of Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS, First Bank & Trust Company, and Hutchison Law Group joining me at Handshake Media, we will be able to host a reception for the very first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers!  The meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Please email me, anne@handshake20.com, for an invitation!

Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS(R) and First Bank & Trust Company are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.