The evo­lu­tion of Mobile devices and their adop­tion growth con­tinue at a tor­rid pace. With over 40 mil­lion devices sold, 50,000+ apps devel­oped, and over 1 Bil­lion app down­loads, the iPhone has re-defined an indus­try and for­ever altered peo­ples’ expec­ta­tions about what a mobile device can be…There is an iPhone app for just about everything…you can tweet, make restau­rant reser­va­tions, catch up with friends on face­book, check the weather, buy movie tick­ets, you name it!

As com­pelling a pack­age as the iPhone is, I’ve been one of those hold­outs wait­ing for ‘some­thing else’. Tech­nol­ogy evo­lu­tion is a funny thing, in the case of mobile devices small but impor­tant traits may lead to the dom­i­nance of one device over another. As a PALM Treo user for many years I just couldn’t swal­low giv­ing up my handy QWERTY key­board. As cool as the iPhone is, this one fea­ture led me to sit on the side­lines until either iPhone or a com­peti­tor intro­duced an evo­lu­tion­ary offer­ing that included a key­board. After wear­ing the phone fash­ion equiv­a­lent of dad jeans (the TREO) for two years too long, along came the PALM PRE.

Black, sleek, hid­den slide-out key­board, iPhone like inter­face (but bet­ter!) designed under the lead­er­ship of Jon Rubin­stein (now Palm CEO), the for­mer exec­u­tive in charge of the iPod divi­sion at Apple, the PRE is a glo­ri­ous meld of every­thing I loved about Treo and every­thing I wanted in an iPhone. After wait­ing in line at the Sprint store on the day of release I got a hold of one of the first limited-release PRE devices.

With the PRE in hand, my first des­ti­na­tion was the ‘App Cat­a­log’, with a few swipes of my fin­ger I was in. To my relief all the crit­i­cal stuff I use on the web was already there…GMAIL?… check…Facebook?… check… Twit­ter?… check… plus there were some other fun sur­prises like LinkedIn and the New York times daily reader appli­ca­tion which presents the top sto­ries in highly read­able and eas­ily scrol­lable text. So far so good. All these apps were writ­ten against Palm’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary, Linux-based WebOS…which I’ve heard is much more devel­oper friendly than the iPhone.

Based on the new­ness of the WebOS, I won­dered if Omni­ture was ready to sup­port mea­sur­ing app usage on the PRE device. On the Mon­day morn­ing after scor­ing my PRE, I paraded it around to some mem­bers of our Site­Cat­a­lyst team, hop­ing they would sense my early-adopter cool­ness (and for­get my dad-jeans Treo). I was pleased to find out that Site­Cat­a­lyst stan­dard Java Script code is com­pat­i­ble to mea­sure and report PRE’s WebOS apps. Any­one devel­op­ing apps for the PRE can use Site­Cat­a­lyst to:

  • Mea­sure the effec­tive­ness and impact of your Mobile App investments
  • Under­stand how users are engag­ing with the app to improve con­tent, lay­out, user expe­ri­ence and conversion
  • Get insights into how users are adopt­ing and shar­ing the con­tent with others

Given the growth in Smart­phone appli­ca­tion adop­tion, it’s no sur­prise Omni­ture stands on the cut­ting edge of new releases like the PRE. Accord­ing to mobile indus­try research, world­wide ship­ments of Smartphone’s are expected to grow from 164.7M units to 363.3M units in 2012. At the same time, mar­keters are pur­chas­ing more mobile adver­tis­ing to reach this grow­ing audi­ence. Mobile adver­tis­ing spend is expected to sky-rocket from $1.7B in 2007 to $12.8B by 2011. Based on my expe­ri­ence with the ultra-usable PRE, it wouldn’t sur­prise me if I shifted a sig­nif­i­cant amount of my web and email activ­ity to the device. With the new app mea­sure­ment for the PRE, mobile app devel­op­ers will be able to use Site­Cat­a­lyst to fig­ure out how I and mil­lions of other users are engag­ing with the mobile Inter­net, lead­ing to a bet­ter and more rel­e­vant expe­ri­ence for all.