Google: We must entice developers to build less bandwidth-intensive apps

Thin is in according to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) director of Android global partnerships John Lagerling, who urges developers to create mobile applications that strive to minimize network data consumption. Speaking at a recent Pacific Crest investment conference, Lagerling said the evolution towards metered data pricing models necessitates the introduction of less bandwidth-hungry mobile applications and services, adding companies such as Google must incentivize partners to create mobile experiences that address network limits and subscriber billing concerns.

"What we haven't done yet that I think is sort of in the pipeline is to incentivize everybody, including the developers as well, to be able to lean their applications," Lagerling said, according to ZDNet. "We haven't even augmented yet the possibility to show users how much each app is using. How much bandwidth is my Skype clients using as opposed to my Twitter clients or my Google+ clients? And it's more U.S.--specifically in the U.S., carriers move towards metered plans where you basically pay per gigabyte even or you start with a bundle and then pay for add-on gigabytes. I think we naturally need to give end-users better visibility on which apps are consuming more."

Smartphone data usage among U.S. consumers is up 89 percent year-over-year according to Nielsen research issued in mid-June. Between the first quarter of 2010 and first quarter of 2011, the amount of data consumed by the average user has increased from 230 MB to 435 MB. In the top 10 percent of smartphone users, data consumption is up 109 percent year-over-year, and in the top 1 percent, consumption has surged 155 percent, leaping from 1.8GB in the first quarter of 2010 to over 4.6GB in the first quarter of 2011.

The average Android device owner leads all other American smartphone users, consuming 582 MB of data each month, Nielsen states; iPhone owners are next at 492 MB. Windows Phone 7 users consume an average of 317 MB of data each month, and BlackBerry owners consume just 127 MB of mobile data every 30 days.

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