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"The local papers have a downloadable iphone app with newspaper ads that interact with the phone (mind you, I didn't have wifi at my coffee shop so will have to do later)."
Talking about technology, just curious to know why CBA's mobile app won't work without WiFi. To me, a mobile app that doesn't work on 3G sounds like a contradiction in terms. India's leading newspaper The Times of India has a multi-OS mobile app called Times
intARact which works fine on WiFi and 3G. In fact, I happen to have used it only on 3G to experience the augmented reality extension to many recent print ads.
Thanks but the crux of my observation still remains. Downloadable mobile apps flaunt their ability to provide better UX than mobile web apps. So, making them downloadable - not just usable - over 3G is a cross that mobile developers must bear. This is even
more true for an app intended to engage deeper with a highly fungible commodity like a newspaper ad. Most people wouldn't have carried the newspaper home, or, even if they did, wouldn't have remembered to go back to the CBA ad. BTW, although I hadn't mentioned
it before, I'd downloaded the Times intARact app via 3G.
14MB for such an app is indeed high. In India, most 3G plans charge around US$ 10 / mo. for 500MB data usage, so it's still conceivable to download this app via 3G. If 3G is much costlier in Australia, I agree that most users there would decide to download
it only via WiFi. Which is a pity - by taking away the scope for 'instant gratification', CBA risks reduced CTA and lower conversion.
I've used Times intARact on Android. The app size is only 1.69MB. I did spot it on the Apple AppStore
here, and it says app size is 3MB. In case the app is restricted to certain geographies (e.g. India), I think you won't be able find it from Australia.
As for usage of the app, Google Play shows # of installs in the public domain whereas AppStore doesn't. While both may supply many more usage metrics to the app owner, I'm not sure if CBA will share them in open. At least, far as I know, none of the advertisers
using intARact have done so.