By 2017, mobile applications will be one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe, and mobile users will provide personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day, according to Gartner Inc.

"Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers,” Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "This connection to consumer services means users are constantly funneling data through mobile apps. As users continue to adopt and interact with apps, it is their data — what they say, what they do, where they go — that is transforming the app interaction paradigm."

Gartner says brands and businesses are already using mobile apps as a primary component of their user engagement strategies, and as the use of mobile devices, including wearable devices, expands into other areas of consumer and business activities, mobile apps will become even more significant.

"In the next three to four years, apps will no longer be simply confined to smartphones and tablets, but will impact a wider set of devices, from home appliances to cars and wearable devices," Blau said. "By 2017, Gartner predicts that wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total app interactions."

Mobile apps are often a vehicle for cognizant computing, in which the data gathered through the use of the apps and the analytics around it are becoming more important in both volume and value, the firms says.

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