I hear about a lot of apps. Now, you see apps everywhere: on television commercials, on billboards, and even in print publications. What is more, apps are nowadays becoming ads themselves, like this most recent offering from Toyota, the “Prius Experience.”
But I am here to assist you in on a secret: most programs are complete garbage. In fact, I am willing to say — publicly — that at least 99.98 percent of programs are unworthy. I understand — smart telephones are incredible devices that we have all put lots of trust and power into. We are literally changing the way that we live our lives due to the existence of the technology. But that does not make every program great, and it does not make every app-maker a millionaire.
In my opinion, there are only two Kinds of programs that matter:
1.Apps that are so useful, they can’t be ignored (.01 percent).
2.Programs that are so enjoyable and engaging, they can not be ignored (.01%).
Just What Exactly is a Program?
It might seem like a simple question, but while the line between mobile and on-line continues to blur, I think that it’s worth our time to lay out precisely what we are referring to here. To start, I am not speaking about things that either started before the days of smartphones (YouTube and Facebook, for example) or about solutions that are mostly driven by mobile content (like Twitter). These are services that have evolved for many years before apps were even in the picture. Facebook just recently published an iPad app, literally arriving to the party years late. And why would they manage to do so? Since they are not an app, they are not an app-driven service, and they are perfectly capable of thriving outside of the program ecosystem.
I’m referring to programs that have been designed only to be conducted on mobile devices (even if they also have net components or pull web-based content). You get them in the App Store (whatever flavor you prefer), and you use them on your device.
Apps that fall into this class are those which have earned that coveted spot on your home screen of both your telephone and your mind. When you have got a problem to resolve, or a question to answer, or a bit of digital content to retrieve, these are the go-to guys, your starting team. These programs have the capacity to make your life better each and every time you use them — that is critical, and it’s why you keep coming back to them. This implies you’ll be able to divide the check when nobody has cash (and not deal with the “I’ll pay you back” friend). This means your coffee store or lemonade stand can take cards without having a costly machine or seller contract. And, it usually means that the Salvation Army will probably make more money in donations this year — despite the tough times — since they have a brand new way to interact with their clients.
Evernote: Though it is not a new firm, and it will have an internet component, the mobile/app components of Evernote make it among the very first things I set onto any of my new electronics. I love that I can snap an image of whatever I visit, and keep it for later using this app. I am able to jot a quick note, or write a longer article, and it’s saved and fully searchable on any connected device. I can take an image of a business card that I get, and it’ll allow me to search for the text after. I can even hand-write a notice, and Evernote’s handwriting recognition will guarantee that I can discover that note afterwards. I can clip webpages, send it PDFs, or forward Evernote emails, and what’s there for me once I need it. For an information specialist, this is a game-changer, hands down.
Dropbox: Just Like Evernote, Dropbox exists on the web, and also in program form. I can use my Dropbox folder to save my job on my notebook, and get a draft on my mobile phone. Again, for the mobile information professional, the capacity to live without dispersing around copies, or to know that your files and photos are backed up in a safe and secure location is extremely valuable to me. I even pay for extra space since I use their support so much!
GoogleMaps: Anyone who has explored a new location with a smart phone has employed this app. It comes bundled on almost any Android apparatus and all iDevices for a reason: it’s useful. When it’s getting instructions or looking for a java fix, figuring out public transit systems, or alternate routes, GoogleMaps makes moving around your physical world a breeze. And, while I much prefer the integration of Google’s Navigation usefulness on the Android version of GoogleMaps, the iPhone version works good, too. It’s truly the one thing that I miss most about leaping from the Android ship.
Fun and Engaging Apps
AngryBirds: If you’ve played it, you understand. Incredibly simple, yet complex enough to keep you going for hours. It is possible to play for a minute or 2, or as long as you would like. Your kids can playwith, your grandma can play, your boss can perform — and they probably all do. It was the top iPhone app of 2010 (by downloads) for a reason, and has redefined the casual gambling market. You have probably seen their merchandise in stores, and there is even talk of an AngryBirds movie! Why?
Instagram: Together with the growth of cellular phones, we also started carrying around a plethora of additional previously standalone apparatus with us: GPS units and digital cameras chief among them. Instagram provides a straightforward and enjoyable platform to shoot and share photos. It’s responsive, simple to connect to Twitter and Facebook, and provides some interesting effects.
Flipboard: Taking advantage of this iPad’s increased display real-estate, touch-screen interface, and prosperity of readily accessed digital content, Flipboard gives a simple way to navigate what might otherwise be an overwhelming quantity of information. Along with being able to easily see and read what is on the market, Flipboard lets you save things (using Instapaper — yet another amazingly useful program), share some thing on Twitter or by email, and also view things in their first web format. It is easy and fun to work with, the content streams are customizable, and it looks good doing it. A trendsetter when there ever were one.
If we are being honest about our app usage, we know that nearly all of the ones we get we either attempt once and delete, or relegate into a back page onto our phones where they are essentially “out of sight, out of mind”. Perhaps some people post reviews with low levels of stars and offers for proposal, but it is unlikely that’ll change anything. We have entered the age of the “blank for blank” — the “Instagram for your enterprise,” that the “AngryBirds for the elderly”, or the “Flipboard for education”. Copycat apps abound, and it is truly unfortunate.
What we need are more earth breakers, more risk takers, and much more game changers. The very last thing we need are more programs like anything on this listing. These programs are already so well-done, possess so much traction, and are so refined, that newcomers to the app space are better off spending their time attempting something new, rather than repurposing something that’s already nicely done. Entrepreneurs and program makers — the ball’s in your court!