As we become a more mobile society, in the sense of the devices we use, everything becomes smaller. “Smaller” includes the time expected to complete tasks (or to be unavailable), the keyboards and screens we use, and the applications necessary to do our work. The Age of Apps is here. Due to the success of the iPhone, we can expect to see AppStores everywhere: the “MacApp Store,” “the ChromeApp Store,” “the AdroidApp Store,” and app stores from probably every telecom, computer platform, and device maker known to humankind.
Why have Apps become all the rage? People want to do things on the go, and Apps provide functionality in portable form with wonderful simplicity. Most apps do a single function very well. They’re easy to install and use and, in general, exemplify what people have always wanted from computers. With this in mind, businesses should start thinking of how they can offer their content and functionality as simple apps that people can use on the go.
In the mid-2000s, many of us still had to “go online” – meaning if we wanted to use Internet services like e-mail or read the content published in a blog, we needed to get to a computer connected to a network.
That doesn’t happen anymore. Or, at least, it’s happening less and less. We now travel about our real-world surrounded by a bubble of data and functionality that is always available to us. And, since we have ditched the spending-time model in favor of the doing-tasks model, we should expect that the organization of functionality and content should change as well.
No one had to persuade people to start using apps (unlike the unrelenting “education” of consumers regarding 3D TV). The demand has always been there. Now there’s a way to deliver the goods via portable devices. People like having their data and functionality with them. Smart businesses will take note and begin finding ways to provide customers with the information and capabilities they want when on the go.