The App Ecosystem Continues To Evolve
Mobile users in the United States are spending more time using mobile apps on their smartphones and tablet devices than ever. Yup, even more time than they do on desktop computers. And with industry watchers predicting that the number of smartphone users in the next half decade will balloon to almost four billion in total, it can no longer be denied that we now live a mobile world driven by apps.
Of course, the popularity of smartphones have something to do with it. These devices have gotten more and more powerful (and fun to use) over the last decade, and despite some few complaints (Why can’t anybody come up with a longer lasting battery?), they have become indispensable in our daily lives (some people actually have near anxiety attacks after having left their smartphones at home -- okay, that is an exaggeration). But devices are only as good as their usefulness. This is where mobile apps come in. Apps make smartphones more useful than they are. And even the app ecosystem itself is evolving, too
For instance, the increasing demand for mobile apps now has changed the focus of developers everywhere. Software for desktop computers will still be there, but developers are needed now more than ever but in creating armies and armies of apps. Another result of this is the continuing proliferation of app stores. In age wherein any mobile user can purchase any app he wants in a fly, app stores now are as needed as ever. Even the current business model used in the distribution of mobile apps can change in ways we can only imagine for now.
Also, with all sorts of apps competing for the consumers’ attention, the overall level of quality of developers’ products will likely go up. This is what healthy competition can do to the field -- it allows the really good products to stand out in their own. No amount of advertising or marketing can make up for an app’s failings -- well, maybe at first. But mobile users are a lot smarter than that, and with social media as their tool, their collective opinion (as well as their sharing habits) can make or break a particular new app just introduced in the market.
When apps were first created, they were intended to be useful tools that users can take advantage of in completing a task, or in killing some time. But the years have proven that apps can be so much more. Nothing is ever certain, but in the next few years, the complete mobilization of our civilization may depend on how we use and consume mobile apps.