In the past ten years it is difficult to imagine any invention that has evolved as much as the smartphone. It seems that every person over the age of 12 has one and in the odd case that someone leaves home without it, and we can’t even begin to imagine our lives without them.
How is it that in less than ten years our mobile phones have evolved into a necessary appendage?
The answer is twofold: the fear of not being connected and the unimaginable potential that apps provide. From gaming and shopping to calendars and timesheets, apps have become vital tools used in the daily function of life and are only increasing in popularity.
Apple’s App Store alone had 2 million apps available as of June 2016 and those apps have been downloaded 130 billion times since 2008. These sales have earned app developers an astounding $50 billion in revenue. These numbers are continually growing and here’s why:
In 2010 Apple trademarked the saying, “There’s an app for that.” In 2016, that saying clearly holds even more weight. From running a mobile business, getting your schedule organized, creating playlists, to monitoring your exercise regime, if you need an app to perform a function, you’ll probably find something available in the App Store or the Google Play store.
Just a generation ago people fumbled with oversized paper maps as they drove on vacation. Next came GPS systems that cost a pretty penny and would awkwardly mount to the dashboard. Now there are free phone apps that tell you when to turn, where the nearest gas station is, and if that Chinese restaurant 5 miles away is worth stopping at. Within minutes you can have any information at your fingertips including price quotes for mobile sales, coupons and loyalty point trackers for mega stores, and detailed project trackers for event planners, contractors, and more.
Saves Time and Money
Benjamin Franklin said that “time is money” and apps can certainly save you both. Work orders, contracts, and a variety of forms can all be saved in an app with signature capture features without the hassle of shuffling through paperwork and processing documents. Apps can also show you where the best deals are, what special offers are available, and one-click order buttons make buying a breeze. Regardless if you are making a business deal or casually shopping, there’s an app to cater to your needs.
Peace of Mind
While hackers, identity theft and other security risks come with technology, there is also the sense of control that comes when you can call or text a loved one immediately or tap on to that home security app to access video feeds and camera shots. There are even apps that let your dog call you when he is lonely. In a broader sense, this also allows managers and business owners the ability to stay in touch with their businesses and employees to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Make Your Own
Now let’s say that you can’t find an app that fits your specific needs. There are also app creators available that make building your own app even better than buying one. You can customize your app according to your specifications including monitoring sales, creating an organizational list, or processing work orders. You may even want to include GPS tracking, photo options, or share it with your employees to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Your app’s functionality is only limited by your imagination.
According to Statista, games are the most popular apps with 23.35% of all apps sold and business apps trailed in second with 10.22%. It seems like the number one reason that people use apps is for entertainment. The newer your smartphone, the better your accessories and using the most popular apps have become almost a status symbol for Gen Yers and millenials. They have grown up in a world that has always seemed to have mobile devices, the Internet, Facebook and apps.
More and more people are becoming increasingly addicted to smartphones. In fact, WebMD has an article entitled, “Addicted to Your Smartphone? Here’s What To Do.” They even cite these shocking facts:
- 70% said they check their smartphone within an hour of getting up. 56% check their phone within an hour of going to sleep.
- 48% check over the weekend, including on Friday and Saturday nights.
- 51% check continuously during vacation.
- 44% said they would experience "a great deal of anxiety" if they lost their phone and couldn't replace it for a week.
Smartphones and app usage are the norm in our society and are no longer the exception. In fact, the most surprising part about the previous stats is that the numbers aren’t higher.
According to Dave Chaffey of SmartInsights.com, the average person spends 2.1 hours per day on their mobile device and 90 percent of that time is spent using apps. It seems inevitable that our dependence on apps will only grow, especially when anyone can make their own.