If one device has become absolutely essential to the daily lives of many people these days, it is the smartphone. Mobile phones have evolved massively since they first emerged, with their size and capabilities meaning a whole host of options are at our fingertips while we are on the move.
Changing what is possible
One of the most important factors in smartphones becoming so crucial to us has been the emergence of apps – a development that has really changed what is possible on the devices.
Back in 2015, Matt Strain looked into the history of apps for The Guardian and traced their beginnings all of the way back to 1983, when Steve Jobs made a speech that predicted the emergence of a digital distribution system that would allow people to download software via phone lines.
Since then, of course, a whole range of software has gone on to become available on app stores all over the world. But, just what are the biggest ways that apps have transformed our lives? Here we suggest three key areas where they have had a significant impact.
It may be an obvious place to start, but apps have transformed how and when many of us watch our favorite shows and movies. This has reached a whole new level recently, with the emergence of Quibi and its focus on mobile-friendly content.
— Quibi (@Quibi) April 6, 2020
Elsewhere, gaming is also now thriving on mobile thanks to apps. Research published by App Annie earlier this year predicted that spending on mobile games across all app stores is expected to go beyond $100 billion in 2020, while big names like Call of Duty and Mario Kart can now be found in the area. Casino gaming has also successfully made the leap onto mobile as well. Genesis Casino in India explains how its members can access games while playing on smartphones or tablets. These come in a wide range, too, including not just their video slots but also live casino games, showing the scope of their app goes beyond just simple functionality.
Another area that has seen a major impact in recent years has been the world of education, with many apps giving people the chance to learn new skills in a way that suits them.
For example, an app like Duolingo is available across both iOS and Android and allows people to learn a language through a gamified approach. As the official website explains, users of the app benefit from personalized lessons tailored to how they learn, while a rewards system ensures people can access new levels as they progress through their education.
Another key part of our lives that has been transformed by apps is the simple act of communication. We all now have a range of different options for getting in touch with loved ones, from WhatsApp to social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
For evidence of the huge impact that such platforms have had, you just need to look at the user figures for Facebook. It was only founded 16 years ago, but earlier this year sites including VentureBeat revealed how the brand’s products are now used by more than three billion people every month.
A growing influence
Apps have introduced a whole new way that we can access content and services and they have become integral to many parts of our lives.
Here we have detailed three fundamental areas, but we’re sure that their influence will be felt in many more places in the years ahead.