Whether you love them or loathe them, it is now pretty much impossible to imagine our lives without smartphones. Those small black mirrors have become so much more than simply portable phones and seem to have permeated every aspect of our existence.
From your workout to your weekly shop, there are apps designed to make each task that bit simpler. Casual gaming apps provide instant entertainment, while music streaming software delivers the soundtrack.
The Swiss Army Device
Even with apps out of the equation, modern smartphones are able to satisfy a plethora of functions. Thanks to GPS capabilities, they double as navigational tools along with a built-in compass – for when you are driving or walking the streets of an unfamiliar city.
Unless you’re a professional photographer or a budding hobbyist, it’s unlikely you use a separate device to take your snaps and videos, especially since the integrated cameras now make use of cutting-edge tech. 4K video and 12+ megapixels are standard specs on recent models and advanced storage capabilities mean you can hold thousands of memories on your device or in the cloud.
Our phones are also, diaries, messaging devices, email servers, web browsers, music players, dictaphones, calculators, torches (flashlights), alarm clocks, stopwatches, and personal assistants, plus they keep us informed about local weather forecasts, so we’re never caught in a shower without our umbrellas again.
The Era of the App
Since the turn of the century, we’ve seen mobile technology reach a point that has created the perfect conditions for apps to thrive. Moore’s Law observes that microchips become twice as powerful every two years and what this means for technology companies is that they can reduce the size of their hardware.
Other parts of the puzzle have also fallen into place: battery tech, a widespread, reliable, and fast mobile data network, and an affordable price point for all of the above. The result is a powerful smart device in the hands of most adults and with it the means to access hundreds of thousands of apps on the go.
We now use mobile apps for a variety of different reasons including communicating with friends and family.
Apps for Business
Firms in the commercial and industrial sectors as well as small business owners also make use of a range of apps to streamline their operations.
Slack has revolutionised employee communication and has more integration options than any other on the market. It is faster and more organised than email and is great for collaboration and information sharing between remote teams.
There are dozens of apps designed to aid productivity and in the scope of task management, Trello is one of the best. It combines to-do lists among teams and individuals with a host of automation options to boot.
Apps for Leisure
By far and away the biggest success story of the app era is the unprecedented rise of gaming, specifically casual gaming. Casual games are identified by their short play times and simple, easy-to-learn rules and game mechanics.
Casual games can and do come in any genre – well-known examples are Candy Crush Saga, Subway Surfers, and the now huge Angry Birds franchise. And somewhat surprisingly, gambling games like mobile bingo have found enormous popularity in the casual games arena. Together with a range of bingo game variations, bingo provider’s apps often feature chat rooms that allow players to interact with one another, restoring some of the social element that was lost when bingo went digital. By playing a game of bingo on a mobile device, players no longer need to visit a bingo hall, they can easily access bingo games on the go.
By creating new neural pathways in the brain, learning a new skill or hobby has been proven to keep you young. YouTube has tutorials from experienced professionals on every imaginable topic, so it’s never been easier to pick up a new favourite pastime – and with the YouTube app, the platform is smoother than ever. If you’re searching for people that share similar interests, Bumble BFF is a platform designed to bring together those looking for platonic relationships.
Apps for Personal Use
Away from the 9 to 5, apps exist to facilitate otherwise complex or mundane jobs. Mobile banking has seen impressive growth since the inception of the app and nowadays each bank has its own software for its customers, not only for convenience but also with improved safety features to protect against fraud.
Other areas of finance are also well catered for. Tricount features a simple design that helps split group expenses, especially useful on trips away or if you live in shared accommodation. Simply plug in your expenses and who paid for it and Tricount will calculate a running total of who owes what.
If you are the active type, apps for the burgeoning fitness sector can help you track progress and reach your goals with ease. The free Nike Training Club gives you access to over 200 workouts and targeted training programs created by Nike-certified instructors.
There are now a wide range of health and fitness apps available.
The Strava cycling app has everything you need in one place if you like to get around on two wheels – with premium features available for those that want detailed breakdowns of power output throughout their races and filtered leaderboards.
Mobile phones and the internet has revolutionised many aspects of our daily lives and along the way, apps have become indispensable.