When it comes to apps, here’s what developers and creators tend to forget: apps exist to make completion of a task easier. While there are many ways to utilize an app to drive revenue for your business, or to gain new prospects, the most effective apps are those that streamline and make better a completion process.
That’s why the world is heading in the way of apps. Consumers like to do things while on the go, and even more than that, they respond to the channel that’s going to get it done seamlessly and quickly.
The web continues to be a major innovation, one that has changed the way we live forever, but people are trending toward mobile. And when it comes to completing tasks, nothing serves our needs better than apps, as exemplified by these 10 examples:
I have a confession to make: I work for a mobile tech company, and my mother still uses MapQuest to print directions. For every rule, there is an exception, and I can guarantee there are others out there who still depend on maps printed from the Internet to get them from A to B (or worse, use physical map books).
But with the advent of Google Maps, finding directions changed completely. As a web app, Google Maps often serves as a reference, but as a mobile app, it takes on a whole new level as a handheld GPS. Why bother to research and store directions online ahead of time when you can simply pull up the app on your phone just before you drive off?
Yelp changed everything when it came to researching and choosing a restaurant, but now, with new apps that can pinpoint eateries near your current location, pull up reviews and hours, and give suggestions based on your food preferences, mobile dominates.
For last-minute dining changes or when looking for new lunch spots, it’s easiest to turn to an app. Plus, you could end up discovering a resturant that you had never given much thought, but that actually fits your budget and food preferences, and is in your neighborhood.
The travel industry has gone through huge changes within the last 10 years, moving from dominantly in-store, one-on-one planning, to websites that do the research for you in seconds, and now to apps, which not only allow you to plan a trip and book a flight (even on a whim), but also serves up review-based suggestions for accommodations, car rentals, sightseeing and more.
Plus, with car calling services like Uber and Lyft, home rentals through companies like Airbnb, and airline-specific apps like JetBlue’s, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for easy, all-in-one planning using only your phone. Mobile apps also allow you to check in for flights and keep tabs on any major changes – something difficult to do online while on the go.
Long ago, there was a time when men and women would stand waiting for trains, buses and cars with newspapers pressed to their faces. Catching up on news while on the go isn’t a new behavior – it’s just the medium that has changed.
Online pubs are alive and well, but when it comes to breaking news, articles specific to user interests, and local stories, nothing beats the real-time nature of push messages. Plus, having the ability to read articles on your phone during commutes or on your lunch break gives you far more mobility.
For many, the perfect day this October would consist of watching every football game as it airs. The problem is, life gets in the way. And sure, you can keep a browser tab open, continually refreshing to see score changes in games that are happening during the same slot, but what about when you can’t watch any of the games?
To keep up with multiple games, check in on current scores when you simply can’t watch, and follow team success over the season, sports enthusiasts have turned to mobile apps. Much like news apps, sports apps can also send notifications based on favorite teams and personalized to the user before he or she thinks to check (something I like to call “anticipating a need”).
Not too long ago, AIM and online chatting were the newfangled way to quickly communicate with friends and family. For those disinclined to talk regularly on the phone, it seemed we had found a way to subvert actual speaking in favor of instantaneous chatting.
And while Google Hangouts and Facebook chats are still popular today, mobile-specific apps, most notably Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, have taken over. During work breaks and commutes, or while on weekend trips, apps today have made constant chatting a reality. Forget just text messaging, which alone has changed the communication space, and consider social networking apps that were launched with the sole purpose of creating easy, free and fun chats.
Think back: when was the last time you actually uploaded photos to your computer in order to post them to Facebook, Flickr, or, even, MySpace? Now, people use their phones to take, edit and share photos all from within popular photography apps, or even from within the Facebook app itself.
Consider Instagram, which has changed the way photos are shared – it’s all in-app. Often, even photos you see shared across social networking platforms online originated from within an app. With the advancements in smartphone cameras and photo editing technology, it’s exceedingly easy to produce high-quality images from your favorite app.
With trends like this, it's no wonder we think the web is becoming appified. Apps have started to influence the way the web is changing to meet evolving user expectations, and this is just one small example. What do you do now on apps that you used to do on the web?
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