App: computerese shorthand for application, attested by 1992.
Are you increasingly finding that people are talking about ‘apps’? What’s the fuss I hear you ask? I didn’t get it either. That was before I had an iPhone… The potential of the iPhone is endless, and that’s where mobile phone apps come in.
This idiots guide to mobile phone apps will teach you several things and it aims to do so in bite size chunks, but perhaps the most important thing to learn first is that the mobile phone world is fast moving so it’s important to get to grips with the technology.
It’s all the more important for companies to get on board. Although stats are hard to come by, it’s estimated that Apple holds about 22% of the market so connecting to customers via their iPhones is a sure fire way of selling them a product.
Take for example the latest gadget on the market, the Apple iPad. According to Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, the iPad already holds 22% of the eBook market with 5,000,000 eBooks being downloaded. Considering that it was only released in May, that’s pretty good going! See what I mean?
So, we’ve learnt why we need to understand mobile phone apps, now to learn what they do. An app is basically a programme that you can download to a phone. This includes android mobile apps (Android is Google’s own mobile phone software), or Blackberry apps. In 2009, over 1 billion apps were downloaded for iPhone, so as you can imagine, they’re an important and growing market. As a music lover, one of my favourites is Shazam. This app can tell you the name of a song you’re listening to in a bar, or on the radio or tv by running the app and holding it near the music. Fantastic. Other apps are more commercial and functional. Take the recently released NHS Bristol app which sends push notifications iPhone which are notifications to remind you of your appointment at the hospital. This app is going to cut costs for the NHS who currently lose about £180,000 a year on missed appointments. Many apps can be downloaded for free and some charge a small fee, some are really useful and some are just for fun.
Hopefully you’re beginning to understand what mobile phone apps are and may even consider using them yourself. For now, why not get acquainted with the two apps I mentioned?