In the world of technology, the challenge many small businesses face is adaptation. If you adapt too early, you forego the benefits of having others experiment with errors and flaws in your place. If you adapt too late, you risk entering at the end of a fading technology.
It was the former that kept businesses from entering the competitive mobile application marketplace five years ago, but it’s the latter that worries organizations today. The good news? Apps are here to stay.
Related Article: Six Reasons Your SMB Needs Its Own App
The Origin of the App
There are currently five major mobile app stores offering millions of unique apps and reporting billions of downloads. However, it hasn’t always been that way. On July 10, 2008, Apple launched the App Store with a mere 500 apps (a word that seemed strange at the time but has become increasingly commonplace in today’s conversation). In the first weekend, 10 million apps were downloaded – 25% being free. Tweet this! Blackberry and Android took notice and launched their own app stores in October 2008.
Within one calendar year, Apple reported more than 1.5 billion downloads from the App Store – an incredible feat. Over that same timeframe, the Android Market expanded from a mere 50 apps to more than 5,000. Blackberry continued its pursuit of the two market leaders, and everything else is history.
Apps have exploded in popularity, as we approach the seventh year of maturity. Despite the steady growth, many are afraid that it’s a bubble waiting to burst. That doesn’t seem very likely though.
Apps Are Here to Stay
Instead, those who are deeply involved with mobile applications firmly believe the best is yet to come. According to Invisonapp.com, a company that helps app designers streamline the prototyping process; there are a number of positive signs for the future. Other major industry leaders agree. Here are some of the driving reasons those close to the issue believe mobile apps will remain relevant:
- Influx of mobile devices. The truth of the matter is that mobile devices are designed around apps. While the physical device may look cool and the operating systems are highly technical and robust, the apps are what people desire. Mobile devices are designed to work with apps, and it’s only through the use of these programs that users are able to unlock the full potential of their physical devices. If apps cease to exist, so does a significant portion of the mobile device market. As a result, tech companies are continuing the growth of apps because they understand the important connection.
- Simplicity and efficiency. Everything in the business world is about efficiency – and mobile apps drive efficiency. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a soccer mom driving her kids to practice, there is a mobile app to make your life easier. Once people are conditioned to efficiency, they won’t settle for a lack of it. That reason alone is enough for mobile apps to stick around for the long-term.
- Exclusivity. Everyone likes to feel like they are a part of something special. Mobile apps – whether directly or inadvertently – give people the chance to feel like they belong. Whether it’s bonding over a silly game that everyone has or downloading an app as a part of a select membership program; apps make people feel like they belong.
- Immediacy. A key advantage of mobile devices, the internet, and modern technology is immediacy. People want information and they want it now. Mobile apps are extremely convenient and always available when you need them. As mobile apps continue to evolve and grow, this demand for immediacy will become even more apparent through new designs, navigations and capabilities.
- Unlimited possibilities. If developers had reached the end of the line in terms of options and creativity, there might have been an argument for the end of the mobile app revolution. However, there is no end in sight. Mobile apps have unlimited possibilities and new ideas are constantly being developed. The capabilities of mobile technology are so advanced that it will take years for developers to even catch up. That means there is a virtually limitless growth opportunity.
- The Internet of Things. As the reality of the Internet of Things (IoT) approaches, it becomes increasingly clear that mobile connectivity is the future. This simply reinforces the thoughts mentioned earlier that mobile devices will remain relevant and technology will continue to develop around apps. The IoT will only power and propel apps even more.
Related Article: 13 Business Apps You Should Be Using
Don’t Miss Out!
If your business doesn’t yet have a mobile app, now is the time to get on board. They certainly aren’t going anywhere, and the sooner you jump into the marketplace the faster you can expect results. While change is certainly on the way and it would be foolish to say that mobile apps will remain relevant forever, the reality for now is that mobile apps will be relevant for the years to come.