The first mobile app was arguably released in 1997, when the game Snake was included as part of the software running the Nokia 6110. Whether this was a true mobile app, however, is up for debate. Most people consider the true birth of the mobile app to be in 2008, when Apple released the App Store for the first iPhone. Since then, the app development industry has blossomed. Smartphones would be unrecognizable – and largely useless – without the plethora of applications that we run on them.
Here are some of the most significant kinds of application developed for mobile devices.
- Social Media
Social media has undoubtably changed the way in which humanity communicates. In his classic short story ‘The Last Question’, science fiction author Isaac Azimov predicted the gradual movement of human consciousness into a technological singularity. Social media has seemingly bought us closer to this predicted reality.
A great deal of social media is accessed through mobile applications. Some social media platforms are exclusively accessed through mobile applications. Cultural behemoths such as Instagram and TikTok are mobile-only applications that alter the way in which people use their mobile devices to communicate and express themselves. Social media applications are perhaps the kind of mobile software that has had the biggest impact on the way we live our lives and experience the lives of others.
- Productivity And Collaboration
Work is increasingly carried out remotely. This has led to the blossoming development of workplace collaboration and productivity applications. As well as video conferencing applications like Zoom and productivity applications such as Pomodoro that are already established, companies like Make IT Simple help to develop new apps that help to maximize collaboration, project management effectiveness and work accountability, as seen at www.makeitsimple.co.uk.
Mobile games can, of course, trace their lineage back to the great ‘Snake’ offered on Nokia phones during the 1990s. Mobile gaming has evolved in parallel with mobile hardware. Today, very sophisticated gaming apps can run on most smart mobiles. Mobile hardware has, in a way, democratized game development. Small independent game developers can upload their products onto app stores to compete with the games produced by vast corporations. The relative limitations of mobile hardware keeps all developers humble and on a somewhat even playing field. Some of the most successful mobile gaming apps have been very simple. Flappy Bird, for instance, was an immensely simple game that briefly captured the attention (and thumb muscles) of the entire world.
To list the different kinds of lifestyle apps available today would be an immensely grueling task. Apps have been developed that help keep people fit, that help them to keep track of finances, that inform them of cultural happenings and apps which also allow them to explore museums – to name a very small segment of the market.
Apps – to put it shortly – have been developed to fit into and enhance nearly every aspect of a modern human being’s life.