With over one million apps on the app store what is it that makes an app successful? What makes people download and invite an app to be part of their everyday life.
For me it is a combination of useful information and convenient data. A technology ‘friend’ that supports your day to day life. It is more than an app. It is your friend that promises to support you and enhance your day.
My top 10 apps on my iPhone.
4. BBC iPlayer
5. Banking (generally)
8. National Rail
9. RingGo (parking)
10. BBC Weather
These apps I use regularly and they make a difference in my life! Not having to find (cash) change every time I have to park the car fills me with joy. I arrive, type in the location number and confirm payment, then I’m off. I receive text and email confirmations with receipts for peace of mind. This has been brilliant when I received a parking ticket to prove I had paid. I say a little prayer of gratitude everyday I use it. I remember the struggle of searching the sofa for every last bit of change for the parking machines!
I know before I leave my house how the trains are running. It is quick and easy to use. It takes me seconds to check and saves me minutes if not hours in wasted time of ‘just in case’.
Being British a quick look at the weather to confirm it is going to rain is always useful. Being able to do your banking on the phone and move money around whenever you wish is just liberating.
But it is the other apps that really interest me. FaceTime, being able to see your loved ones anywhere in the world. Speaking and seeing a relative on a different continent is just amazing. For me, rather than phoning home, I can FaceTime. If I am away from home the distance seems less relevant. It makes everyone feel closer, connected. I can see my children. This is not just technology it is life enhancing and supportive for me.
I don’t live close to any of my family. So Facebook is a great informal way for us to keep in touch and know what is going on in each others daily lives. The odd comment or quick question. Knowing they are OK or had a great weekend. It is communication in the 21st Century.
I love following what is happening in the world on Twitter. Being able to follow people, events and organizations means I can keep up with anything I want to. I can pass comment or just follow a thread. I can interact with friends and colleagues and socialize in a whole new way to the whole world.
But for me the apps that I love the most are those that have something else to offer. They are the contact for a more involving experinece.
I love the Nespresso app. Not only is it very easy to use and very efficient it brings a promise of something I enjoy. I relate to the product, I can taste the coffee and the actual experience yet to come. The promise of something I enjoy so much. It becomes so much more than a tool.
The list app Clear I use on a daily basis. It holds everything from my life changing plans to my shopping list. My iPhone and therefore my lists are with me where ever I go. It is cool and clever. It is modern and offers more than just a way of keeping lists. It represents my way of life, not boring and mundane but exciting and forward thinking helping me achieve my goals in a fun and exciting way.
Do you consider your apps in the same way? Do they have any affect on you? Have you thought about it? It is big business not because you have to use them but because you want to. They offer you support, they make your life easier. They interact with you and help you interact with others. They are a window to the world and they are your friend. A support network for the new world. A force for good and a force for change and social engagement. The way we learn.
I look forward to where they take us next.