When Apple launched iPhone in 2007, two things stood out in this phone from all the other mobile devices those days- touchscreen and an intuitive OS allowing it’s expandability via apps. Six years later, apps have becoming a booming business creating an app economy. You must’ve heard the phrase- “there’s an app for that” which signifies more than 700,000 apps available for leading mobile platforms- iOS and Android. Other mobile OS like Blackberry (BB OS 10) and Windows Phone (WP 8) are also growing rapidly in terms of apps. They’ve truly become a global phenomenon with Apple’s App Store crossing 50 billion app downloads recently, and Android’s Play Store also reaching this benchmark soon.
But interesting thing to note is that the mobile apps have grown beyond the usual games and apps for email, weather, to-do lists, etc. For years, we wanted to have a perfect technological convergence offering the flexibility to perform various tasks from a single device rather than owning multiple devices for different tasks. Mobile Apps has given way to ‘Internet of Things’ referring to the mobile phone connected to world around us. Let’s see few examples of how it’s transforming the way we interact with other modern day tools-
Bridging Offline and Online World
With the help of mobile apps, our smartphones has become our personal identity, personal wallet for making payments, loyalty card for accumulating points and much more. Retailers like Starbucks are offering mobile apps which lets one pay for a coffee through mobile and also gain reward points. In emerging countries like Africa, mobile and mobile apps work like a full-fledged bank account for depositing/ withdrawing/ transferring the money. Startups like Square and Payleven helps retailers and customers to use the mobiles for credit card payments.
Technologies like QR codes and NFC further enhances the mobile phone by enabling it to scan the codes or tags and initiate action which was programmed in them.
Health and Fitness
In this busy world, it’s essential to keep a check on one’s health and rightly so this is one of the biggest categories of apps and accessory. From tracking sleep to calories to daily running and even measuring one’s sweat and heart rate, the fitness trackers do all this and much more. Being connected with mobile apps, these trackers share all these details to the apps, so that users know their progress and even share it over social networks keeping them motivated. Some popular example of such trackers include wrist bands like Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, watches like Moto Actv and even Nike+ Lunar Shoes.
There are also accessories and compatible apps such as Diabeto which measures the patient’s glucose levels for keeping their diabetes in check.
All of us want to control our homes with a click of button, and the apps in our mobile enables us to do just that with the help of special hardware. The apps can be integrated with several home automation systems for keeping our homes secure, control its temperature or switch on/ off its lights. Lockitron is a smart deadbolt access system to door locking/ unlocking via mobile app, NFC or even SMS. Nest is an advanced thermostat system that can control the home’s temperature by connecting to home’s heating and air conditioning solution. For controlling the lights remotely, there’s Belkin WeMo accessory which converts existing light sockets to smart sockets and Philips Hue lightning system allowing one to control the whole lightning of the home.
All these example gives us a glimpse of the future where a single mobile app will be able to do even the most complex thing with the click of a button.
– Guest article by 91mobiles.com