As you are reading these lines, Apple is just on the verge of reaching 25 billion downloaded apps. And it has to be said that this is a pretty impressive achievement - especially taking into consideration that it was only a few years ago the first app was downloaded in conjunction with the App Store launch in July 2008.
This actually corresponds to every single person on the earth having downloaded about 4 applications, so we can definitely agree this is a technology that has got its major breakthrough in well under 5 years, and is one that is here to stay.
In2media want to put the spotlight on the huge paradigm change within marketing that is currently taking place. It’s a change from Marketing as a Message to Marketing as a Service. From our point of view, the changes are taking place in 3 different areas:
- Marketing is becoming increasingly about delivering relevant content
- Marketing takes place in dialogue with the users and between the users on platforms that are no longer controlled by companies and brands
- Marketing is becoming value-added services, functionality and applications
It is impossible to separate these 3 areas, as good content leads to action and dialogue. And in the future, applications will be found on – and for – all kinds of products: on TV, in the car, and for our white goods. Yes, it’s pretty much only imagination that sets the limits.
And it’s impressive just how far imagination, creativity and innovation have taken us in the apps sphere in just a few years. Via apps, my smartphone is an advanced running computer (Nike GPS, Endomondo), an infinite music library (Spotify), where I can even hum tunes that the phone can find (Shazam), a personal guide, to whom I can ask questions and receive the relevant answers – admittedly still in English (Siri), a super camera, where I can retouch and upload the pictures in one action (Camera+), a digital newspaper, that constantly updates itself with news from all over the world according to my preferences (Zite), a Walkie Talkie, that enables me to talk to my children just by pressing a button (Voxer). And I could go on and on. We all have our favourite apps, and in a very short time, it has become one of the most obvious and popular topics of conversation when we meet.
It is also interesting that for the first time in world history, we have a piece of hardware that is completely defined by the software, we choose to load. As another digital chameleon, our telephones shed their skins depending on what app we are using at that particular moment. Click, and the phone is a mini television. Click, and it’s a book. Click, and it’s a compass, a flashlight or a credit card terminal.
Of course, this makes massive demands on the design of the interface and the user-friendliness of the various applications, and it’s precisely within this field of tension that we think it is exciting to work. For how can we simultaneously challenge and develop new usage-related conventions while providing a learning curve close to zero? Fortunately for us, we can, and the best apps are precisely those that think innovatively, but in an intuitive way, so that after a few seconds you don’t have to think how to use the app, but can concentrate on the function or the content instead.
One of our latest favourite apps, when it concerns innovative interface design, is an app called Clear. The app´s main purpose is to make it easy to make lists. Lists of tasks, projects or other things. But what makes the app really nice is the way that you operate it, because this is an entirely new concept.
You can try it yourself, it costs $1.99: