Apps, Apps & Apps

Every startup that has an app in the app store would be spending a significant amount of money on marketing and SEO to get their visibility better. With the worst app discovery platform in place by Apple, there is a huge need to optimise keywords and even wisely choose the name of the app, even if that end up costing more. But ever wonder what this is doing to our lives?

Apps these days are being built for every micro purpose out there. Our everyday routines are broken down into parts and labelled with an app to replace and find a shortcut. Need groceries ? theres an app. Need to call the plumber? there’s an app. Eggs got over? Wait, theres an app. Now, yes theres an app for every single thought and there are equally lazy buggers sitting in front of a computer monitor hitting the keys on the keyboard getting lazier by the minute. Now I see two big problems in the way things are heading:

  1. Phone memory is going to run out and phones gonna get much slower
  2. The apps menu is going to get longer and longer as more apps keep getting downloaded
  3. The retention capacity to know which app should you use when is just going to fail. sometimes it just doesnt strike in your brain when you’re in the urge for finding what you want even if you have heard of the app a million times

Oh I wanted to learn a language.. whats that app i downloaded long back ??? ugghh. yeah!! duolingo!

So what can you do about this? Number of apps are definitely not going to get any lesser nor is the human brain going to get any better. As a problem solver and UX designer I found the urge to try and present my solutions to this.

Solution 1: Doomsday of Apps

I chose to speak of this at first because, honestly, i have just started to get bored of people saying.. oh there’s an idea, lets make an app! The person with the idea himself might not find the need to regularly use the solution that he comes up with by an app eventually. People hardly think of this — is this necessarily an app that is in such a big need that the user is going to ignore the barrier of phone memory, battery life, fear of not using this after sometime, downloading on mobile data network and so many more reasons.

The doomsday of apps only mean taking a glimpse into future of mobile phones with what they are capable of. Siri for example, has just gotten so much better at understanding and pulling out relevant content from the internet. Maybe siri should try and start suggesting which apps I would need depending on my requirement — basically siri does the app store search job.

Siri can get intelligent in a couple of more ways

  1. Telling me if I have not used an app for a while so I can uninstall if i might not require it
  2. Request to disable background data and segregate apps which are used only if there is an unexpected need — apps like shazam , jobs etc. ( I would only need them at some unexpected point of time and it would then be a good to have it already installed ). These apps can really stand out of getting exhibited on my phone every single time I scan to find the app I am looking for.
  3. Prompt the intent for which I have downloaded an app at an occasional interval to see if opening that app might interest me again.

These points are all examples of artificial intelligence that can be used with personalised bots like siri and google now

Solution 2: Know the triggers

Lets say at some point people have all started to purchase 100GB phones and they dont care any more about the space that each apps occupy. Now as i mentioned, even as the phone memory can keep increasing the human memory may not.

Triggers and ideas primarily come out of conversations. If a person asks — Hey do you wanna get dinner? I should get prompted to look at zomato. This is both beneficial for the business as well as the user for finding continuous reengagement of the platform as well as users brain functioning into thinking of what app should I use. ( i have foursquare, zomato and couple other food apps ).

So this is one of the suggested solutions that I’m offering. Whatsapp is one of the primary communication platforms used that has some of the most possible triggers that lead to apps. What if whatsapp stored keywords for each app that could lead into suggestion engines pulling out apps which are already installed? or if not suggest one from the app store? or even sponsored. this gives way to a new revenue opportunity in the operating system platform.