It’s hard to believe that it all started with the launch of the Apple App Store in 2008, which debuted with 500 apps. Yet, it was the major shift in the mobile era. Now, for most of us, apps are firmly integrated into our everyday lives.
Matthew Panzarino, of TechCrunch, outlines the phases of app evolution we’ve moved through since then:
“The initial offerings for the iPhone and then Android devices adhered fairly closely to the ‘information appliance’ model. Using software, you transformed your phone into a mostly mono-purpose device just like it said on the tin. Now it’s a phone. Now it’s a calculator. Now it’s a messaging tool.
The second phase is the ‘home screen’ era, where every app fought hard to be your home base. The prevailing wisdom was that you had to cram everything your service offered into mobile, using a form of design-driven gavages”(ed. force feeding)” to stuff your app until it was positively groaning with tabs and gutters and drawers.
The third phase was entering into the age of apps as service layers. These are apps you have on your phone but only open when you know they explicitly have something to say to you. They aren’t for ‘idle browsing’, they’re purpose built and informed by contextual signals like hardware sensors, location, history of use and predictive computation.
These ‘invisible apps’ are less about the way they look or how many features they cram in and more about maximizing their usefulness to you without monopolizing your attention.”
If we try to summarize the evolution of the applications that are presented above, we will conclude that:
The first phase – transforming a phone into a multiple tasks tool. .
The second phase – deployment of the most used apps on the home screen as tools to enhance accessibility to required actions.
The third phase – deployment of applications as service layers
If we try to analyze the aforementioned evolution, we can quite easily reach the main reasons that caused evolution to occur:
- Reducing the size of the digital hardware elements allowed the creation of mobile devices which could perform many more functions than simply serving as phones.
- The abundance of a constantly increasing quantity of apps started a war for a place on the phone home screen, and this war continues since we, as phone users, utilize more and more services which are available via mobile apps.
- The aforementioned war for phone Home Screen presence forced developers to offer services via apps that are actually invisible, and yet very useful to end users.
So what should the next phase of this “app evolution” be?
At Fromas IT we believe that we have already reached a point where there is a need to step into the next phase; the Fourth phase of apps evolution. Those apps should meet the following criteria:
- They have to serve as multitasking tools, preferably All-in-One tools to fulfill multiple functions
- They have to be customizable to fit each user’s genuine needs
- They have to provide full user control over particular, or multiple actions, the user initiates
- They have to adjust to the users’ way of thinking
- They have to bring the user better results compared to users getting results without utilizing this type of app
In order to illustrate the next generation of applications and display their advantages, we at Fromas IT created FromX
Without going into the functions offered by the app, we will highlight only those aspects that meet the listed criteria:
- FromX offers a complete set of tools required to deal with the content we stumble upon each day
- FromX is completely customizable – a kind of DIY app
- FromX offers complete user control over all stages of content consumption – from searching content online to storing it, reusing, and sharing it.
- FromX redefines the phone use related to overall content consumption, as it bridges the gap between the way users think to the way they act /are present online, or just deal with their content.
- FromX presents the ultimate solution for complete personal content management as it ensures that content which matters to user won’t ever be lost.