Apps (short for applications… just in case you were wondering) seem to be taking the world by storm! Almost everyone these days seeming to be in possession of a smart phone.
But what is the big deal with these apps? Are they really that important to our contemporary media landscape? I think its time for some investigative research to assess this once and for all!
Research by Google suggests that we’re one of seven countries in the world where more than 50 per cent of the population uses smartphones, the numbers increasing everyday. And with smartphones taking the world by storm, it only makes sense that apps, the function that separates them from ordinary, non-smart phones, are historicizing media technology as we know it.
so what are apps exactly?
Apps are programs that can allow your smartphone or tablet to do anything the programmer can imagine… within the devices technical competencies of course! And with technology developing ever so rapidly, the functionality of them are increasing. With a great variety of apps ranging from banking, to social media, to games and between free and paid; the functionality of apps is making tasks that would be time consuming or involve a computer to be done on the go, conveniently through their mobile devices.
so lets take a look at some apps!
This app allows you to check the train timetable on the go, it detects your location and allows you to display train times for any metro service, even letting you know when there are delays! It uses small coloured dots near station names and in certain list, which pulls information from Metro’s website and displays green for good service, orange for disruptions and red for a suspended line. As someone who catches the train daily, I found this app to be very useful and easy to use. Displaying the information I needed quickly as I needed it.
Probably the most common and used Apps across both android and apple, the Facebook app allows you to access your Facebook account from your mobile phone. Having all the functions the internet site has, you can keep up with your friends where ever you are. This app is definitely a good way to be constantly updated with what’s going on in your social world, and also can be a good way to kill time or procrastinate… either or!
This app is the official app of RMIT university, it allows you to stay connected to RMIT while on the go. With access to your student emails, announcements, your timetable, campus maps and results, this app is compact and ever so convenient especially when its almost the end of semester and you are still struggling to remember which level your class is on! Exceptionally handy that’s for sure.
Of course, one of the most popular types of apps available these days are in fact games! This game Bubble Shooter is a fun and addictive bubble shooting game (not that the name suggests that or anything…) Complete with a puzzle mode, 300 different levels and beautiful scenes and graphics; this game will keep you amused when there is nothing else or plenty else to be doing.
so what are the pros apps?
- With such a diverse range of apps available, there is something to fulfil almost any need
- They provide functions that make life so convenient when on the run, for instant google maps or gps’s giving you directions as you go
- They are so easy to download
- Many of them are inexpensive or even free
…. and the cons?
- People can become too heavily reliant on them
- They can increase procrastination
- It can encourage the entrapment in the virtual world, many people having a tendency to sit on their phones during social situations
I think apps are a fantastic invention which truly are historicizing mobile media technology as we know it. I love having the ability to check the weather or when my train is coming or even my uni timetable on the go. Having my phone with me at all times I have access to the them 24/7! They have helped me many a time to navigate my way from being lost or get in contact with friends via facebook who I would have been unable to contact otherwise. With the ability to do all this already, the possibilities for future apps are endless.