It’s funny how few years ago we would have laughed it off if someone had told us that everything we do, from reservations to shopping to banking, or social media, emails to even dating would go mobile and eventually we would be bombarded with campaigns across all channels.
All it took was few years for digital transformation not to kick in, but to take the entire world by storm.
With the advent of advanced technology, data has become the secret sauce of all the activities that are happening around us. Think of the last notification you received, or an email, or SMS or the experience you had on any app the last time you used.
Whatever we do, whoever we are, whatever we like, whatever we wish for is being measured and is being used to engage us in more ways we can imagine.
Come to think of it, there is a very thin line between being a creepy stalker and being a smart officer. The human, or whatever is left of it inside us, is what stops us lest we pry into each other’s lives. Apps have not only become an integral and necessary part of our lives but also have made so many things easier for us so that eventually we preserve our time and energy to focus on better things.
But, a question may arise, how many apps are too many? Let’s talk about stats—the number of apps on play and app store combined has grown from being a handful in 2008 to 50 lacs in 2017.
A simple search on the simplest of keywords yields thousands of apps doing that one thing you looked for. Of course, the reviews and ratings help—but like all the other things they can be manipulated—think of the last controversy revolving around an image based chatting app. Though that did not affect the popularity of it but it did make a trending one across the world. Popularity and reviews seldom follow the same path.
Does It Ever Stop?
The question persists, how many is too many and what’s the threshold? When does this stop? Or does it ever? We got so overwhelmed with the facilities and services we started receiving through these apps that we almost forgot that we need to spend time in the real world, too, where mobile or other channels are not the only things.
In a study published by comScore over the past three years’ time spent on digital media has grown up by 53% mainly powered by mobile and mobile apps. Time spent on these apps has increased by whooping 111%, time spent on mobile web has increased by 62% while time spent on desktop browser has increased only by 4%. Mobile apps have contributed close to 80% all the growths on digital media time spent.
The Rise of Integrated Apps
This trend gave birth to the idea that the apps that are integrated with the most used ones should be built to reduce the number of apps we have and the time we spend on each one of the individually. Too many apps lead to battery drainage and time spent in organizing &optimizing them. Too much energy is spent in the entire management of these apps which sometimes is too much to handle. API Management systems such as API Gateway have made this easily possible where all the apps have their APIs available that can be consumed by any to integrate in third party apps.
Even though these integrated apps won’t ever provide a great user experience but they play a significant role for the greater good. Not only they require less storage in a mobile phone but also preserve battery.
These integrated platforms will soon start owning the users instead of the popular apps and service oriented apps will just become APIs. Some of these Apps such as VuLiv – Integrated Media App, Tapzo – Integrated Services App, Justdial, OTA players for airlines, have already started huge attention from people from all over.
This trend of integrated apps will continue to evolve and will keep on adding more intelligence in the form of bots. Some leading platforms have already revolutionized the way services are consumed and bots play a very important role. Some of the popular ones are Slack, WeChat, Kakao, Line, Telegram etc. With integrated bots, it has become more human to deal with many transactional services.
It is a safe bet that in future these apps and botswill continue to live across all channel. To answer the question—this does not stop, in fact it would evolve into a more mature, intelligent, and comprehensive system that understands humans more. New features like augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and smart virtual assistants—that were only shown in movies—are becoming reality. A tremendous change is coming, all we need to do is to embrace it.