A week doesn’t go by without a discussion about Flint Hills Group building a new mobile app or a solution with mobile being part of it. Half of the current Flint Hills Group projects being developed today involve mobile technology or are centered around a mobile app. What happened? How did we get to the point where mobile apps rule our life?
History of the Ancient Mobile App
If you are older than 25, you will recall the first cell phones in existence. Those first cell phones were bricks in the 70s! We all thought we were cool when we finally graduated to the sleek pocket flip phone. These early phones had the first mobile apps – don’t you remember them? They were called Calendar, Note Pad, Calculator and Address Book. If you were really cool, you even had the Email App. These truly were the first mobile apps. Don’t you miss texting on a 12-button keyboard to your friends? I know I do.
The purest app developers would say I’m full of it to say that the Note Pad was an app. In reality, it was software storing information to be displayed later. It was a program on a phone but nothing like what an app is capable of today.
Modern Apps Are Just Babies!
Modern phone apps are just over a decade old. Infants in the world of software. Apple’s Appstore was only launched in July of 2008 with 500 apps. Google launched their app store a few months later in October of the same year. In that first week, millions of apps were downloaded and the great App Race began. Other app stores began and have barely sputtered along such as the Blackberry App World which began in the spring of 2009.
When App Stores launched, we gained access to apps of all sorts. Games, productivity, educational, lifestyle, utilities, travel, literature, health/fitness and food & drink are all popular types of mobile apps with over 2 million available today. The early apps such as Calculator are the Model-T of today’s modern apps. Phone capabilities such as HD screens and microphones, GPS, accelerometers, WIFI, Bluetooth, Magnetometers, Gyroscopes, Proximity Sensors along with high speed processors and very large flash memory make today’s smartphones extremely powerful computers that just happen to have a phone feature.
Mobile Apps Are Big Business
Remember Flappy Birds? It’s only been 5 years since Flappy Birds was released. Critics bashed Dong Nguyen who was the creator of the app. They said the game was too difficult and its graphics and game mechanics were poor. The public thought otherwise and became completely addicted to the game.
In-app advertisements grossed $50,000 a day for Dong. At over 13 million a year in potential revenue, everyone began to notice that a simple App could be a huge revenue stream. Things began to accelerate after Flappy Birds with app generation. I’m happy to say I was never bitten by the Flappy Birds craze but I can’t say the same for my Angry Birds addiction. You might wonder what ever happened to Flappy Birds? Just 9 months after its initial release in May of 2013, Dong Nguyen pulled the app because he was overwhelmed with the craze he had started and felt guilty about the addictive qualities of his creation. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs pulled their hair out at the thought of the halted revenue stream.
Mobile Apps Show Us the Money
Apps like these caused more people to seriously consider what could be done with mobile apps to generate additional revenue and solve business problems. Every bank, grocery store, restaurant and TV network made sure they had a viable mobile app to conduct business through. With faster mobile data speeds such as 4G and unlimited data plans, people began streaming live TV and movies on mobile apps such as Netflix and ESPN. Our phones have become a lifeline to the rest of the world and are allowing us to operate outside brick and mortar businesses in a productive way never thought possible before.
Mobile Apps are bringing news to us in seconds now. We all know when a plane crashes or the latest Trump tweet has gone out. People are more empowered and connected now than ever before because of mobile apps.
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With every great advancement comes adjustments for society and mobile apps are no different. People rarely disconnect from work, news or world events in the world of smartphones. It’s difficult to escape and rest in a world engulfed with mobile apps where a slight vibration in your pocket might mean someone liked your latest tweet or a new mass shooting has occurred somewhere. We have to know what that vibration meant. Maybe we need a happy vibration and an alarming vibration? One thing is for sure, the world of the mobile computer is here to stay…and growing.
Flint Hills Group is actively working on Health and Fitness apps and business apps which generate merchant transactions and save travel costs. We are building industrial apps to help monitor and control internet of things devices. We also construct mobile capability software for solutions that used to run on a desktop computer years ago but now runs anywhere you are from your pocket.