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Countdown has started towards the App Boom

Claire Stokoe

Apps, whether they are on the iPhone, HTC Magic, Vodafone 360 or the Web are very much in their infancy, but this is about to change!

Up until now most mobile applications have been hindered by vendor lockin’s, the main perpetrators being Vodafone, T-Mobile and Nokia.

Carsonified - The Future of Web Apps Candy
Carsonified - The Future of Web Apps Candy

Once the new mobile standards come into play with specific micro formats and easier adaptation of web 2.0 API we should see application use increase by a dramatic percentage, even if this is use of Tom-Tom apps, social apps and games via non smart phones.

iphone and iphone applications
iphone and iphone applications

The App revolution is already full tilt online with sites like http://appuseful.com/ and http://www.igoapps.com/ (for iphone users) developing an impressive following. The lastest technologies in the creation of web Apps are Cappuccino and Objective J, created by 280North who combined these two technologies to offer an application framework with key features in aiding Javascript development. Basically making it 100 times easier to create and deploy your applications online.

Cappucino Web Framework Logo
Cappucino Web Framework Logo

Some techie features of this new technology:

Objective J

o Add’s key features to Javascript

o Strict superset of Javascript

o No plug-in, no compile

Cappuccino

o Application framework

o Modelled on Cocoa the Mac / iphone apps

o Provides a foundation for your apps

A great example of this new technology is 230 slides, which allow you to upload existing presentations that you have made or create new slideshows, surf for images within the application and video and easily share these with your network.

280 slides online presentation app
280 slides online presentation app

Now there are still a lot of people who think that the App has a really short lifespan, I totally disagree. The App will most likely in a few years disappear, but not in a redundant way, in the same way we don’t concern ourselves with thinking of how wireless works or how electricity works.

Apps are no longer a rare thing, they are moving through what is called the copycat stage, this is when there is a lot of pulling and pushing about their success and thousands of Applications are being created. Very soon this technology will become translucent, it will enter the Norm, become boring and be replaced by something that isn’t called an App at all, the App with be the foundations, much as cables that connect us from our home PC’s to the U.S aren’t something we think about. Watch Stefan Fountains talk on the future of mobile http://events.carsonified.com/fowa/2008/london/videos/stefan-fountain/highlights

Mark Weiser said “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”

Apps are at the same stage as movies were back in 2003 when the first VHS/DVD players were released, people knew that DVD’s were better but had a vested interest in VHS so the Combined player heralded the end of the VHS

If you replace VHS with desktop and DVD with Mobile and web, you can see where the App market is now, we know that Mobile Apps are better as they are with us where ever we go, but we still like out onscreen social updates, our desktop tweetdecks (also available on iphone) and our calculators and desktop email clients.

Black Samsung dvd vhs player
Black Samsung dvd vhs player

A lot of research into Apps on the iphone show that the sudden influx of people downloading Apps directly after their iPhone purchase drop dramatically after a few weeks. This seams like common sense to me, when you’re still getting used to your new phone you will download a lot of Apps to try them out and see what works for you. You will most likely stick with the Apps that help you manage your life such as http://www.tubeexits.co.uk/ that helps you beat the crowds at Tube stations, http://www.redlaser.com/ that lets you scan barcodes on products and see where to find it cheaper and http://gizmodo.com/5026881/crash-bandicoot-nitro-kart-3d when you’ve got a minute or so to waste sitting on the train.

iphone applications
iphone applications

So what do I think the future of Apps is? We will very soon see Apps that come looking for us, they will remember where we have been and make insanely accurate predictions using advertising, updates and even to the point of RT’ing other peoples Tweets on our behalf. They will run in the background of our lives like our tiny personal assistants, working every millisecond of everyday to make our lives just that little bit more Apptastic.

I don’t think we have even seen the surface of what App’s will grow into over the next 12 months, I can’t wait.



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