When did you last download an app that changed your life in a significant way? Surveys show that 80% of the time we spend on phones, we only use 5 apps on average.
After the boom when every business wanted to have their own app just to say they had it, we have come to the period when users prefer fewer apps that have more uses. No one enjoys going through a huge number of applications that handle only a fraction of your needs. More and more we are currently using apps that resolve a problem of any kind and as quickly as possible.
Everything you need in one place
It is not essential who is the author of the app, but what the application offers. The first pioneers in our lands were Liftago, Netflix or Spotify. If you need to get from place to place, it does not matter if you use Liftago or an application for some other taxi service. Your goal is to move as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible and as ecologically as possible. The same principle applies, for example, when watching a show. The user does not want to download a number of different apps to access the show. The user only wants the one app that makes everything available to him or her at once.
A perfect example is the Chinese application WeChat, whose huge success Facebook is trying to repeat. In addition to serving as a social network, WeChat allows its users to order a taxi, shop online, arrange a doctor’s appointment, or pay their taxes. As a result, up to 95% of the time spent by Chinese people using apps will be spent in WeChat. This universality is so far beyond anything we use in the West.
From clicking to voice instructions
The second significant change of the so-called post-app era will be the gradual retreat from using touch as the primary way to control applications. With the development of artificial intelligence, controlling the devices in our environment will shift from touch to voice. In connection with the universality of apps such as WeChat, apps will become virtual personal assistants, who will do anything to get you started – from home heating, through purchasing tickets to setting up day-to-day payments.
A typical example is Alexa or Siri, who can find and book a restaurant with the help of other apps, or order an Uber. However, before these assistants reach a required level of recognition of the human language, they may be in the form of autonomous chatbots who will be able to understand our request through an analysis of the text, respond appropriately to us and perform the corresponding operations.
Technical support and customer support are segments where the power of chatbots will be presented the soonest and will have the greatest economic impact. Imagine that you want to change the amount of a payment to your electricity provider. Today you either call or wait for a link to an operator who rarely answers, and eventually you have to send the document via email or through a large customer portal. You can easily message a chatbot during a meeting from your cell phone – it will understand what you want and send you a form that you sign electronically via your cell phone and send back through the same chat in just a few minutes.
Developers play an important role
The third change will be a change at the infrastructure level that a normal user will not see, but for app developers, this change will be readable. However, changes are expected not only for companies such as the QBSW Slovak software house, but also for big global companies.
Many companies have developed enormous ecosystems of various (especially desktop and web apps) App that have burdened corporate systems, but often their users, too. This is especially due to their technological obsolescence and inconsistency with the current setting of the company. Remaking or shutting down such apps is often costly, just because of the link that exists with the rest of the ecosystem. What awaits us in the post-app era is a change in the way the infrastructure is drawn, with an emphasis on simplicity, clarity, and business-oriented APIs.
The essence of the post-app concept is not to completely remove apps, but to change their purpose and usage. However, a number of new factors that will need to be taken into account are constantly being introduced into this concept. These are types of services that will still be handled better by us personally or over the phone. For others, we already have a great app or web now.