Apps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


It seems that more and more apps are being created for our phones and tablet devices, yet surely, they can’t all be useful and they can’t all be terrible and pointless. Exploring the ups and downs, pros and cons, and even the often weirdness of apps and what they are all about – is not an easy task, but it here it goes. We’ll just dip your toes into the water, instead of throwing you into the deep in.

There are some good qualities here, folks.

This one for example. Zuckerburg and the Facebook team have crafted something pretty cool – a new app that allows consumers to use the app while in the workplace, with no absolute restrictions. This is a project that’s been in development for a while, a project that they’ve dubbed “Facebook At Work”, an application that will be available both for Android and iOS users. An additional version of this app will also be made available to the public, one that can be accessed through the main website. One more very cool feature: giving businesses and companies the freedom to manage and develop their very own social networks, ones that both the bosses and employees can use together. Unity in the workplace.

All employees are going to have their own separate login info for their Work accounts, which are created by their employers, and users also have the option of connecting or “linking” these accounts with co-workers profiles so that every piece of information can be easily accessible in one place. However, Facebook is not the only business that aims to plant a flag on this idea. Other companies like Microsoft, with their Yammer and Socialcast products, are going to be doing something very similar, so this will allow for competition between these high ranking tech industries. Lars Rasmussen, who is the Engineering Director at Facebook, says that they are going to be placing the app into the app stores so that they can begin testing out the product, stating that they have pretty much been in a beta-testing phase that has been ongoing for nearly a decade.

If we look at the numbers…

Every year, hundreds of new apps, whether they are geared towards social interaction or online shopping, are being developed and tweaked to keep up with today’s fast-paced digital environment. There are promising up-and-coming apps from young independent entrepreneurs like the BlueChatBox, but the four major companies, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and Google – unleashed hundreds of applications just last year. In fact from 2012 to 2014, the overall number of apps that were released from these companies within that two year period has more than doubled, with 315 releases jumping up to 643 releases.

Yahoo was ahead of the pact with the strongest competitive edge and the most laser-sharp approach of the four companies, they pretty much provided 10 releases for each one of their apps that was in the App Store. Those numbers average out to about basically 3 releases each week, bringing a total amount of 151 releases last year.

And then with Microsoft and Google holding their own mobile platforms, both companies still took the opportunity to bank on Apple’s iOS platform, as both are running the show with the number of releases per app. Although, AOL does outnumber Google with the total number of apps that have ever been developed for iOS, and nearly 1/3 of their applications rest within the Top 200, with MapQuest consistently staying in the Top 10.

Microsoft unleashed 24 new applications in 2014 onto the marketplace, though they were all released within the last stretch of the year, which garnered more attention than the number of active apps Google had in the app store. Microsoft has also set their sights on developing their apps with a more business-minded approach, with things like Office 365 Admin and Dynamics CRM. Google was able to whip out 224 releases last year, introducing tech-consumers to 20 new apps, and Google also held a large number of apps, 32, in their categories Top 200.

And then there’s Yahoo, which only has 15 iOS apps available in the App Store.

In other words, if anyone is looking to break into the technology game, developing an app seems to be a pretty solid entryway in.

 

Native apps and Web apps: A Native App is essentially an app developed for just one mobile device and is installed directly onto that device itself. Anyone who uses a native app typically downloads them through app stores online or the app marketplace (Apple App Store, the Google Play). Example: Camera+ for Apple’s iOS devices.

The Cons of Native Apps

•One negative is that native apps can usually be a bit more of an expensive proposition to the developer. It is especially true for developers who have a desire for their app to be fully-compatible with several different mobile devices and platforms. It can get quite tricky, timely and costly.

•Also, the cost itself of app maintenance, keeping the app updated and secure also tends to be higher with native apps, particularly if the app happens to support more than just 1 mobile platform.

•The amount of work it will take to get the app approved by the app store can be very tiring and tedious for a developer, may not necessarily always end in success. If you do something they don’t like or approve of, even if it was unintentional, they’ll pull it, and it could take weeks, maybe months to get back in. Also, there is no promise that the app will immediately become popular with users.

•Someone who has multiple phones, across multiple platforms, may be using different versions of that app, which will then make it hard for the developer to maintain support and offer consistent updates. A lot to keep track of.

Some Cons of Web Apps

•A mobile web app will only have a narrow, finite scope, as far as being able to utilize a mobile device’s features is concerned.

•Web apps that support several mobile browsers will ultimately become an expensive task for developers, as it raises the costs of developing and maintaining them.

•Not everyone is going to be using the same internet browser on their phone, unfortunately. This can make things very difficult for you when trying to maintain a record of people’s usage patterns, and also provide support and updates for them all.

•Users may sometimes find it difficult to discover a Web app, as it is not systematically listed or available in any app store.

And the future just seems to keep relishing in the ever-expanding creativity that can be applied to these applications. Whether they wind up being good or bad.

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