The Rise of Mobile Apps

The Rise of Mobile Apps is an ongoing series by Raelyn Thompson, focused on the integration of mobile technology into our everyday lives.

In the past, electronic devices were needed in bulk for different capabilities. One needed a cell phone to make calls, a PDA to make plans and agendas, a calculator to do math, and a desktop computer to access the Internet. However, the scene has quickly changed and evolved to the need for only one device to do all tasks needed by the consumer- one device to rule them all. But what exactly is spurring on this movement to one universal device? While the cloud storage systems are definitely furthering this trend, the push for universality in a device spawned from the growth of application software, also known as apps.

Apps are meant to directly serve the user, rather than manage and integrate the computer’s capabilities like system software and middleware. Compared with high-powered computer format, mobile application software is developed for low-power handheld devices, such as PDAs and smart phones.

The rise and popularity of mobile technology has directly influenced this expanding field of application software, in opening the possibility of further portability and integration of everyday electronic and non-electronic based tasks. The mobile phone, once merely a voice device, has morphed from an evolved multi-channel device to an Internet accessing mini-computer. With this evolution, a growing market of mobile software applications specifically designed for smart phones evolves in unison.

Apps have become a connecting thread between several aspects of useful and daily technology, from graphing calculators to personal organizers to electronic gaming. Since they are made for more personal and mobile devices, there is a sense of portability that never quite came with the hundreds of devices or objects one needed to carry around to be efficient. Instead of carrying around an agenda, a phone, notebook, checkbook, calculator, and gaming device, there is the opportunity to carry one universally capable device. Essentially, the growth of mobile app development encourages minimalism and efficiency. Apps create a way to add extra functionality and customization to a device, inducing a full personal experience.

Check back soon for part two on the app's role in education.