Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Millions of Apps, Billions of Dollars

Phones were once a means of simply calling someone. Then text messaging arrived, with a convenient means of contacting someone in a (once) private, quiet way. Now, phone apps provide entertainment. So, where phones were once meant for practicality, they're now meant for entertainment...oh and practicality (in that order).

According to a recent New York Times article, the future of applications looks bright. There are currently over 350,00 apps for the iPhone alone. In 2011 alone, it is estimated that
"Corporations will spend up to $17 billion creating apps for their products and working with third-party services and companies that manage these apps. The combined revenues from mobile applications, services and business management will reach $54.6 billion a year by 2015."
So, with these developments, it's interesting to consider that every application that we purchase fuels this multi-billion dollar industry. As an iPhone user, I admit that while most of my apps were free, I've spent about twenty dollars on apps, though these were for educational purposes, and not so much for entertainment. However, something that I've considered is that while apps can be useful, maybe they provide one more way of being distracted from human connection. Constant connectivity through apps may be the new text messaging-but this time, there are no other humans involved. We began with the phone (where people talk to each other and listen to each other's voices), to text messaging (where people contact each other with a diminished sense of human contact), and now to app use (where people are disconnected with other people altogether). Apps aren't going away, and I hope that they won't become the end-all of the functions that phones are meant to serve. The next thing you know, phones will only work if you buy an app for the cell phone function and an app for the text messaging function.

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