There are probably hundreds of apps on your phone or tablet device. Typically we use only around 30 of these apps on a regular basis. Most of us have several more apps available that we hardly use. They seemed a good idea at the time, but we haven’t actually got much use out of them.
Most phones come pre-filled with loads of apps these days, all vying for your attention and wanting you to use them. Often, though, they are merely cut-down replicas of apps that you are already using, so they simply take up space on your device as you often cannot delete them. This is called “bloatware”.
Apps will change
Eventually, of course, this bloatware will disappear. Manufacturers of phones and tablets will realise that maintaining software that hardly anyone uses is just a waste of their resources. Why use a phone manufacturer’s email app, when Gmail is available, for instance.
In time, too, we all start to deplete our apps, deleting those which we haven’t used in ages and taking a more cautious approach to adding ones that have few reviews, low star-ratings and so on. Over time, it appears that we slim down our mobile activity to a hard core of apps.
But which ones are the fundamental ones? Which apps will we be using in five years time?
One thing is for sure – some of the apps we know and love today will not be here in five years time. Several online services that we once knew and loved are no longer around – such as Friends Reunited or Ecademy. Others are morphing and changing our approach – people are moving away from downloading music from iTunes to using Apple Music, Spotify or other streaming services. Eventually, the download of music as a concept will be sent to the backwaters of apps, fading from our view.
Apps are transient. What we knew and loved a couple of years ago, we will not be using in a few years from now. Except one.
One app will survive forever
There is just one app that will be with us, whatever happens in the future. That is the app that has a telephone symbol on it, the one that allows you to make phone calls. It is the app that lets you talk to someone.
Talking to people will be here for ever. The telephone app is the one app that allows you to talk to people in real time, naturally. It has been around for almost 350 years since the first string telephone was invented in 1667.
If (perhaps when) Twitter disappears, or SnapChat expires, or email becomes unusable, talking to people will still work. Your phone app will still work, even if every other application on your device has bitten the electronic dust.
However, there is a problem. Some people are spending so much time on email, social media apps, chat apps or other mobile device electronics that their experience of making telephone calls is diminishing.
If you want to future-proof your business, start making more phone calls.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+