Tech Talk: Apps May Soon Need To Expand Function To Survive

Applications are more or less the center point, the cornerstone of the popularity and success of the smartphone. The humble app came ashore on smartphone screens prior to 2007's iPhone launch, but the iPhone certainly helped popularize it to the point of mainstream availability and widespread acclaim. Fast forward to today and both Google and the Android platform, as well as Apple's iOS, have helped the app markets of their respective mobile operating systems flourish, turning the mobile app industry into a booming success that may seem like it has no ceiling. While mobile app developers are enjoying the lucrative area of the tech industry now, though, it can't stay that way forever and apps, once the burgeoning corner of an up and coming industry may be headed for a downfall.

The death of the app is not what's on the table, of course, but the app market is becoming increasingly saturated which will make it harder and harder for mobile app developers to stay afloat. A similar trend can be seen in smartphones. More and more consumers are smartphone owners these days, and more and more manufacturers have sprung up to offer them choices, but with so many available not all of them can succeed, and apps are potentially due to head down the same path. Those that don't are likely to offer users a multitude of functions wrapped into one offering, as opposed to a user having 6 or 7 apps for different purposes. Apps like Messenger and WhatsApp are decent examples of how this is starting to take shape.

At the core these are just messaging applications, but they've grown into much more than that. Messenger, for instance, now allows users to make voice calls as well as video calls, it supports SMS and online chat, and with chat bots being thrown into the mix the limits of Messenger are only going to expand, bringing a list of features in one app that would normally be spread across a few. It's these types of apps, ones without a singular offering and agenda, which stand the best chances of coming out on top and staying there as app market saturation continues to grow. Google's upcoming Allo is another god example. An over saturated app market also causes an issue with more supply but less demand, compared to years ago when there were less apps on offer making it more desirable to grab something up. Now, just about every app category has tons of options, and the biggest players, like Facebook, Google, Spotify, and more are the ones which are benefiting as they're constantly the most used, and, they have the money to back their continued development, leading to growth and allowing them to adapt to the changes that the app market is going though, while smaller app development studios could have a tougher time competing.

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