Wait. What? Are not Google’s Play app store and Apple’s iTunes App Store paragons of success? Yes. For whom? Each store has over 1-million apps. Each platform has half a billion or so customers who download or buy apps. The math doesn’t add up.
The App-ocalypse Is Coming
Here’s my prediction of the future. We’ll see a slow erosion of app store health, app developer health, and a growing trend of “I have enough apps, already!” attitude among the mobile device users.
I’m not the average Jellystone bear, but my iPhone has a hundred or so apps; most of which don’t get used much, if at all. The iPad is the same. My Mac has never had as many apps as it does now.
The problem is math. I may have dozens and dozens of cool, useful, and must-have apps and games on my devices, but I still have only 24 hours in a day; a big chunk of which are used for work, sleep, and eating (not necessarily in that order).
I’ve reached the point where I don’t have time for more apps; I’d like to use them less, but get more out of the ones I use. The app stores– Play and iOS– have a health problem. Too much of a good thing is like a diet in high calorie, rich tasting food.
It might taste great most of the time, but you can only chew so many hours a day, and the price of meals add up.
Watch The Savior
This may take a few years, but there might be a savior in all this plenty. Apple Watch. It won’t be so much new applications arriving on the scene, as older applications getting better at informing, and being used in the background.
Here’s how I figured it out. This weekend we went on a long drive down the bay. In the center of our car’s dashboard sits a bunch of controls. Many of those controls are duplicated in the car’s steering wheel. Chances are good your car has controls in both places, too. They’re on the steering wheel for convenience.
That’s Apple Watch.
Watch will make notifications and quick communication faster and easier. Just like the controls on the car’s steering wheel. In some cases, the apps themselves will disappear into the background and the only interaction will be through Watch. Of course, as batteries improve performance and last longer, and as chips become more powerful, and circuits get smaller, and software becomes more sophisticated, Watch might be the only device we need to carry.
Long before that happens the app developers and Apple will find more ways to use applications to improve our lives and lot in life. I just wish all these apps could figure out a way to get me a few more hours of sleep, and extend the day to 30 hours.