Everywhere you look, interactive media has inundated our daily routines. Whether it is for work or for play, our smartphones have become less of a device and more of an information portal into the world around us. Within the intricate interfaces of our smartphone devices exist the potential to download hundreds of applications (apps), each with a different offering set to make our lives that much easier. There are many that stand out as some of the greatest apps to ever be made but, in no particular order, here is a list of apps that completely changed the way we live and interact:
Getting from A to B used to mean calling a friend or a taxi service, leaving riders at the mercy of their driver’s availability. Uber is an app that allows you to call a ride from wherever you are, whenever you need one. It is set up completely through your smartphone and all you have to do is add your credit card, location and destination. The convenience of Uber has changed the way riders travel and has even given thousands of people jobs. While Uber was the pioneer app to serve this need, several other services including Lyft are starting to break into the transportation category and we don’t anticipate any sign of slowing down in this market.
Snapchat has proven itself as one of the fastest growing social media apps to ever exist. This app allows people to add friends and send each other pictures and videos that disappear after you open them. There are also “Snap Stories” that are live for 24 hours for all your friends to see. Apps like these are built to entertain, but businesses are starting to see the immense marketing potential that lives within the platform. According to Business Insider, the app is opened an average of 18 times a day from the 158 million users that are on it daily. What key insight can brands take away from Snapchat? That people crave a one-on-one experience in an easy-to-digest format.
Music has always been an important part of our culture and Spotify has helped connect everyone in that sense. Much like other music streaming services, Spotify allows you to stream and download your favorite songs while creating playlists and sharing those with friends. The app creates playlists based on what you listen to and intuitively recommends top playlists that you might enjoy. While they may not have been the first app to offer these services, they’ve set themselves apart with a wide variety of offerings including audiobooks, podcasts and more available for free or for a premium rate. The race to become the top music-streaming app is heating up, but Spotify remains a forerunner.
Venmo is a growing app that has changed the way we exchange money. Those with the app are able to add a bank account or credit card information and send or request money to/from friends and family. In the second quarter of this year alone, Venmo users exchanged $8 billion dollars, compared to $3.9 billion that same timeframe last year, which shows its tremendous growth. It’s completely safe and secure to do and you can transfer money into your bank account as soon as the next business day. Many online stores even use this option now as a quick and easy way to get things done. With its ease of use, cash is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Apple’s Wallet app, which comes standard on iPhones, is the next cash killer. This allows you to store all your cards, store passes and tickets in one app. With this app and a changing society, Apple Pay is now an option at a wide variety of stores and by using the Wallet app, you are able to pull up the card you wish to pay with and hold it up to the card reader to complete a transaction. What could be easier?
Travel back in time to 2013 when Vine and its 200 million users ruled the world of video content. This app completely transformed online entertainment and even challenged viewers’ attention spans with its strict six-second video threshold. Not only that, but also several “Viners” turned the app into a lucrative career and, arguably, set the pace and the need for brands to act on influencer marketing. Vine has since dissolved and turned into Vine Camera in early 2017, which still allows people to make the six-second videos, but they’re hosted through Twitter.
In a visual world, one photo-editing app stands out: VSCO. It has every filter imaginable with the ability to crop, brighten, and everything in between. Although a handful of their filters do come with a small cost, the possibilities are endless. In addition to the filters, you can follow friends and people with creative photos as well as post your own to your VSCO profile. With mega apps like Instagram owning center stage, VSCO has positioned itself almost as an “add-on” to intensify the experience of photo sharing apps.
As our world becomes more connected, we turn to the ease of digital applications to cut through the clutter and simplify our lives. There’s no arguing the influence of wireless devices on the way we work, live and play. It just goes to show, there truly is “an app for that.” If you’re in the market for a new wireless device, let FTC assist in the decision-making process.