Is the future an assimilation of each new app into existing or emerging platforms? Could a major service simply get rid of their app? Will all apps become invisible or even cease to exist?
Things are already built for Apple, Google, Windows, etcetera. Could Facebook, Instagram, and others become so essential that there is no point for ride share, pro sports leagues, productivity and other apps to exist on their own?
Are we heading towards a technological world where all apps are completely invisible? Will they be so integrated that they cease to exist as a separate entity?
I taught two college classes that dealt with technology. Each covered different aspects of the thought process and planning needed to build apps. During that time a couple of advances happened that made certain apps seem unnecessary as standalone items.
First, Uber integrated with Facebook Messenger so that you can order a ride without leaving the Messenger app. Then, Pokemon Go took the world by storm with Google Maps API used to ensure their locations were accurate. In fact, it was discovered that downloading the maps directly from Google saved battery life.
At that point it became legitimate to start questioning what is the most efficient way to do things. Will it be worth it to build apps that aren’t directly tied into a platform is the near future? What would the progression away from our current situation with phones full of apps look like? How do we get there, and where exactly is the there that we’re getting to?
3 levels of apps being invisible
- Apps assimilated into platforms like FB
- We’ve already seen this with things like Uber and Lyft. What else could be combined into the overall feed and utility? Maybe our social media providers give back control of our feeds so that we can choose to see items from friends and chosen news sources that we’ve paid to access. Possibly we see a combination of personal and work with an app like Slack integrated into our FB feed with the option to switch back and forth between types of feed.
- Apps become part of the internet of things
- The first step towards this seems to be happening with tools like the Amazon Echo. Later it could be that we are identified by our biometric information no matter where we “log in.” When we decide to do some banking while we are out, we have access to our feed while also doing our personal banking at a location like Brazil’s Bradesco Next.
- Apps are downloaded as part of the daily software package updates to our implanted neural chips.
- If people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and especially Ray Kurzweil are right, the singularity will change things in ways we can’t truly comprehend now. What is the role of an app in a world where we all have neural implants and every day our brains are updated with the newest version of our shared software? Is there such a thing as an app there? Are there options to have some things, and not others, with only certain items considered essentials that everyone must have?
What are you going to do about it?
Where do you want to see things streamlined? What would be the most convenient way to combine what you already use and make it more efficient to integrate new options?