The iPhone’s release in 2005 has changes the world in more ways than most of us realize and faster than we expected. The capabilities throughout the generations of the iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Windows Phone, and Black Berry are challenging the capabilities of traditional computers at an alarming rate. Desktop sales are almost non-existent, laptop sales are falling and as a result stores like Best Buy are transforming their computer section to a tablet section.
As these mobile devices grow in popularity, the amount of apps for them climbs. Many new apps that serve as a service don’t even have a website to serve as their service. As more services emerge in the form of an app without the website portion, what will this do to the internet as we know it? Those of us who still prefer a traditional computer are being left out. Many people still lack a tablet, but owning a smartphone is common today. The app will still serve most of us just fine, but whipping out your phone to be productive for your job can still get you in trouble. The wrong person might assume you are texting or looking at Facebook instead.
Those who make their living as web developers or web designers might be faced with a shrinking job market in the near future as the internet shifts to the use of apps. Sure, I use my computer at work to browse the web. Outside of work, though, I find myself using my smartphone more than anything because of the convenience of my phone always being on me. Most of what I look at is viewed in some form of an app, whether it’s the Facebook app for Facebook, or Flipboard for news and other articles of interest. I rarely have to visit a website if I want to look at something. Will future websites just be an advertisement to download their app? If this is the case, those making their living on building websites may find it harder to earn a living.
What about new businesses? Building an app takes programming skills. When everyone needed a website, you didn’t always need to know how to write html. Many website hosts offer easy, graphical user interface tools to build a website or you could buy software that made the job easier too. With an app-driven market emerging, many business’ target audience isn’t using a traditional computer as much. These audiences, customers, viewers, etc. are looking for the app first now. This means web developers and web designers ought to start learning how to write apps.
Having so many apps isn’t always a good thing either. Many apps feel more like a website than an app. Some apps are just the website packed into an icon. Having an app for everything can be like bookmarking every website you visit. Things get cluttered and you might not need to revisit a page again or very often. Despite the truth in this, we can’t deny the internet is moving into apps rather than websites. The only thing I foresee in making this a better experience for all would be the ability to run apps without having to install them, much like the traditional website. Keep those you like, want, or need. Just visit the ones you need now.