Believe it or not, there was a time not so long ago when you couldn’t get clothing, food, cleaning, or tech products sent to your door at the touch of a button. Before cell phones, you couldn’t even contact them if they were out of the house for the day! You had to take your chances and call the house phone, and hope that the person you were looking for was there. The invention and evolution of mobile phones, and then mobile apps, have completely changed the world and the way we operate in it. The landscapes of dating, shopping, education, mental health, and communication are entirely different places than what they were just fifty years ago.
The first mobile phone hit the market in 1984, but it would be a long time before mobile phones could do anything but make calls and take up far too much space in a briefcase. In 1994, Nokia began including a built-in game on their phones; Snake. This is widely considered to be the first mobile app. These days we take it for granted that our phones will allow us to try out hobbies like mobile roulette or Clash of Clans: many people don’t consider games like these to be the first apps but rather place them in a category of their own. Some people are also of the belief that apps only really came into being when Apple launched the App Store in 2008.
Since then, however, apps have developed to be reliable for everything you could imagine or need. They have made our lives easier and more convenient. They offer us access to people across the world, to services we might otherwise not have access to, and to life-saving, up-to-date information. Let’s take a look at how apps have changed the world.
Shopping and Delivery Apps
There are delivery apps for practically everything these days: fast food, groceries, clothing, tech products, and furniture. Delivery and shopping apps make life very convenient for us. If we are too busy with work to go shopping for something, we can search for options and have the perfect thing delivered to our work during the day. If we get home late and there’s no time to make supper, we can order something delicious to eat from an app on our phones. If you crack an egg into a bowl only to find out they’re all spoiled, you can have more delivered from a grocery store. Instead of waiting in line at the store, you can have the newest phone or laptop sent to your home or work after signing up for the pre-order, of course!
Shopping and delivery apps save us time: no more waiting in long store queues with everyone else who has just left the office. When the weather outside is scary, they warn us to stay safe and warm at home. Shopping and delivery apps also offer a wide range of products to people who are unable to leave home or who live in remote locations where they would otherwise be unable to access the products they need.
This should go without saying because, over the last two years, we’re sure that everyone with a smartphone has really learned the value of the entertainment apps they use! Entertainment apps keep our minds busy with fun or educational games and exciting or inspiring content. They could be anything from games to blogs like Buzzfeed, where you can find everything from recipes and cute animal stories to personality quizzes and information about the entertainment world. Human beings need to consume content or experience things that are “just for fun”- it’s part of our mental and emotional makeup. Before phones, these games would take place physically: a newspaper crossword, a game of solitaire or scrabble with friends, and the content would come from physical magazines, papers, or books. Now, thanks to apps, we have all of this in one device that fits into the palms of our hands.
Apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter allow us to communicate with friends and family who might be anywhere in the world and to feel like we’re a part of their daily lives even if they aren’t physically in the same place as us. They also allow us to create and share art and pieces of our lives that we feel other people should see and experience. These social apps kept us connected through a time when being around other people was impossible and unsafe. They let us interact and develop social skills if we are homeschooled or live in a remote location, or even if we have social anxiety issues.
Some people might say that the development of work apps has allowed work far too much access to our personal lives. This may be the case in an unhealthy work environment, but in a healthy one, work apps can make your life a lot easier. They have allowed many of us to keep making a living from home while being in the office wasn’t safe. It also allows people to work from wherever they are if they need to, all you need is an internet connection. Apps like Asana allow you access to your work colleagues and to see what tasks you have coming up. Instead of working hard, we can now work smart, thanks to this new tech.
Apps have revolutionized the way we operate in all aspects of our world. Which do you use every day?