New Years App!
by Amy Vale
Now that the holidays are finished, I have been reflecting on all that has happened this past year. If I had to name it, I’d call it “The Year of the App”, and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what were voted the best apps of 2011 to see what we can learn from them.
Time Magazine’s list is comprehensive, so I have chosen one from a few of the main categories. In the travel category, Kayak has been named as one of the top apps. One app covers a broad range of functions. It lets you compare flight, hotel and car rental deals, and even book a hotel through the app, track your flight status, view and manage your trip itinerary, look up baggage fees and even access airline numbers and airport information. The app has been getting mixed reviews but its success stems from the fact that it has brought together so many different aspects of travel planning and booking.
In the Lifestyle category, you cannot go past the Amazon app. It lets users connect to their account with the swipe of a finger, fill your shopping cart or track the status of recently placed orders. The app also allows you to scan any barcode to search for comparison prices, or snap photos of a product and quickly find it on the web.
We could not complete a 2011 list without Kindle. Remember when you could only access Kindle’s library through a kindle? With the introduction of the free Kindle app, you can buy and read any e-book available on Amazon.
My personal favourite is the Skype app. It uses your phone's data connection to make free calls to other Skype users over Wi-Fi networks or even simply a 3G connection. Together with low-cost international calling plans and built-in instant messaging you've got a brilliant all round communication app.
These four apps took the mobile world by storm because they transformed the way in which people used their mobile device, smartphone or iPad. They provide a service that is convenient, desirable and relevant. Whether it is accessing free e-books, making free calls, comparing a flight deal or booking a last minute hotel, these apps exemplify how people are now turning to their mobile devices for ease and convenience of everyday living. We would even go as far as to say that apps are taking over from other websites, and soon people will rely solely on their mobile apps for everything.