Mobile phone apps are now a huge part of the world’s mobile market and have carved out a well established industry in their own right. The design, creation and distribution of apps is big business and everyone wants in on the monolithic app market. From individuals to small businesses and beyond, the concept of having an app associated to you is a very attractive option indeed. It opens up numerous prospects and potential, spreading your brand to a mass audience. But where did apps begin and what is their history?
It may surprise some, but apps have been around in one form or another since the relative birth of the mobile phone. Way back in the early 1980’s, one of the first Motorola products featured an application whereby you could look at your contacts. This is possibly the earliest example of how apps would later be used to redefine the mobile phone.
A few years later, when mobile phone technology began to allow for more practical improvements, the race for competition truly began. Games began appearing on phones for purely entertainment value. The idea that phones were only useful for communication was becoming less apparent.
The size of mobile phones began to shrink, as did their prices; all the while, their capabilities expanded. More mobile phone masts were put up across the country, meaning reception was greatly improved. The features and apps of phones were becoming more advanced by the year.
The emergence of the internet really changed everything. Before, phones may have had a calculator or notepad and a way of showing the date and time. The internet made developers see the future with added clarity. However, there was a need to ‘plug’ the phone into the worldwide web. Once that could be achieved, phones could have almost unlimited resources.
The problem was phones at this stage didn’t adapt well to the internet. The screens simply were not advanced enough to cope with online page. Everything had to be scaled down and saturated. Not only, did the phones themselves struggle to deal with this, but it cost the user extra to access.
WAP or Wireless Application Protocol started the revolution and paved the way for finding a solution this problem. It enabled the phone to operate online pages, albeit in a limited capacity. There needed to be further breakthroughs to push the boundaries of apps ever further. In 1994, the arrival of PDA improved the previous technology and allowed phones to be greater than ever before.
As trends for wallpapers and ringtones grew with mobile technology, as well as the memory to store music and photos, the possibility for apps also grew. Year on year, mobiles became more sophisticated and featured more variety in apps, including games. The rise of the touch screen smart phone, and Apple’s uniquely simple way of accessing the internet by way of apps has brought along the latest revolution. The use of app-stores has pushed the industry into the stratosphere and there is now no looking back.
Author: Ben Furr