When I think about the future of mobile apps, I tend to think about the things that I find inherently exciting. I imagine having a library of incredibly mobile games on my smartphone, for instance. I imagine someone finding a way to top Summly and deliver the new Best Newsreader App Of All Time. I imagine a top notch Twitter client that leaves all of the others in the dust. You see, when I think about what apps will be able to do in the future, I have a fairly narrow view of what’s possible — I selfishly daydream about apps that will benefit me and only me.
By doing this, I find myself ignoring the obvious: as more and more people gain access to mobile devices and smartphones, apps are going to become more and more important to people who have different priorities than me. The coming years won’t just bring apps that will make me happy and allow me to kill some time, they’ll bring apps that will simply dull tasks and make the world a faster, easier and more efficient place in ways beyond finding a cool new restaurant.
I thought about this after stumbling across this video of a teacher showing off a simple app that he designed himself. Sitting in his living room and shot by someone who isn’t too handy with a camera, the man presents a daily problem that plagues his day to day existence, grading papers, and presents his solution: his app! He shows how he had his students record their most recent test on a scantron-esque form with a QR code in the corner and he uses his smartphone camera to “read” the test results and grade each test in about second. The app compiles all of the scores, sends them his personal records and keeps track of the various trends that arise with each batch of papers. Watch the video for yourself right here:
Truthfully, great homemade apps are extremely rare (most of your favorite apps probably cost a couple hundred thousand dollars to make), but let’s not dwell on that (although that’s a topic for another day). What is important about this video is that this guy saw something that was irksome about his job and now he has an app that makes his job easier. It’s hard to imagine tech fans all over the world getting excited by a utility app that assists teachers, but certainly every teacher out there will see this and get interested. Imagine if someone made an app that helped farmer’s track their daily work or an app that helped retail managers monitor their stock straight from their iPad. Once again, you may not be too excited by the prospect of these apps, but they have an audience of people who would be excited to use them professionally.
That’s where apps are going, ladies and gentlemen. There will always be games. There will always be social media. But eventually, there will be apps for every job. The app industry will no longer be even remotely niche — it’ll be built into the fabric of every industry.
(Do you have a great app idea? Rocksauce Studios wants to help you make it!)