The App World in Flux

Understand The Fundamental Shift Going On Right Now … Before You Build

Insight  ⇒  The App World is In the Unbundling Era … On Its Way to the Stealth Generation


revised app gens


Insight  ⇒ Gen 1 … The iPhone/App Store Eco-system

gen 1

  • Allowed users a wide variety of simple functionality
    • Messaging, calculator, calendar, music etc.


Insight  ⇒ Gen 2 … Everyone Vying to Own the Home Screen

gen 2

  • Cramming multi-functionality into every app to increase usage and screen position
    • Facebook – Chat/messaging, photo, video, music, check-ins
    • Foursquare – Chat, proximity, connection, review, check-ins


Insight  ⇒ Gen 3 … Unbundling: The Rise of the Best-of-breed

gen 3

  • User experience is the key to usage and sharing … the UI must be simple and functional for critical app adoption
    • Apps have gotten bloated to the point that many features fail to gain usage
    • Users are moving to simpler, single use apps
  • Everyone is using everything … single function apps are taking over much like desktop portals (AOL, Yahoo) giving way to single sites in the 90’s
  • Developers are simplifying to deliver a better user experience by unbundling functionalities … faster and easier UI gains adoption
    • Facebook is unbundling ➟ Messenger, Slingshot, Groups, Events, Paper, etc.
    • Foursquare is unbundling ➟ Swarm, Foursquare
  • Developers are now focusing on developing to users needs
    • Given shorter time spans, apps are focused on moving users to a simple workflow to facilitate an experience seamlessly and without friction


Insight  ⇒ Gen 4 … Apps Move Into the Background

gen 4

  • Apps begin to act as service layers and function efficiently behind the scenes
    • Contextually aware apps that notify-on-demand
    • Shopping apps that notify about deals on only the items you want
    • Social apps that notify on only the posts you want to read
    • Proximity apps that show what friends are around you, but notifies them only when you want them to know
  • Apps that work in the background, on customized settings, notifying when the correct moment arrives … to use the app
  • A fundamental shift, over time, away from home screen dominance to a more efficient system of single use apps, working contextually and on-demand … all in the background



Do This  ⇒  Think Unbundling Now … Stealth Soon

  • Simple, single use apps are where users are taking the app world .. do not disregard this trend!
  • Work toward designing intuitive apps that rely on all the sensors available in both the iPhone and the Android devices


Not That  ⇒  Stop Cramming Functionality to Get a Home Screen Position

  • The Portal / Swiss Army approach is quickly fading  … consumers  find it cumbersome and unusable


Sources: Mathew Panzarino; TechCrunch / Mary Meeker; KPBC


Zig is a Social/Mobile/Video consultancy that drives brand engagement by creating interactive user experiences.  We programmatically reach in-market buyers at the lowest cost and move them to conversion.  You can see our work by clicking on the link ⇒


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