When Apple launched the App Store, I’ve got no doubt in my mind that Steve Jobs and the rest of the Apple crew just knew that apps were going to be the next big hit. Either that or they took a pretty big leap of faith, hands over their eyes and screaming loudly. However it went down, we know that the success of applications is now entirely relevant to a device’s, or more specifically a particular mobile operating system’s success. Without apps, a platform doesn’t have much of a chance to succeed. And that’s why I’m never surprised anymore to see people so engaged with their smartphones these days, no matter what they are doing. And it got me wondering: what’s your mobile application addiction?
I went out to dinner last night, and as I looked around the restaurant I saw the same thing I usually see: people on their cell phones. This is such a normal occurrence now that I don’t even think twice about it. Even when I see two people sitting close to another, I half expect to see a phone pop out at some point, just to give people something to talk about if and when the conversation runs dry. But tonight, I started to wonder just how many of them were actually using an application of some sort, or playing a game, or watching a video. And before I could stop myself, I realized that my phone was out, and I was getting ready to take part in another exhilarating game of Bejeweled LIVE (Windows Phone 7).
And just like that I realized that applications are a great, if not perfect way to pass the time, whether it’s a lot or a little. I watched as people used their phones to show off something; and I saw as an application of some sort was actually used to help a conversation along. There were probably a few videos shown here and there, as I heard plenty of laughs from people staring at their phones. There’s no way for me to know what all these people were doing, but I think it’s a safe assumption to believe an application had something to do with all that merriment.
And that’s where the question of the article comes in. What’s your app addiction? Do you have one, two, or more applications on your phone/platform of choice that you use more than any other? I know that it’s an obviously broad question, after all there’s an application for pretty much anything we could want or need, and depending on what you’re doing any one of those apps could come in handy. But, if you had to narrow it down, which apps do you use the most?
For me, I find myself playing games way more than anything else. Of course, I still check the social networking apps more often than I probably should, but nine times out of ten there’s usually a game on my smartphone’s screen. As I mentioned above, Bejeweled LIVE has a soft spot in my heart, but so do games like Infinity Blade (iOS), The Harvest (Windows Phone 7), and Fruit Ninja (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7). If I could do it and still be marginally successful in any one of these titles, I would be playing them all at the same time. I may not be necessarily addicted, but I’m certainly a fan, and if I have a few minutes to spare, I’m going to be playing one of these games.
When you find a new application or game, do you share it with your friends around the dinner table, or whenever you get the chance? And if you do find yourself playing games or using a certain application while you’re out with friends and family, do you think it’s getting in the way of your physical socialization with these people? If so, is that a bad thing? And don’t forget to tell me in the comments below which apps have your full attention, the ones that you probably use too often. Remember: acknowledgement is the first step.