An app for everything

I don’t want an app for every thing – I want an app for everything

A lot of times the go to solution for innovating is creating a mobile app. The reasoning goes something like this (very simplified):

– We need to build a great digital experience to make things more convenient for our customers and give us more business/customers/loyalty.

This is usually a good first thought. Then follows this next logical step:

– To build the best possible experience we should build it as an app that is always in the pockets of our best and most connected customers. Enabling and empowering their jobs to be done.

This could be the correct thinking… but… what if every company thought that this was their way of innovating? Is it really reasonable that every restaurant creates it’s own ordering app? Do you wan’t to shop clothes by downloading and switching between ten different shopping apps? Should every tourist destination have it’s own app that you use just once?

I think if you do something very seldom you don’t want to download an app for it.

And you don’t wan’t to learn a new app every time you wan’t to do something new using your phone.

That is why the huge, global “winner takes it all” apps are succeeding. Like Uber for taking a cab anywhere in the world, Amazon for shopping everything and Tinder for dating.

The problem with those are that they have become the McDonalds of apps. Bland, global experiences that works well and do their jobs but are frankly a bit boring and can never cater to niche verticals and local varieties in a good way.

So… then we are back to downloading more apps. But I think people are getting app fatigue. I don’t want more apps, I frankly don’t like spending time finding and downloading apps. I just want to get things done.

Apps was a great way of customizing the smart phone experience when the iPhone launched but now the user experience of a million apps isn’t that great any more.

I don’t want an app for every thing. I want an app for everything.

Which is how I think a true smart phone should work.

I shouldn’t have to care about what app to use or find and download them. The phone should understand my needs and serve me the right experience at the right time. That’s how I would like things to work.

Apple is going in that direction with their App suggestion widget and also with App Clips that let’s you use features of an app without downloading it.

But I think the true one app for everything will take time and the foundation will need to be an AI much more intelligent than todays Siri, Alexa and Google that can serve you the functionality and user experience you want.

Then maybe we can stop staring so much at our screens and just get things done when and were we need to.