What’s “App”-ning right now?

Fri, 2015-12-18 12:30 -- SCC India Staff

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India is the 3rd largest smartphone market in the world and is estimated to reach 314 million mobile internet users by 2017. Mobile Applications along with their versatility have certainly become solutions of prime importance.

The term "app" is a shortening of the term "application software". It had become very popular, and was listed as "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society in 2010. Usage of mobile apps has become increasingly prevalent across mobile phone users in 2015. Technology columnist David Pogue said that newer smartphones could be nicknamed "app phones" to distinguish them from earlier less-sophisticated smartphones. Mobile application development requires use of specialized integrated development environments.  Overall, mobile user interface (UI) design's goal is primarily for an understandable, user-friendly interface. Mobile UIs, or front-ends, rely on mobile back-ends to support access to enterprise systems. The mobile back-end facilitates data routing, security, authentication, authorization, working off-line, and service orchestration. This functionality is supported by a mix of middleware components including mobile app servers, Mobile Backend as a service(MBaaS), and SOA infrastructure. Though all this is fairly technical, it is in the simplification of these information tiers lies the user-friendly approach of these Apps.

India is going through a mobile revolution with smartphones now outnumbering PCs and desktops and is set to reach 314 million mobile Internet users by 2017. Indian smartphone users spend on average 169 minutes per day on their device, fiddling with their apps. Though there is a range of applications available to suit an individual’s personality, we have tried to delved into applications which have a city-wide impact. To start with, we focus on applications that make a “smart-home”. Our home is the centre of our lives. There are applications which make it more thoughtful, convenient and safer. Security applications as seemingly simple as burglar alarms to major ones that monitor different utilities inside the house and maintaining 24x7 surveillance, they all make life a lot safer. The direct feed for which is relayed down to our smart phone screen. An app called SafetiPin provides night-time GIS data and tools for safer and inclusive cities. SafetiPin collects night-time data through camera phones mounted in cars, and then codifies them to represent a number of parameters. This data is available in multiple forms including maps, reports, csv files, to take important urban planning and monitoring decisions, including deployment of limited resources for lighting, security, CCTVs, public transport at night. SafetiPin training programs also cover safety principles outside the workplace, and additionally provides tools (through its app) to help employees stay safe. Addressing sexual harassment and promoting women safety, is an important agenda for most leading organizations today. These social causes get a free helping hand with smart Apps like these. Infact, in india, Mumbai has more smart city app downloads than New York. Not only safety-security but also for hassle free transit & fast reliant commuting, there are innumerable apps depending on the mode of transport one opts for. The local trains, which are life line of Mumbai come handy with an app called “m-indicator”. It’s extensively useful for your personalised travel itinerary to & from anywhere. And like Mumbai every other city might and should have its own app, developed for its city wide integration and application. Of course there is much more to a smart city than apps. In fact, apps indicate more about the smartness of its citizens, than the city itself.

While smartphones are shifting the paradigm for consumer media usage in mature markets, cheaper handsets are creating opportunities in emerging markets where many users of smart devices had no access to the internet. This is certainly a game changer, as mobile applications, finding their rural user base – information passage & access – has a whole different meaning for community progress and upkeep.

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