The rise in artificial intelligence (AI), especially generative AI, hints at the potential dawn of a post-app era. This new chapter could revolutionize how we interact with our devices, altering the way enterprises deliver their products and services. But how close are we to this reality, and what could it mean for the app-dominated landscape we live in today?
The dawn of the app era
When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, it only came pre-loaded with a small collection of Apple-created apps. There was no software development kit (SDK) for third parties to craft their apps, and an app store was nonexistent. However, the scenario took a dramatic turn in 2008 when the floodgates of app development were opened. From then onwards, millions of apps have been designed, not just for iPhones but also for Android devices.
AI paving the way for a post-app world
The recent surge in AI innovation, particularly generative AI, could be a harbinger of a post-app era. This could revolutionize the way we interact with our devices and how businesses deliver their products and services. Interestingly, our smartphones are already incorporating some features that don't necessitate traditional app interaction. For instance, you can now read and respond to pushed notifications without opening the corresponding app, and device security can be managed just by looking at your face.
Even though non-app capabilities, such as smartwatches, have gained remarkable popularity, apps still reign supreme as the primary interface between users and their mobile devices. This is corroborated by the fact that Americans spend 88 percent of their time on mobile devices using apps. The usage spans various genres like games, business functions, education, and lifestyle applications.
AI's potential to make apps redundant
Imagine a future where the need to locate an app is rendered obsolete by a simple voice command or better yet, your device understanding you so well that it anticipates and fulfills your needs. Suddenly, apps might seem redundant. With such intelligent devices, there would be no need to think about which app to use, locate and open it, learn how to use it, and then navigate through its many steps. Technology would then seamlessly blend into our lives, becoming largely unnoticeable.
This shift from an app-based paradigm to a software agent world would herald a sea of changes. It could prove disruptive to app developers and enterprises that rely heavily on apps, forcing them to rethink and reinvent their customer engagement strategies. But as with any significant change, there's a silver lining. This evolution could open up a world of opportunities and innovation.