As we come to the end of 2008 we bring your our appÂ predictionsÂ for 2009. So may take a little longer but nevertheless a good overview of things to come in the app world in 2009. As it’s also the last day of 2008 today we wish you a wonderful day, great fun tonight and lots more of all wonderful and ‘appy in the new 2009!
Location Based Services go Mainstream
Web is becoming increasingly location aware. Services like twitter and flickr have made this ever so increasingly important. A number of services like Dopplr and Brightkite are built on location services and their integration with other popular platforms such as Facebook will see greatÂ growthÂ in the sphere of geographical location importance. We would not be surprised to see Facebook develop it’s on location service, providing it’s users an up to date information of where their friends are. This may also be integrated into ever so needed update to Facebook iPhone app.
These location based services may Â also begin to change how we relate to content on the web. Instead of being served content regardless of where you are, theÂ contentÂ will be more tailored to your location. Ability to find out what’s happening in your area, where your friends are and if you can meet up with them, will greatly grow in popularity. This will raise the sense of physical relationships to content with web becomingÂ increasinglyÂ local rather than www, ie world wide web.Â
Desktop Applications – Features become Services
We will see an increasing trend in desktop applications incorporating web services. Whether this be for the reasons of multi-platform support or to cloud based storage of data. Evernote is a prime example of this but also recent release ofÂ LittleSnapper (Screen capturingÂ utilityÂ for Mac) showing that the social factor of content production can provide added value to dektop applications.Â We willÂ increasinglyÂ see term “features’ change into “services” where desktop applications provideÂ simultaneousÂ web service of the features their desktop apps offer. This is especially going to be the case for those developers wanting to expand to mobile platforms like the iPhone, offering a purchase price Apps for free web apps and desktop applications.Â
At the same time, we are seeing an increasing number of developers creating desktop applications to service webapps, EventBox being one of them, expanding popularity of web services such as Google Reader, Facebook and Twitter and bringing them to the desktop.Â It’s a vice versa scenario where online web services are becoming more integrated with desktop applications.Â
WebApps – MassiveÂ GrowthÂ of Mashups
We will see a continuing increase in webapps that are built on existing social network platforms. Twitter being a great example, there is a massive number of apps both for desktop and web that utilise Twitter API to produce a more enjoyable experience for the platform. We will also see a growing number of webapps that plug into a number of services. FriendFeed being an example, primaryÂ functionalityÂ will be development of new social networks on top of existing ones providing expanded set of features and more online and desktop app integration. This will also drive development of APIs for new web apps as much as the apps themselves. How open the platform is will decide the success of it.
iPhone as a platform continues to grow at incredible speed.Â RumoursÂ of iPhone nano (unlikely), if they turnout to be true, will expand ability of iPhone platform to expand on devices that may appeal to larger audience. Colours, different sizes and variation in price will attract new users. iPhoneÂ will notÂ increase in size or become a tablet. It will remain the same and possibly reduce in size. The current applications have been designed for current iPhone screen. Increasing screen size will require that most of developers totally redesign their apps which is not something, we believe, Apple would do. The popularity of the device and sheer amount of app downloads have proven that iPhone’s current size is right.Â
What we may see is greater support for peripherals, improved camera and SDK support for video and images, more bluetooth and external monitorÂ support.
Apple will not introduce copy and pasteÂ but a new method of capturing content that is available in all apps. If pasteboard was a service that captures content Â available to any any app, you couldÂ selectivelyÂ browse content from other previously ran apps and choose what to include in your message or app. Similar to the way mailing currently works. From any app you are able to click a button and load send this by mail which loads only a new message and leaves you on the app screen you were previously. No interruption. Current concepts of copy and paste for the iPhone are tooÂ cumbersomeÂ and do not allow for transfer of mediaÂ richÂ content from one app to another.Â
Apple introduces push notification service for apps, most probably as early as January SF MacWorld.Â
AppStore Spring Clean
With 10,000 apps in the store, ways to find the app you want is become increasingly difficult. Apple will introduce a new way of filtering which apps are put forward and those that duplicateÂ functionality’sÂ of Â existing apps. Trillion Christmas Apps, 50+ Farting Apps are cluttering the AppStore offering. Users are becoming increasinglyÂ frustrated, purchasing app that are either badly designed or Â do not offer value for money.Â Fierce priceÂ competition between the apps willÂ continuouslyÂ drive the apps price down, many going free after realising thatÂ competitorsÂ offer better value for money. This will open opportunities for more feature rich and creative apps that may not draw income from the app price only but also sponsorship/advertising/desktop app subscription (Evernote, rtm). Many developers already see the massive differences in downloads of their Lite versions to those that may cost as little as $0.99. With so many apps in the AppStore, selling apps atÂ $0.99 will become increasingly more difficult. We hope that this will also pay the way for more creative apps, commissioned or funded by artÂ organisations. The same applies to Apps that will be created for charity donations, changing the nature of app price being an earning into a cause collection. Developers willÂ increasinglyÂ become creative how to generate revenue through other sources and not just the AppStore.
Icons used in images: Liquidicity