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I dont get mobile apps


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#1 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:10 PM

I seem to be in a 'unusual' scenario, I say unusual because I have no real use for mobile apps. When I am out and away from my computer the last thing I want to do is play games or use some app simply because it seems quite pointless and doesn't make my life any easier, as it makes no sense to use 'apps' outside. I am going to remove games from this problem altogether as I don't even like games on desktops anymore and never even liked oldschool games like snake and stuff.

 

I don't use social networking simply because my life is very static and it would result in a lot of pointless posts over and over, either about what I eat or what the cat did. Even when I did use FB I NEVER wanted to use it outside work, FB was really that thing I would go on to pass time when I was bored at work, but I never did that on a phone.

 

I use my phone to call, send / check e-mails and my schedule, I use an actual camera to take pictures if I need to, phone cameras are quite terrible, before iPhones or whatever came out this was also the case and equally I had no purpose or desire for apps. I am usually good at putting myself in other peoples shoes, very good I would say but I cant seem to understand why mobile apps would be popular, the way I see it, I think of apps being good when travelling away from home, or useful when 'waiting' for something. I had a look at some apps that were popular and I have to say I didn't find any use to them, even things like maps were somewhat pointless to me as I have sat nav.

 

Sadly this is a large market (although as days go by I am starting to feel it is smaller than it seems) and I feel I am going to have to 'get' it. I feel I am not alone in this situation either, however my life is very commercial orientated and if I ever used an app to communicate instead of a call I would probably get laughed at.

 

I had a look at http://www.appstoreapps.com/most-popular-apps/ to see whats popular, so far I have looked in many lists and yet to come across even one app that remotely made me interested. Now I originally thought the problem was that I had a windows phone and not an iPhone or an Android, but assuming that site is sincere, I think it is safe to say I would feel like this regardless of device.

 

Ok so my questions are, am I alone in feeling like this and if so what am I not getting?

 

I should mention I do all my work and stuff on a desktop / workstation and when travelling abroad a laptop, simply because I need a big screen and a 'real' full keyboard.



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#2 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2219

Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:45 PM

Ok, so you've arbitrarily removed games, social media and cameras because you personally don't like them. You're entitled to your opinion of course, but are you seriously telling me you cannot understand how other people would use those kinds of apps?

 

I often play mobile games if I'm waiting for something (e.g. flight transits, etc). Social media? Obviously people like it and tbh, it makes more sense on a mobile device than on a desktop really. Cameras? Absolutely a DSLR is better than a phone if you're a photographer. But if you just want to take some snapshots of something, phone cameras are actually pretty decent these days (to the point where the compact point'n'shoot camera market is circling the drain). The best camera is the one you have with you.

 

But even forgetting all those categories (which are probably the largest)... there are plenty of useful apps out there.

 

Apps are just software tools. If a tool is useful, why not have it on you when you're not at home? You already use "apps" in that you use a mail app and a calendar app. Are you also saying you've never wanted to be able to access any other information while not at home? Movie times? Restaurant reviews? 

 

Now you can make an argument as to whether a particular software tool is better as a web page or a dedicated tool, but that's just arguing over the UI. 


if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#3 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3304

Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:53 PM

I don't use a ton of mobile apps/games, but i can see the point. it's nice to use pandora while working, rather than listening to the same song 20 times on any radio station. I don't use facebook to share things, more to keep in contact with people(far easier than email), rarely making a post more than once a month.

It's also incredibly handy to recieve/send emails on my phone, since i can get them whenever. being able to browse the internet while on the ride to/from work is also quite handy, reading articles, checking the forums, etc. I wish i could program on it, but it's not the same without a real keyboard(not sure about android, but on a jailbroken iphone, you could install gcc onto it, and compile/run stuff right there).

I have a few games i play to pass the time, but i don't activly search for new games. in affect, you can pretty much do anything on a smartphone that you could do on a desktop/laptop, your just forgoing a mouse/keyboard for touch input. this has it's own bags of problems, but nothing that can't allow you to work around it.

edit: also, many current phone cameras are quite comparable to an average camera, my phone takes quite impressive pictures.

Edited by slicer4ever, 18 November 2013 - 04:54 PM.

Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#4 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 19624

Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:57 PM

Mobile devices have always been roughly 10 years behind desktop devices. This was true even back in the late 90's. Just about anything that was commonly done back in 2004 can be done on a mobile device today.

 

What do you do on your computer?  You don't play games (desktop or mobile), you don't use social networking. You do surf the web, and you use business apps.

 

You don't play games, so that's a huge block of things gone. You don't have a social network, so no need for apps or texting or email. You don't watch videos, so no need for entertainment software.

 

You talk about having a nav system in your car so you don't want to use mobile devices.  When was the last time your maps were updated? Map apps are continually updated so you won't need to worry about getting lost in that new subdivision. Also mobile maps frequently include real-time traffic information and will reroute around congestion. Some cities like the Bay area's 511 Traffic even reroutes you for predicted slowdowns, not just the ones currently in progress. 

 

There is mobile commerce (see something, scan it, either get coupons or get the best prices online), mobile payment (swipe your phone instead of a card), and location-based services like FourSquare and Latitude.

 

You mentioned photography, do you have a model release form? There are apps for that.

 

As far as your laptop goes, I'm guessing my Transformer tablet with a 10" screen, keyboard, laptop-style touchpad with a 3-button bar, that measures a half inch thick is probably considerably smaller and lighter than your laptop. I use it for more than the things listed above.  I can VPN and run remote desktop, and my list of Windows remote desktop machines currently has 15 machines. I can also run it as an X server if I want to connect to Linux or *nix based machines. So the few things it doesn't do native I can connect to a desktop and run remote.

 

 

The whole concept of computing has changed over the last decade.

 

In the past, computing was something you did externally.  You went to a computer and did some work.  You went to a game console and played games. Technology was parallel with our lives.

 

Today computing augments whatever you are doing. When you travel you can augment it with maps and traffic reports. When you communicate you can augment it with instant turnaround. When you are bored you can entertain yourself. The technology is intertwined with life.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#5 Aspirer   Members   -  Reputation: 544

Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:38 PM

I despise Facebook--think it's one of the worst creations in human history--practically does nothing but breed negativity, unnecessary drama, and people becoming tougher than 9 gods via internet.   

That said, I use it excessively to pass free-time that would be better spent elsewhere because the other 9 billion people in the world are so infatuated with it that it's nearly the only way to communicate with them...

 

I don't use many mobile apps because very few of them I find useful. 

--The Weather Channel app, I check every morning, used to check periodically during my time working in construction, and use to determine whether I want to hunt and/or which tree stand to use.

--Mobile Banking app to manage both my accounts.

--Spotify because I like music, and think it's better than Pandora.

 

I've also got 4 mobile games.

--Minecraft (For my sons)

--Survivalcraft (A much more realistic-survivalist version that I personally enjoy playing.

--Block Fortress(A hybrid between Minecraft/Tower Defense/FPS that I haven't played in months, but always say I'm going to)

--Goofy Cubes(To test for a fellow GameDev member.)

 

 

 

Now, with that said, I would play more mobile games, I just don't think many are worth the time/money. I'm not much of a casual gamer, I like in-depth games that I can play for hours if I choose to--RTS, RPG, FPS, Free-roam, etc..  These are much more enjoyable on a non-mobile medium.  (Plus with my little 5GB iPhone4, not a lot of the games I'd like to play will run or fit without having to worry about space management. lol



#6 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28421

Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:43 PM

Even when in the car, I often use my phone to find something over the sat-nav -- I can use google to find a business' address, and open it in maps straight away (or then copy it into the sat-nav).

I like to watch the pro Starcraft leagues (insert your own fav sport here), so I use an app to pre-download them while on the home WiFi, and then listen to them while walking or on the train.

When I need to catch a train, it's much easier to pull out my phone and make 3 taps to see the next departure time, rather than going into my office, loading up their website, typing in my address/the station, etc... (especially if I'm not at home).

Sure, dedicated tools like DSLRs and alarm clocks are great to have, but its still handy to have an inferior pocket version, especially if it's integrated into something you're already carrying anyway.
If you stay somewhere without a clock, or see something worh capturing, you've got that tool. Same with the GPS - I don't carry a sat-nav with me daily, but in almost any situation I've now got a GPS in my pocket (insert NSA joke here...), or calculator, or calendar.

I don't use too many other apps though. Occasionally when I'm out somewhere I'll load up urbanspoon to find a good restaurant, or if I want to know if I've been paid yet I'll use my bank's app. I scanned a QR-code once ;)

I guess your mileage will depend on how much time you spend outside of your office, your home and your car...

#7 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4633

Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:45 PM

Woah, someone actually using a telephone to do phone calls...you're a dinosaur. Welcome to my world.



#8 Memories are Better   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 769

Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:09 PM

Hmm I am starting to get the idea that I am either living a very boring life or just use to living life before the mobile app wars began, with me my decisions for leaving the house are made at home and I guess I have just come late to the mobile world, I mean I have been without a mobile for almost 6 years and despite being in A LOT of messy situations I managed to survive without a phone altogether, even sometimes without a car.

 

I think the problem I am faced with, if I cant picture myself using apps or playing I cant physically work on a app and I feel this is something I am going to have to take advantage of for the obvious reasons. For me it is very important to understand not what people use but why and when, I guess I am just unsure on the market. Eitherway based on comments here, would you say games is really where the app market is more saturated? and are we talking more 'simple' games, like I dunno bejewelled or tetris or something? Things to pass time with rather than 'master'?



#9 Aspirer   Members   -  Reputation: 544

Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:24 PM

 I often use my phone to find something over the sat-nav

I like to watch the pro Starcraft leagues

When I need to catch a train,

Sure, dedicated tools like DSLRs and alarm clocks are great to have, but its still handy to have an inferior pocket version, especially if it's integrated into something you're already carrying anyway.
 

I scanned a QR-code once ;)

1) I do use the Map, and some default tools that come on my phone, I didn't include those (camera, light, alarm)

2) I would rather just watch my favorite sport, lol

3) I don't use public transportation, so this doesn't paply.

4) I agree.

5) So did I!  Literally like one time...

 

Woah, someone actually using a telephone to do phone calls...you're a dinosaur. Welcome to my world.

 

I completely agree... I swear to God, they could make the iPhone6 without a "Phone" function, and 90% of the world wouldn't figure it out (and probably 50-66% of those wouldn't grasp the fact that it's no longer a "phone")...  Until one of the other 10% made a Facebook post about it, then everyone would take to Facebook in order to complain and bitch together in one big rally.

 

would you say games is really where the app market is more saturated? and are we talking more 'simple' games, like I dunno bejewelled or tetris or something? Things to pass time with rather than 'master'?

 

Absolutely the biggest concentration of app store applications are games.  And yes, "simple" (aka, "casual") games are the huge market here.  Most people don't want to stare at a 5" screen for hours on end.  They want a game (like people have said above) that they can play while waiting in the airport or in the check-out aisle then put it away for later.  Candy Crush is the hugest example of this.  Then you've got a lot of "trading card" style games or what-have-you where you click a button to do a mission, and the game randomly generates whether you passed/failed and/or got your items.  Each mission takes stamina away at increasing amounts, then you have to wait for hours while it regenerates.

 

Like I said, casual games, just to pass spare moments.  (Unless you hit the Candy Crush jackpot and the world becomes so infatuated they start churches dedicated to you.)



#10 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2219

Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:38 PM


I completely agree... I swear to God, they could make the iPhone6 without a "Phone" function, and 90% of the world wouldn't figure it out (and probably 50-66% of those wouldn't grasp the fact that it's no longer a "phone")...  Until one of the other 10% made a Facebook post about it, then everyone would take to Facebook in order to complain and bitch together in one big rally.

 

Meh, my "phone" is actually a pocket computer. Phone calls, SMS, voicemail? All just apps. Could easily be replaced with skype/viber/whatsapp/whatever.

 


I guess I have just come late to the mobile world, I mean I have been without a mobile for almost 6 years and despite being in A LOT of messy situations I managed to survive without a phone altogether, even sometimes without a car.

 

Congratulations on making your life unnecessarily harder! :D


if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#11 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1936

Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:39 PM

My wife and I went on vacation a couple years ago and we stopped some guy on the street and asked for directions. He pulls out his phone and shows us a map that indicated where we were, where the nearest bus stops were, what buses stopped there, and had links to show where they' were going, and when they arrive. At that moment I knew I had to have one of these things. I believe the words I said to my wife were, "greatest invention ever!" Before that moment I had intended to avoid getting a so called smartphone for as long as possible.

I've since spent several hours playing games on my phone while waiting for stuff. I can't quite get myself to actually buy a full version of anything yet though. I find I want the games I play on my phone to be pick up / put down / continue later at a moments notice. I doubt I'll be picking up any sort of RPGs to play on my phone.

Email notifications are nice but I don't use my phone to update facebook and I am not interested in receiving a continuous stream of updates from "friends" on my phone either.

I will occasionally write down notes about stuff that I suspect I'll need later like gift ideas, measurements for stuff at home, prices of groceries so I can compare later.

For awhile I thought geocaching was pretty cool but never kept up with it.

I prefer taking pictures with our little digital camera but we don't always keep it with us.

The whole point is that in all likelihood, you will always have your cell phone with you. You always have a way to take note of things around you or thoughts that you might want to recall later. And when 'later' happens, you actually have that info with you instead of having left it somewhere else not realizing that you would need it.. As you do this more and more you might want better and better ways of organizing and sharing everything. The organization and sharing of things is in general the point (theoretically) of apps.



#12 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4661

Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:49 PM

Aside from playing killer sudokus on my phone when I'm waiting for something, I use it for several mundane things - it is a great place to keep a shopping list, rather than on paper, and that is helped by a good keyboard app.  If you have inspirations or other ideas you want to remember you can jot those into your phone too.  It's also handy if I half-remember what I wanted and can use those vague search terms to google up a more specific answer.  I don't need a watch, which I've always disliked wearing, because my phone knows what time it is.  It's not any worse than the older-model digital camera I have; actually it has a major advantage of having a better battery life, so it doesn't die after an hour of playing tourist, plus it's smaller and fits in my pocket better.  It is handy in the middle of a conversation when I want to show my conversation partner a picture of an object they aren't familiar with (google image search), or play for them a song they don't know (youtube).  When I'm in the navigator's seat on a long car trip I'm often asked to use google maps on the phone to find the nearest restaurant or gas station, or make sure we aren't going the wrong direction.  A phone can function as a music player; my brother watches videos on his all the time, though I'm not a huge fan of trying to watch that kind of thing on such a small screen.  Perhaps the most interesting use I've seen for phones so far is allowing people to grind for money or resources in an MMO or pokemon-type game while they aren't at a computer buff enough to play the actual game.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#13 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8208

Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:18 AM

I don't even own a smart phone. Call me a Luddite, I guess.



#14 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1506

Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:48 AM

I thought about the idea of what we call "apps" before it even became as popular as it is. I used to download random software I called "single task programs." I don't need all of photoshop, just something that crops pictures etc. 
 
I have about 90% utility apps between my ipad and ipod touch (no iphone) and some of them have come in very handy in several emergencies. In fact, without them, I probably would have had no way of dealing with those issues (serious emergencies). Imagine you are stranded without a cellphone. You'd be thinking in terms of "how long is a day's journey?'"
 
You can get an email, or you can hire a courier. It is all about convenience
 
I will list my most useful apps (all of them are useful) You can look them up:
 
File Management
Dropbox (cloud document storage)
Documents by Readdle (store documents)
Splashtop (link ipad to computer)
Wi-Drive (portable wireless hardrive)
 
Writing
Editorial
Pages, Keynote, Numbers
 
Reference
Flipboard (digital newspaper)
Wiki Offline (offline encyclopedia)
Meriam Webster's Dictionary
White Pages
iTriage (medical reference)
MapsWithMe (offline map)

 

Uitlity

UPS
Dewalt (measuring)
Livestrong (dieting)
Resume HD

Kayak (booking flights)
 
Art
Snapseed (photo editing)
B2M App (create normal maps from photos)
Inkpad (vector illustration)
 
Programming
Codea (programming in lua)
Pythonista (programming in python)

Game Press (make 2d game on ipad)

 

Music

Garageband (music studio)

Vocalive (high quality voice recording)

Audiobus (link music apps)

Figure (music stuido)

Multitrack Daw (track editing for music)

VideoGrade (video editor)

 

The list goes on. But basically, I can do everything from transfer money between accounts, to checking latest news headlines both in this country and across the world, to saying hello to a long lost relative, from one device. It is just about convenience. 

 

Of course, before I had all of this, I remember I did things the long and hard way. And quite honestly, I prefer simplicity. But apps like ITriage and White Pages have been a major help to me in the past. I could name others. 

 

It is hard to find actual useful apps, But I have a collection of the Best I think. 


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 19 November 2013 - 12:49 AM.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#15 Felix Ungman   Members   -  Reputation: 944

Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:01 AM


Ok so my questions are, am I alone in feeling like this and if so what am I not getting?

 

No, I had a coworker with the same feeling. He asked me, "what do you use you iPad for?". I couldn't really give an answer. I know I use it all the time, what do I use it for? What don't I use it for? I still don't have an answer...


Edited by Felix Ungman, 19 November 2013 - 02:01 AM.

openwar  - the real-time tactical war-game platform


#16 TheComet   Members   -  Reputation: 1447

Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:29 AM

I completely agree... I swear to God, they could make the iPhone6 without a "Phone" function, and 90% of the world wouldn't figure it out (and probably 50-66% of those wouldn't grasp the fact that it's no longer a "phone")...  Until one of the other 10% made a Facebook post about it, then everyone would take to Facebook in order to complain and bitch together in one big rally.

 

I recently saw one of the dumbest posts on tumblr. I can't find it anymore, but this is basically what this person said:

 

 

 

wouldnt it be cool if there was a way to like get my iphone to record sounds so i can talk into it and the person on the other end could hear it and then could instantly talk back at his iphone so i could hear what he says so we dont waste time with typing

 

Didn't Einstein say something along the lines of:

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”


Edited by TheComet, 19 November 2013 - 04:30 AM.

YOUR_OPINION >/dev/null


#17 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4633

Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:59 AM

Did you ever accidentially say "excuse me, am I boring you!" to someone you were out on dinner with while they were updating their social media stuff?

 

Oh the good old times when a mobile phone subscription was a comfortable three-digit bill (though I think nowadays a lot of people have 3 digits on their bill anyway), when cell phones were the size of a beer bottle, and when they didn't do internet anyway.



#18 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5952

Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:59 AM

 

I completely agree... I swear to God, they could make the iPhone6 without a "Phone" function, and 90% of the world wouldn't figure it out (and probably 50-66% of those wouldn't grasp the fact that it's no longer a "phone")...  Until one of the other 10% made a Facebook post about it, then everyone would take to Facebook in order to complain and bitch together in one big rally.

 

I recently saw one of the dumbest posts on tumblr. I can't find it anymore, but this is basically what this person said:

 

 

 

wouldnt it be cool if there was a way to like get my iphone to record sounds so i can talk into it and the person on the other end could hear it and then could instantly talk back at his iphone so i could hear what he says so we dont waste time with typing

 

Didn't Einstein say something along the lines of:

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

 

 

If we want to be nice we could assume that he meant, without making a phone call (Which can be quite expensive, especially if you have friends in other countries). VOIP apps are pretty much one of the killer features on modern smartphones. (as long as your carrier doesnt' block voip traffic)


I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#19 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6840

Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:03 AM

>Why oh why would you register an account here? This is gamedev.net...



#20 TheComet   Members   -  Reputation: 1447

Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:28 AM

>Why oh why would you register an account here? This is gamedev.net...

 

Because there are funny pictures and things there... The real reason is because it's a tool to help keep me motivated with game development, as I can post updates and things to my blog for people to see, and to reflect to myself how much progress I've made over time.

 

-----------------------------

 

In response to OP, I'm quite the same with my phone. I still have an old Nokia phone (the ones where if you drop it you have to buy yourself a new floor, and not the other way around). I don't need the luxury of internet, apps, gps, and the like because my laptop already does all of that.

 

I also can't understand how people can claim mobile devices are the "new gaming platform". Apps, or "games" on mobile devices are nothing more than a time filler for train trips between your house and work. They are little toys to help prevent people from dying of boredom. They cannot indulge a person into the immerse surround sound, beautiful high definition graphics and intense story driven entertainment a computer game can deliver.

 

The mobile app market is still very small compared to the desktop market: http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/

 

I too am not such a big fan of social networking. I do have a tumblr blog, but there's not a lot of socializing going on to be honest.


YOUR_OPINION >/dev/null





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