It seems like I'm becoming more of an app guy lately. It was an interesting realization for me as it's surprising that I've been in mobile for 10 years, but just now seem to be getting into apps.
Of course, spending some time thinking about it, it's not surprising.
My entry into mobile was through BlackBerry; I was a Technical Manager, Applications – meaning that I helped customers understand how they could build apps for the BlackBerry platform. I was a developer supporting developers and, at the time, not much was available for consumers, it was all enterprise apps. Since enterprise required having access to back-end enterprise data, and I didn't use any enterprise apps at the time, not much was available to me.
Next I headed over to BoxTone (now part of Good Technologies) and was focusing on BlackBerry server performance and BlackBerry device performance. Not many apps for me to rely upon. That and I was a BlackBerry guy as the world abandoned BlackBerry, so even less interest in apps.
At AT&T, I was part of a sales team selling mobile application platforms. These were Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP) and Mobile Consumer Application Platforms (MCAP) which was all eventually renamed to Mobile Application Development Platforms (MADP). In my focus on platforms, I knew how to build apps for the Antenna, Pyxis (now Verivo) and Kony platforms, but was so busy with development stuff, that I really didn't use a lot of apps. That and working for a carrier, I was constantly switching phones; switching between BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Windows phones – there was really no way for me to use a big app catalog with my device in flux.
At this point, I started using and writing about Apache Cordova and Adobe PhoneGap and therefore had a ton of sample hybrid apps on my devices, but none of them helped me much in my day to day activities.
Next was SAP and I was fortunate enough to be a product manager for part of a mobile development SDK and again focused on helping enterprises build their mobile apps. For a while, I stayed on BlackBerry, but eventually switched to Android. I started using more and more Android apps, but ultimately I stopped traveling so had less need for apps as I moved around.
During my transition from SAP, I started having trouble with my Android phone, so I activated a Windows Phone device that Microsoft was kind enough to give me as I worked on my last book. I struggled a bit with the device since some of the apps I found to be critical (like the Sonos app and the Amazon Echo app) weren't available on Windows Phone. Time to switch back to Android.
I'm getting ready to make a BIG career change and because the company I'll be working with supports a bring your own device (BYOD) environment, I had to buy my very first smartphone (the first one I ever paid for) and my second iPad. I've been reading some books lately on mobile apps and I started researching more apps and loading them on my device. I think the quality and quantity of apps available to consumers is great. I think the separate app for each activity or relationship is a flawed approach, but I'm enjoying getting all of these apps and making them a part of my daily routine.
Already, I'm finding myself spending more and more time with the following apps:
- Sonos: controlling the music that surrounds me
- Pandora: when I want to listen to music when I only have my tablet or smartphone near
- Zinio: Unfortunately, a few of the publications I read are ONLY available in electronic format; I HATE that.
- Flipboard: I LOVE flipboard, that's how I get all my news now
- Banking and Credit card apps: direct deposit is way overdue.
- Google Drive and apps
I used to hate the zinio app, but it's gotten better although it's still flawed in a great many ways, at least it works most of the time (which is an improvement).
There's a bunch more, but you see my point. So many aspects of my day are enhanced through the information provided by these apps. Notice that I'm not playing games – too much other stuff to do.