App keyboard graphic

There’s An App For That

February 14, 2013

When you hear the term “app”, you might be inclined to think about the iPhone, as Apple popularized the term when it introduced the App Store for the iPhone back in 2008. No one could have predicted how quickly apps would gain popularity since then. The App Store launched 500 apps and expanded to over 50,000 apps within one year.

As of today, there are over one million apps available, and the App Store hit 35 billion downloads this past October. The numbers for Android apps are equally impressive. Google Play hosts over 675,000 apps and it reached 25 billion downloads in September of this year.

Needless to say, we love apps. There’s an app for almost anything imaginable, and developers continue to create new apps on a daily basis for a variety of devices. Apps are not just designed for our phones and tablets; they are also customized for TVs, dvd players, video game consoles, cars, etc. Whether we use them for entertainment purposes or as business and productivity tools, there is no doubt that they have become an integral part of our daily lives.

As designers and developers, we at McDill have always been intrigued by app development. It creates an interesting design and programming challenge, since the user experience varies greatly depending on the device, and the technology is constantly changing and improving.

App Types

Touch screens add a new level of interaction, which has to be carefully considered in the design process to ensure a positive user experience. We also have to evaluate and determine which technology would serve the purpose of the app better — native, web, hybrid, html5, etc — as each technology can offer specific advantages in how the app performs and is distributed.

The most important aspect of an app is its functionality. At McDill, we love brainstorming app ideas with our clients. This technology allows us to accomplish things that traditional websites or PowerPoint presentations simply can’t offer. It’s fascinating how we can use the device’s camera as a way to scan product information and track inventory, or use geolocation to track attendance and find locations near us, or even how we can take a great amount of resources and package them together in a searchable and shareable tool that sales people can use during tradeshows or presentations. The possibilities are endless. We realize apps can do so much for us; they simplify tasks, increase engagement, and improve the overall user experience.

If you are wondering what apps could do for you business, we encourage you to visit Apple’s website to see great examples of how other businesses are using them to increase productivity, improve business operations and enhance customer service. A great app starts with a great idea and we are always available to brainstorm ideas and discuss options with you and your team. If there isn’t an app for “that”, we can certainly develop one for you.

Wisconsin 101 facebook app

In the meantime, please visit our Wisconsin 101 Facebook app to find out how truly Wisconsin you really are. Also, don’t forget to come back to our site soon, we’ll be posting articles about trends in app design and about apps that we’ll be launching this coming spring.