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Are Apps all Dead?

francisisberto profile image Francis Isberto ・4 min read

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"IS MOBILE APPS REALLY DYING"

Mobile Apps are dying. The most sought software application is becoming extinct.
The vast majority of Apps submitted to App Stores are turning into dead weight.
In the past, the average smartphone owner downloads between 2 and 4 Apps per month. But today, you will be lucky if you see somebody download even one. And if these Apps got downloaded, they will only be used once or twice and then will be completely forgotten.
According to study, 80% of most users do not use the Apps they have downloaded after 3 months. Apps are like Dragonflies. They are all pretty and gorgeous at first, and will only entertain us for a few months. Then they will filter out and die.

So why are they dying? The reason is the difficulty of creating.
They are like the Mona Lisa and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in painting terminology. It takes a lifetime to build.
Even before users interact with an App, App creators need to do a lot of work upfront. They need to build it and then promote it so users will know that it exists.
Building a mobile App is also expensive. It will cost you around $100k (usually, a lot more) and a few months of intensive work from you and your team.
Acquiring users is even more challenging. It will cost you an arm and a leg to convince users to install your App, and even more expensive to engage them to use it so that they will become active users.
That is how difficult it is.

Another problem is competition.
When it comes to choosing an App for download, many users feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available.
For example, Google Play has thousands of Apps in the category productivity, and new Apps are popping up almost every week, so if you need the App that satisfies your needs, you’ll have a hard time finding the one you really need.
Normally users don't have time to dig deeper and search for a particular App. They just choose what is on top then click Install.

So are these Apps really dying as we speak? Are they really close to extinction?
Periodically yes... but not Totally. You might believe that all Apps are now dying but in fact statistics and behavior analysis tell us that the market is changing.
The truth is Apps are continually evolving, and in the future, we will have a completely different perspective on what an App is truly is.

We’re living in fast-moving times. We need to adapt or we will die.
And in order to stay alive, every App needs a customer. Customers are always the "Bread and Butter" of any business. So in order to survive, Apps need to have paying customers... lots and lots of them.
For an App to continue to exist, it needs to have a consistent number of active users. It's imperative that an App owner must work out exactly when and how users want their content and services.

App discovery is so damn hard. It's like finding a needle in a haystack.
But what if there is a helping hand that can support you (and the rest of the independent App developers), promote your content & services and to become a growth avenue for your business?

AppLovin can be that helping hand. AppLovin is an 8-year-old startup that helps App developers find new customers.
They have built an amazing team of engineers, product managers, designers, sales professionals, marketers, account managers, support specialists, and many more to make this fantasy into a reality.
As of today, the company is on track to reach a $1 billion run rate within the next year.

According to Applovin, they process over 30 billion advertisement requests a day and use real-time feedback to make effective marketing decisions across 1 billion mobile consumers worldwide - delivering results for publishers like Disney, Uber, Groupon, CBS, Hotels.com, Yelp, Zynga, and King.com and others.

Because the AppLovin platform optimizes advertiser campaigns for ROI, advertisers see a higher return on their ad spend and are willing to pay for the quality placements they receive.
By providing top quality ad placements, with the hundreds of top brands they work with, they can then serve ads at a massive scale, thereby maximizing developers’ earnings.
AppLovin offers all ad formats (native, video/graphics interstitial, and rewarded video) to allow developers to optimize the ad format type for the best user experience and increased monetization.

AppLovin can also help you get your Apps in front of the right people and “Re-Engage” users who have already downloaded your App but haven’t used it in a while.
So you see, you are not anymore a Bumblebee, a Dragonfly, or any type of insect that fly for a while then die in a few months time.
You, your App, and your company can now be a fully established platform that will not only generate good profits but will give a meaningful purpose to the users of the world.

The company's primary policy is to give App developers of all sizes the ability to monetize, grow, and even finance their business.
AppLovin main objective to help you reach your users at scale. They help you view metrics in real time for better instant insights. You then can easily measure and see the results of your ongoing campaign.
They can also help you find the right regions (state and countries) that perform best so you can build a broader and more sustainable loyal user base.

Perhaps the belief is just a myth. Apps are not dying, They are alive and well.
Apps are not fading, but instead they are evolving. They are emerging with a different mindset that targets the right audience for their business.
They are expanding their tools and growing their customer base. They are maturing and learning from their initial mistakes and improving their services not only to survive in this industry but to remain and establish itself as an entity.

Regardless of what people say, Mobile Apps are definitely here to stay.

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Discussion

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I'm primarily an Android developer, and I mostly agree with this. The problem is that, in the majority of situations, a native app simply is not needed, and it doesn't really do anything differently from the responsive website equivalent.

What people want from apps, as opposed to mobile websites, is convenience and async communication. Users don't want an app that they have to go check, they want it to check on them. Give them reminders, notify them when something important happened. These features are really hard to do well, and if they aren't done, you're usually left with just a poor replacement of that service's mobile website, that might happen to work offline and use slightly less data.

The push toward mobile assistants had moved much of the convenience from the apps directly to Google and Apple, so there's not as much need for individual apps to accomplish similar convenience factors.

 

Thanks for that insight Casey. Your exactly right. Mobile Apps are now turning into PWA (Progressive Web Apps) where users can go offline mode, no app store submission, no updates required, low data usage, and zero installation.

That is why Apps must continue to evolve to follow the demand of the users of this generation and the next.

I like your idea that Apps of today much be the ones checking on the users and not the other way around. In that way, they will be more useful.

 

So why are they dying?

I think it's the same issue the software industry went through in 1980s and 90s. Most individuals don't really need all that many apps in thier lives. Especially productivity apps, which always seem like a good idea until people get bored with them.

A lot of people were satisfied with just AOL and some games. Now a lot of people are satisfied with Facebook and some games. Same thing, better graphics.

 

Good point Scot! People are getting wiser when choosing the right Apps. They only use what is necessary for them.
Productivity Apps is what they normally install among their other favorites.

 

Building a mobile App is also expensive. It will cost you around $100k (usually, a lot more) and a few months of intensive work from you and your team.

May I ask where you got that number from?

 

The number (general development, not just mobile) at my previous job was $40K/sprint. So, to me $100K sounds light for a company of any size.

 

You gotta take into account the fact that the general cost of development and the cost of developing a mobile app is different. I assume your number includes salaries, where if you build it yourself, is not a problem. In fact, I could probably go make a simple decent game in and only have to worry about the costs of publishing it (Apple Developer Program and/or Google Play's fee). But if I want more developers, then that cost increases.

My point is that it's not necessarily that expensive to build an app, it just depends on the type, the size of your team, and a few other things.