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Are Apps all Dead?

Francis Isberto on May 24, 2019

"IS MOBILE APPS REALLY DYING" Mobile Apps are dying. The most sought software application is becoming extinct. The vast majority of Apps submit... [Read Full]
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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.

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