- Human Wake-up Calls
Surprisingly, app developers have found a way to improve on alarm clocks. The new Wakie app gives you a wake-up call from a real person. Those giving the calls are employees or volunteers, and are matched to the receivers based on age. When possible, the person giving the call is also of the opposite gender of the recipient. The human voice is believed to be more encouraging to snooze-button-addicted sleepers than a buzz or a musical alarm.
- Simple Personal Budgeting
Personal budgeting apps are always getting better. With a recent update, LevelMoney has taken a commanding lead. Unlike other budgeting apps, LevelMoney requires very little work. By interfacing with your bank account, it keeps track of your income and bills. Any money left over either goes into savings, or into a personal allowance. LevelMoney calculates this allowance, keeps track of it, and notifies you when it is exceeded. It’s a traditional household budgeting strategy, made simple and electronic.
- App Code and Kits
A new and growing market for app designers… is selling to app designers. Apps like Yo provide the basic code necessary to send data between devices, cutting the work in making a simple social or multiplayer app in half. Other companies are even more ambitious. SalesForce1 Lightning is an app development environment that makes cranking out social apps fast and easy.
- Graphics and Animations for High-Definition, High-Refresh Screens
With the 4K and Retina screens, apps can no longer get away with looking the same that they did in 2010. App developers need to put effort into creating smoother transitions and adaptable graphics that look great at any resolution.
- The Little Guys
There is no reason why a basic smartphone needs to cost hundreds of dollars. The price has been driven up by the relentless advance of new features and hardware, and the relatively little competition with Android and iOS. That’s all changing now, as companies like Nokia are introducing fully functional basic smartphones that run open-source web browsers like Mozilla. These phones are becoming popular in the developing world, where other smartphones are too expensive. New apps for the new open-source OS are already coming out.
- The Internet of Things
The “Internet of Things” is a term used for the integration of devices and household appliances. Manufacturers of washing machines, smoke detectors, ovens, and even fridges want to link their appliances to mobile devices. All these manufacturers need apps, and the market for them is rapidly expanding.