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Mobile Apps For Your Mind
Luiza Ivanova is the Digital Designer at Arc Interactive. Today she gives us insight into how apps have changed the way we connect, consume content, manage our lives and have effectively changed the way our minds work.
Can a mobile app really help you manage your life, make your life better or easier, or even assist you in making the lives of other people better? Or does it all sound a little bit too good to be true? Well, consider this- for 2017, the number of smartphone users in South Africa is estimated to have reached 18.5 million (32% of the population) and is expected to reach over 25 million by 2022.
In 2017, the number of smartphone users worldwide was estimated to be approximately 2.3 billion and could grow to 2.9 billion by 2020. We spend a lot of time on our phones, and more people using their smartphones means more people spending time using apps. The myth that the phenomenon of apps is dying, is exactly that- a myth.
Is an app right for you or your business?
Today, the question for any business is not whether they should have an app at all but rather, what type of app would benefit the business more. Further than that, how the UI and UX of the app could be improved or updated, and what the perfect marketing strategy for the app would be. On the other hand, the question for the user is entirely different.
- What kind of apps do you download and use?
- Are the apps that you use benefiting your life somehow?
- Are you a conscious and responsible user?
The hyper-competitive and demanding lives we lead demand constant interaction with people and information on both a personal and professional level - which adversely impacts our time and space. There are millions of apps available to help distract, connect, entertain, and inform us, so much that it can feel overwhelming and exciting all in the same breath.
Biggest apps at the moment
According to the most recent stats, the ten most downloaded free apps in South Africa include Wish, WhatsApp, Spotify, Facebook Messenger, Opera News, SHAREit, Facebook Lite, JOOX Music, Instagram and Truecaller. The most used apps worldwide follow a similar trend and include WhatsApp (which takes the number one spot), Facebook (coming in at a close second), Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Uber, YouTube, SHAREit, etc.
Most people choose to either connect or distract, and most of the time we spend on our phones is dedicated to downtime or the more negative term “mindless browsing”. Apps like Facebook dominate our downtime, but it’s highly debatable whether they actually benefit our lives in any way.
Apps changing mindsets
The mindset behind how we use and see apps is changing though. The more knowledge we have and the more aware we are of what exists in the market, the more we can use apps specifically and to our own, unique advantage. Here are a few apps that might just be changing the world (and possibly your world) a little bit for the better:
1. Apps to express yourself
For fun try Yousician - an app that teaches you how to play the guitar; piano; bass; and ukulele. From beginners to advanced this app is a great way to have fun and learn at the same time.
2. Apps to organise yourself
Try Microsoft To Do if you need an app to help you organise your day-to-day activities. This app is basically an intelligent to-do list, and it also helps by setting reminders and due dates.
3. Apps to teach yourself
If you want to learn more about the world around you, try the Google Arts and Culture app. Even though the smart selfie feature (which matches your face to any existing artwork) is not available in South Africa.
Overall, the app is great to use for educational purposes and offers a large amount of very interesting knowledge and information.
4. Apps for social responsbility
For humanitarian purposes try the UN Human Rights app which informs users of basic human rights injustices around the globe and lets you donate by country and cause.
5. Apps for your health and wellbeing
For your health and wellbeing, try Headspace. This app guides you through the essentials of meditation and mindfulness, attempting to teach you how to meditate.
6. Proudly South African apps
For South Africans, we have quite a few existing and emerging apps which are created to address locally specific problems. Namola is an app which allows you to request emergency assistance by sending exact GPS coordinates, as well as providing supporting information such as photographs to avoid the kinds of common misunderstandings that happen via phone call. The app is unfortunately only available in specific areas at the moment.
7. Apps for your finances
SnapnSave is an app which gives you cash back coupons on selected items. The user is able to book offers and their favourite items while getting money back into their accounts or WeChat wallet. This service is available at major South African retailers, who have partnered with SnapnSave. These include Checkers; Shoprite; Pick n Pay; Dis-Chem; News Cafe; etc.
Appling apps to your daily life
Being a conscious user opens up many new opportunities which might become helpful in assisting you in your day to day life. It has never been more important and necessary to support evolving technologies including local apps, that encourage sustainable and healthy time spent online.
About the author
Luiza is a digital designer, illustrator, music enthusiast, gamer, and writer who wants to help the world. She has a keen interest in UI and UX and is speedily working towards becoming an expert in this field. She has worked on big brands such as Dis-Chem, African Bank and BMW SA.
She currently makes magic at Arc Interactive, an agency based in Johannesburg. For more information on apps and design or what Luiza is up to these days visit: www.arcinteractive.co Or follow Arc Interactive on:
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