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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Leading Mobile Applications Developed in 2012


2012: The Year Mobile Apps Came of Age
Many will look back at 2012 as the year when mobile applications truly expanded into a wider range of consumer markets apart from entertainment. The phenomenal success of Angry Birds and its cousin app Angry Birds Space notwithstanding, the past year in many ways represented a shift towards business-based consumer solutions built for smart phones. Following, in no specific order, are some of the leading apps that initiated a transformation of the entire mobile application development ecosystem during 2012.
Google Now
In 2012, Google has taken us one step closer to the holy grail of computing i.e. Artificial Intelligence with the introduction of Google Now. This app can provide users with their exact location and plot the shortest route as well as alternate routes to another location while taking into account all relevant considerations such as traffic conditions as well as local weather conditions. Google Now can also organize the user's schedule, sports updates, boarding pass, reservation details as well as much more. Best of all this is only the beginning and this software is sure to be watched closely as it is improved upon in successive versions of the Android OS.
The success of Evernote probably is one of those David vs. Goliath stories that we never tire of. Apart from the funding that the company behind Evernote has received in mid 2011, the sheer simplicity and effectiveness of the app is unbelievable. Currently available for Android, this program is an answer to all the prayers of a compulsive scribbler as it ensures that users can easily arrange their random thoughts, notes, pictures and audio files by syncing with the cloud. Many have hailed it as the true beginning of the much needed business apps, which can help even small player make it big.
Every good story has its villain, even 2012's grand story of mobile proliferation in which smart phone sales have outstripped PC sales. In this case the villain is the increase of mobile malware and the often overlooked vulnerabilities of many commonly utilized smart phone apps. Lookout, which was upgraded in late 2012, is arguably the best app currently out there, which allows users to scan all apps installed in their phone and set permissions to ensure protection of the information stored on such devices. In its current form, the app is definitely not sufficient to ensure complete protection, but it does improve the user's chances of preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data on cell phones. In 2013, we can probably expect more robust solutions to emerge as software development companies shift their focus to the relatively untapped mobile security applications market, which look beyond the traditional smart phone antivirus software. In all, Lookout has definitely started a new trend in the field of smart phone security.
Mobile payments are definitely not new in present times, but LevelUp is definitely a novel approach at least till more sophisticated NFC (Near Field Communication)-based payment systems are available. This app allows users to carry out merchant payments by using the QR Code detected using the phone's camera. Merchants are keen to use the service, because no interchange fee is levied on the transaction and the app uses advertising as its revenue source. Though in its infancy and currently supported by only a few select merchants, this app established a new trend in 2012 and is projected to grow further in 2013.
We have Barely Scratched the Surface
It is a no brainer that mobile applications will continue to evolve due to the establishment of new trends and the introduction of new mobile apps development techniques. In 2013, smart phone shipments are expected to grow further, which is sure to drive further evolution of this market. The few apps of 2012 mentioned above barely scratch the surface. There were other apps, which were not mentioned but could have an even greater impact such as Waze, Nuance- Swype, Geoloqi and Chrome for iOS/Android. We can rest assured of one thing - 2013 is going to be an exciting period for the global mobile apps development market.
The Author Abhishek is currently working with eXtendCode a Software Company India, which provides software solutions such as Web Application Development, Open Source Application Development, business intelligence solutions, Quality Assurance Services and Mobile Application Development etc.
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