Can We Start You Off With An App?

No, silly.

We’re not talking about calamari or Buffalo wings.  While delicious, they have almost nothing to do with smart phones.

We’re talking about cell phone applications or “apps” because, well, everyone is! Apps are so popular, in fact, that on January 8th of this year, the word “app” was voted the 2010 word of the year by the American Dialect Society!  Cool, right?  The truth is that the world of mobile devices is a veritable smorgasbord of apps right now, and creating one for your business is something you might want to consider. 

But first, we want you to be fully schooled about them so you’ll have the 411 before you make the decision to call us to develop one for you.  (Do you like our shameless self-promotion?  It’s impressive, right?  It’s our blog. We do what we want.) But we’re going to start with the most basic information first because if you’re like some people, you may not even own a slick, new, super cool smartphone.  Maybe you have a pretty lame phone, but you look longingly over the shoulders of your co-workers and friends and silently weep bitter tears of jealousy and regret.

Suffice it to say that if you don’t have one of these wicked awesome phones, you might not even know what an app is, what it does, or how it can be part of your marketing plan unless you work at an ad agency or hang around with people who are way cooler than you.

Either way, you will scratch your head in wonderment no more, good friends!

When we’re done, you can be a phone poseur and you can pretend to be surfing for killer apps when you’re really just scrolling through your list of contacts and texting your mom. (Please tell us you can at least text with your lame phone…)

So, in order to understand what an app is, you need to think of it as an add -on or a bit of data.  It’s like…having a box of Chicklets in your pocket.  They’re little, they come in handy, and you take them everywhere you go.  Each little piece of software can be added to a cell phone (which oddly enough is the same size as a Chicklet box) so that it can perform functions unrelated to actually making a call.  These little bits of data are either free, or you can buy them.  In fact, many apps are free or cost only a dollar.  They go up from there depending on how fancy they are, and you can purchase and install them right from the phone.

With an app, there’s almost nothing you can’t do.  You can blog, post tweets on Twitter, or play games.  You can download maps, find the nearest bank, read a book or watch a video.  The possibilities are endless! In fact, there are over three hundred thousand apps available for the iPhone alone!  And, there are more being developed every day.  We have even built 400 of them ourselves—everything from alarm clocks to live whales in Hawaii!  (There we go with that self-promotion again!  We’re incorrigible!)

So, now that you know what an app is, we bet you’d like to know how people use them, huh? 

Well, first they turn on the phone.  They go to where it says market/installer/app portal/app store or whatever, which is like an app that helps people get apps (are you still with us?), and they open that.  Then they shop for the app they want.  There are apps that do things that nobody even imagined they’d need, but there they are, and now folks can’t live without them.  Do you want to see how you’d look with a handlebar mustache, a goatee, or sideburns?  Want to see how your cat would look with a beard? CHECK!  There’s an app for that! 

Apps are so popular because they’re fun to shop for, and they’re easy to purchase, install, and use.  You can capitalize on this, and next week we’ll tell you how by going over the basic kinds of apps there are out there, and how businesses can use them to their advantage.

See you next week!