Mobile Apps

23 December 2021

Not so long ago they were a sci-fi invention, today they are everywhere. Smartphones equipped withmobile apps accompany us everywhere. We use mobile apps when checking emails, looking for directions, and browsing through our photo gallery. The devices with considerable computing power that we carry in our pockets can do a lot these days. But do we know how to take full advantage of this potential? Or are we unnecessarily overestimating it? In this article, we will try to answer these questions.
Read on!

First mobile apps

Did you know that the first mobile apps were developed back in the 1980s? The beginnings may not have been very spectacular, but for the time, the emergence of such solutions was an important milestone in the development of digital mobility.

One of the pioneers of mobile solutions was Psion. Instead of competing with the first Motorola phones, Psion decided to release the world’s first pocket computer (!) Psion Organizer. The device allowed you to use applications such as a watch, calculator and notepad. It was also possible to create your own applications, which of course worked locally on a particular device and did not allow data exchange over the network. As a result, it was possible to build an electronic notebook.

In the following years, new mobile phones and computers were developed.

In 1992, it was already possible to use things such as e-mail with the IBM Simon, which was a combination of a PDA and a mobile phone. It can safely be called the first smartphone.
As this concept developed, other applications, including games of course, began to make their way to more devices. Tetris, Solitaire, and Snake entertained mobile device users.
In 1997, the Nokia 3310 was introduced to the market. Many people remember this event as a CULMINATING MOMENT in the development of mobile phones. However, the technology was yet to open up further opportunities for development…

ibm computer

Development of communication and software

The turn of the 20th century saw the development of communication protocols (Wireless Application Protocol) allowing access to web services via mobile devices. . It became possible to access the Internet, browse the web and download music using mobile phones.
The business potential of these opportunities was best recognised by the Canadians releasing new models of the BlackBerry series. The 5810 allowed constant access to e-mail, making mobile e-mail communication work in real-time. In subsequent products, there was also an instant messaging service that allowed both encrypted messaging and video chatting… No one doubted anymore that business needs mobile devices and apps.

What’s next?

What really remained was the issue of standardisation in the field of software. Over time, the market has clarified into two leading operating systems (iOS and Android) with, just as importantly, digital platforms featuring downloadable apps.
It was the availability of software that was the factor that popularised the idea of mobile apps. Originally, the functionality was provided by the device. In the first decade of the 21st century, functionality was delivered by apps running on any mobile device. The revolution was so significant that in 2010, the American Dialect Society declared the term “app” the word of the year.

Mobile apps today

We needed nearly 25 years to achieve a loose link between the device and its functionality. It used to be that the device was intrinsically linked to specific applications and capabilities. Today, the same functionality can often be achieved independently of the physical hardware by using the appropriate app. Of course, there are some limitations at the operating system level. Apps developed for iOS mobile devices cannot run on the Android platform and vice versa. However, there are technologies that allow apps to be developed regardless of the platform.

In addition to classic native apps, there are also more universal solutions, such as:
Hybrid apps
Cross-platform apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

The multitude of solutions is driven by the need to optimise the cost of producing the target product. Each of these technologies has its advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss the differences between them in the next article. At this point, it is only worth remembering that when talking about mobile apps, we do not have to be limited to a specific platform, operating system or device.

We encourage you to download a PDF file specially prepared by us about mobile applications!