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Ten Mobile Apps that are Changing the World

The Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2013 had a great session delivered by Ian Finely called “Ten Mobile Apps that are Changing the World.”  The session delibertly skips the common known apps such as Facebook and Twitter.  Here is the list – only 9 apps were presented but some were categories of apps:

The List…

Very popular in Asai.

  • 300+ million users in < 2 years
  • P2P (private,) Group chat and voice Chat

Very popular in India

  • Local search for India
  • Tool for the upwardly mobile trapped in the city
  • Think Global, shop local

Disrupting brick and mortar stores by comparison shopping in legacy retailers

  • “Showrooming” tools put competitors in your store
  • Provides passive competitive data collection
  • No clear response has been made from competition yet

Cuts out traditional dispatchers by hailing a cab from an app directly reaching Taxis.
Apps that replace dedicated devices
Multiple apps are in this category but it is about apps that replace legacy devices.  These could be ultrasounds, eye tests, blood pressure apps, auto code diagnosis, etc.
It is a true drone that can be navigated from a camera to get a birds eye view.
Mobile payments are becoming a reality in Africa

  • 17 million users in Kenya
  • It is the first financial account for most users
  • SMS is used to debit accounts
  • It is being copied around the world

Tracks the gestation period of each cow in a heard

  • Primary source of wealth for some Africans
  • Maximizes calf and milk production
  • Done through SMS

Helps women protect themselves.  It is essentially a panic button.

  • Sends SOS alerts to nearby friends and relatives
  • Displays current location on a map
  • Other similar applications are out there

What makes a game changing app?

There are a few  commonalities that make game changing apps.  Each of the apps above include at least items from the list below.

  • Location – they are context sensitive based on the situation
  • Cuts out the middlemen by creating the shortest path to the value
  • They make people happy
  • They empower people

The apps presented and the reasoning behind them being game changers is very apparent.  An individual by themselves could write an app that changes behaviors and makes lives better for people.  These same techniques can be extended to an enterprise to help make lives better and add value for customers, partners and employees.

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Glenn Kline

Technical Director, Portal

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