Often called the capital of the world, New York City is certainly a technological capital, a place where big ideas meet big money and where consumers flock to get their hands on the latest inventions. It’s a city at the forefront of the app revolution, with its long tradition of cutting edge art and design coming together with technical talent to solve problems customers didn’t know they had.
Many apps are centered on the city itself and help to streamline life in this bustling metropolis.
Why apps matter
Over the last two decades, the pace of life has accelerated beyond what anyone imagined. Everybody has more contacts, deals are done faster, information is available immediately and the average worker needs to be twice as alert to keep up. This means two things. Firstly, if one wants to stay ahead in business or keep up culturally, one has to be connected at all times. Secondly, it’s a lot harder to cope with all this and take care of ordinary day-to-day tasks at the same time.
Apps address these problems in two ways. Firstly, they help users stay informed more easily, whatever specialist knowledge they happen to need. Secondly, they make daily tasks easier to manage, removing the effort involved in organisation, coordinating communications and providing reminders. They can enable a phone to act as a personal assistant so no one has to manage alone.
Apps change and develop according to changing user needs, but one major driver of their evolution has been the changing nature of the platforms on which they are used. Increases in computing power have enabled more complex apps to be developed and made it possible for them to work faster, while designers have found clever ways to use new phone functions such as improved camera and audio sensors to perform new functions like providing instant translation or measuring blood sugar levels.
An evolving industry
Apps have also evolved due to commercial pressure, with competition a genuinely effective driver in a context where there is always money to be made from finding a better, faster, more effective way to do things. Success has come to depend less on technical skill than on astute understanding of the marketplace and what customers need. This has led to increasing diversification of apps as niche markets have emerged and designers have raced to attend to them. New York, always a melting pot, is the perfect testing ground for such creations.
Hot apps in the Big Apple
The top mobile apps for the summer in New York this year include Pizza Compass, a handy guide to the nearest open pizza place in the city in which a pizza slice acts as a needle; Paradine, which takes an interactive approach to locating the perfect restaurant for the user; and Everest, a mobile diary which captures images ad moments of each day. Apps like these are the new keys to the city, helping visitors and locals alike to unlock the secrets of the city and get the most out of their time there.