Mobile Applications - What Are They and Which Ones Should I Buy?

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If you have recently purchased a smartphone, the world of mobile applications, a.k.a mobile apps might seem confusing to you. Here’s a quick look at the origin and evolution of mobile applications and how they can make your life more convenient.

What Are Mobile Applications?

Mobile applications are Internet-based applications that are meant to function on wireless mobile gadgets such as PDAs or smartphones. Over the past few years, they have become extremely popular, especially with people on the go who always want to remain connected. Examples of basic mobile applications include email for mobiles, games and instant messaging services.

Whose Idea Was It?

Apple Inc., the electronics and software giant is generally credited with conceptualizing mobile applications and transforming them into mainstream phenomena. With over a thousand applications in its ‘Applications Store’, Apple Inc. literally has “applications for everything” – be it food guides, recipes, sports, news, stock market, music creation, radio, fitness, and even academic lectures and libraries.

What Are Some of the Most Popular Mobile Applications?

Mobile applications can vary in popularity depending on the device used to access them. Twitter, Facebook, and Skype related applications (such as Tweetie, Facebook for iPhone, and Skype for iPhone respectively) are the most widely used.

Here’s a list of the most popular mobile applications for different smartphones:

Best iPhone Applications

  • iHandy Carpenter – It allows you to use your iPhone as a measuring tool for chores around the house.
  • Photoshop Mobile – With this wonderful app, you can edit and upload pictures as you take them.
  • Dropbox – If you have a Dropbox (cloud storage) account, having this app on your iPhone allows you to share files, upload videos, and share other media with friends and family.

Best Blackberry Applications

  • Viigo – A free app that grants you access to all kinds of news, from the weather and stock market to sports and flight information.
  • BlackBerry Messenger – An instant messaging app that facilitates communication between BlackBerry users in the form of chat, picture exchange, and conferencing.

Best Nokia OVI Applications

  • Afridoctor – Enables you to access health-related information. It allows you to submit your symptoms, get opinions from healthcare professionals, and even locate your nearest clinic.
  • Sasol e-birds – An excellent companion app to the popular field guide Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, this app lets you identify birds and compare features. 
  • That Roach Game – A hugely popular game app in which you destroy roaches trying to take over your house!
  • Turn Left at the Barrel – An interactive guide app that helps you plan trips to the Cape Winelands. The app gives you details of the various estates and even wine ratings based on expert testimonials.
  • Surfing Safari – An excellent app for avid surfers which gives weather forecasts and related information about surfing conditions.

Okay, So What’s It Going To Cost Me?

Depending on your smartphone and service provider, you can get many mobile applications for free! For example, about 25% of all iPhone applications are free for users. Most downloadable mobile applications cost around US $10. 

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