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Communication, Education, Health & Fitness App Categories To Dominate 2014

2013 was a great year for apps – from Google and Android stores reaching one million apps apiece, to new and creative ways to use physical objects with your smartphone, right up to the emergence of Snapchat which now attracts over 5 million users each day. Next year should see more app companies experimenting with the physical world, and thinking about new ways to apply existing technologies.

Communication

Just as it happened to MySpace and MSN Messenger before it, Facebook has become inundated with relatives, and the communication through it is no longer just for friends. This has lead to direct messaging apps becoming significantly more popular, whether it’s WeChat, Kakao Talk, WhatsApp or the now non-Blackberry exclusive BBM; but while all these apps bring immediacy to the discussion, SnapChat had an additional bonus in the transient nature of the media, which in the midst of NSA scandals was particularly appealing. Unfortunately, even SnapChat was hacked late in the year, so 2014 should see an increase in privacy awareness in communication software as more people are becoming aware of the risks.

tablet-for-school-children
Education

There are currently many initiatives to get tablets into school all round the world, but especially in the UK tablets are being provided to those students without access to the technology at home. Already we’re seeing a huge amount of educational apps that have been created to fit into the curriculum, and can be used in schools, but where it gets really exciting is in children making apps. In 2013 we began to see stories about young teenagers creating their first apps, and as more children are being brought up learning to code this could be a potentially fantastic way for kids to help shape their own education.

TED Talks
Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you need to miss out. The famous TED business which compiles inspirational talks has recently come to the iPhone in app form, letting you learn about a huge variety of subjects wherever you have an internet connection – or you can download them to your phone or tablet for later. For a more actively challenging experience, the Royal Vegas Top Online Casino is just one of many casino simulators which are accessible through mobiles and tablets and in 2014 we should see more innovation in the design of these apps and how they can be used for mental stimulation.

Health and Fitness

While the legitimacy of some health apps have been contested by doctors, fitness apps have been shown to help and are becoming more and more exciting as technology advances. The RunKeeper app works like Nike+ but is free to download; it tracks GPS for jogging and cycling routes, offers maps and shows pace and calories burned. The Fitocracy app makes exercise fun by modelling the experience after a video game, as you go on “quests”, level up and earn badges and if your friends are signed up you can compete against them. In 2014 we may see more apps that connect to physical objects, and while Google Glass is going to sell well when it eventually appears, this technology has fantastic capabilities for the health industry. There is room for diabetics to monitor their blood glucose levels through their phones, and relatives of elderly or at-risk people can keep track of the activity of their loved ones. The potential of apps going into the future is extraordinary, as technology is finally able to catch up with the dreams of designers. Beyond gaming and communication, new apps can truly increase the quality of life for people all around the world; 2014 should be an exciting year!

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