As iPhone, iPad, and Android app developers, we like apps as much as anyone. More days than not, we eat, drink, sleep, and live apps. Consequently, we are as happy as anyone to hear about polls and surveys telling how important apps are in today’s society. However, even we have to chuckle a bit at the results of a recent survey by a company called Apigee, which sells API platforms to developers.
The survey had a total of 762 respondents in the UK, US, Spain, Germany, and France. So in the interest of fairness, we will give the caveat emptor that this survey was conducted overseas, may or may not be accurate, and that the answers may or may not have been taken out of context. Nonetheless, we believe that the answers, regardless of bias or sample size, provide a great snapshot of how people relate to apps at this moment in time.
So what does the survey say? It says a lot about how dependent many in contemporary society have become on mobile apps. The survey asked users to report tasks that they could not complete on a daily basis if their apps were taken away. Some of the answers were to be expected, but some are utterly astounding, even to the most jaded of observers.
So, let’s get to the results. On apps in general, 82% of users reported at least one app that they cannot do without for even one day. Of the apps they considered critical, 57% selected email, 41% chose Facebook, and 31% chose their alarm clock app. Seventy two percent said they use at least 10 apps per day, while 2% admitted to using over 50 apps per day. Fifty three percent admitted that they use apps on their smartphones while driving a motor vehicle.
For us, though, the most astounding part of the survey was the basic things that users reported they would be unable to do without an app. The 48% said that they would be unable to check email without an app. The next most common answer: 32% reported that they would be unable to wake up without their alarm apps. The next most common answer was the one we put in our headline: 23% of those polled said that they would be unable to feel happy without their apps.
Twenty percent reported that they would be unable to navigate to work without apps; 19% said that they would be unable to maintain a relationship without their apps; 13% said that they would be unable to find dates; 12% reported that they wouldn’t be able to order dinner without apps, and 10% actually reported that they would be unable to impress people without apps.
So, what does this mean to you, if you are looking to build or develop iPhone, iPad, or Android apps? To really drill down into this information and interpret it correctly, one must try to minimise the emotional component, which often touches on the dramatic, and occasionally touches on the histrionic.
It is very tempting to laugh of these numbers, or wonder what kind of losers were surveyed, and how so many could possibly say that they could not feel happy without apps, but the bottom line is that real people who use real mobile devices with real apps provided real answers in this survey. Consequently, both the people and the data should be treated as such when drawing conclusions from the survey.
At the very least, the survey gives a good idea of what people are using apps for, and may provide insight as to what niches might turn into successful ones for mobile app developers. Obviously, niches such as email and Facebook are already dominated by the “big boys,” but even they are open to apps that “piggyback” off of the giants in the industry.
The social aspects of this survey could be interpreted as somewhere between “scary” and “beneath contempt” on a superficial level. However, the market of people who need apps to feel happy, maintain relationships, find dates, and impress people is a market segment that is full of possibilities. A mobile app developer who takes the time to drill down into any of those niches may find some extremely lucrative sub-niches if they take the time to figure out what those people need.
For example, why do so many people need apps to be happy? What are they looking for in an app that they cannot get out of life? What kind of app does the average user employ to impress people?
Contact us today; let’s create an epic app together and make more people happy.