Earlier in 2012, the 25 billionth app for iPhone was downloaded. In the five years since the iPhone was introduced, the notion of the ‘app’ has become a ubiquitous part of our technological vocabulary.
There can be little doubt that iPhone apps have changed our lives to a great degree. Be they games, social media, practical or for entertainment, having access to what is basically a universe of information and distraction in your pocket cannot help but change our outlook, attitudes and behaviour. Betting on the latest sports even can even be possible through iPhone apps.
But which are those that have had most of an influence over us? Of course, any such discussion is highly subjective. Here are five that either through their popularity or the innovation of their function, have had a huge impact on our lives, as we interact with technology in a way even George Orwell could never have anticipated.
Despite the fact that we get the whole world on our phones, people still travel the globe as much as ever before. Therefore this neat little app has become an essential. This allows the translation of words and sentences between languages in real time, even as you are in conversation with someone. So nifty is Worldictionary, that you can even translate a word or phrase by simply pointing your camera at it, and letting the app do the rest.
Take any train carriage or bus in a major city from the past few years, and chances are a sizable number of them are playing this incredibly popular strategy game. Its addictive nature and low price has led to 1bn downloads across all platforms; while it is widely regarded as the most successful iPhone app the world has ever seen. Consistently updated with new versions over the years, those pigs’ defences don’t stand a chance.
Despite the popularity of iTunes, Spotify and other major music providers on this platform, it is Pandora Radio that is the most respected app for tunes whilst on the move. This app allows a personalised selection of music that appeals to both our craving for old classics and new artists. Start with a band you know you love and simply branch out from there to exciting new sounds. Pandora finally made it to Australia in 2012, having decisively conquered the world beforehand.
The ability to quickly observe anywhere on earth should never be underestimated, however used to Google Earth we have become. Satellite imagery of all corners of the world offers endless fascination, while its practical use is undeniable – find restaurants, transport, bars, medical centres and more with Google Earth. Grab driving directions or simply zoom in on your own home.
Once upon a time, Facebook was merely something we logged into when sat at a computer. Now, however we can keep up with all social media all the time, responding in real time to everything. There is little doubt that Facebook’s iPhone app made Mark Zuckerberg’s seminal invention even more central a part of our lives. Regular new versions have made constant improvements to the app, with the future rosy for this most culturally seismic of iPhone apps.