Because popularity is king in the world of apps, let’s take a look at some of 2014’s biggest successes so far.
As we are all fairly weather obsessed, it comes as no surprise to learn that a weather app has proved to be so popular; the surprise comes via the time it took to ‘get popular’. The BBC Weather app hit the news in January 2014 when it reached more than 5 million downloads in less than a year.
Available for Android, iOS and Amazon devices, 60% of weather-watchers access it on smartphones and 40% via tablets. The apps easy-to-use functionality balances the in-depth reporting, which is pretty accurate and now incorporates daily sunrise and sunset times. Those who suffer from hayfever may find this app particularly useful over the coming months, as it also reports on pollen (and pollution). Android users benefit from additional features over the iOS version, including a home-screen widget offering a five-day forecast. If you aren’t already an Accuweather fan like me, then perhaps this is worth a try.
Fast-growing Vine is pretty hard to ignore; quite an achievement given it has only been around for just over one year. Of course being acquired by Twitter in October 2012 for a media-worthy $30 million certainly helped to ease it into the realm of the ‘everyday’ and, by April 2013, Vine was the most downloaded iOS app and named as one of TIME’s best Android apps for 2013.
For the uninitiated, Vine is a video sharing app, which records just 6 seconds of video. The video continuously loops, so the idea is to film something (using your mobile device of course) which works within that timeframe, serving both advertisers and the general public – and doubling the interest.
Another success for the BBC is the iPlayer. Launched in 2007 as a website offering viewers another chance at watching a missed programme online, the concept has evolved significantly over the last seven years. With over 20 million downloads since the app hit the marketplace in 2011, the iPlayer app continues to grow 104% year on year, providing services to viewers who prefer to watch TV on a smart device. In 2013 alone, the iPlayer handled a total of three billion programme requests.
Of course, programmes like Sherlock help, with the mini Christmas episode only being available on iPlayer and bringing in over 1.5 million views alone. With a simple user interface, exclusive shows and the ability to watch TV on-the-go, what’s not to like?
Thankfully, the eBay app has also improved over the years. As an eBayer myself, I find the Android app is by far the easiest platform to use for both buying and selling. Apparently so do others, with 50% of all Android users downloading the app. When using a smartphone, the ability to take a photograph in-app and rotate, crop and upload it with a lot of laborious laptop features removed, makes it so much faster. Buying is just as simple with a little help from predictive text, which simultaneously brings up categories, narrowing your search in the very first step.
It wasn’t so long ago we couldn’t even pay for an item via the app, instead having to log on via PC or laptop to seal the deal. Not only can we now pay immediately, we can also build up Nectar points. And with many high street stores now also selling on eBay, you can collect Nectar points where you previously couldn’t. Starting to like eBay again?
Catherine Howe is a Marketing Executive at Total Ltd – a business to business service provider, delivering genuine solutions across all core telecommunication services, based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Total Ltd is a business that brings together and unifies all the component parts. For up to the minute business telecommunications news, please view the Total Ltd blog.