Newcastle — Did you know that "app" was listed as “Word of the Year” in 2010 by the American Dialect Society? How’s that for exciting? Having evolved into a technological troglodyte I don’t believe I was even aware of the term until about a year ago when I carelessly allowed myself to buy an iPod.
You of course know that an app is a software application designed to run on those mobile devices, especially the phone that everyone carries about, and without which we are confused, bewildered and often terrified. Ask someone the time and he’ll likely pull out his phone. What happened to watches for lord’s sake? But let’s not go there.
When hearing of “app” most people think of Apple (and that the company name includes the letters is entirely fortuitous). This is not surprising. Apple’s application store carries an ever-increasing 650,000 apps, with more than 30 billion already downloaded (gasp). Meanwhile, Google Play (formerly the Android Market) has 850,000 apps with more than 40 billion downloaded (double gasp).
Why so many apps? It’s just another form of marketing in our fast-changing world. Invent a software application and peddle it to the smartphone makers, and when it sells you get sixty or seventy percent of the price. Apparently the most profitable avenue is the invention of games designed to reduce or even eliminate cognitive capability. According to PFSK.com (whatever that is) the most popular app of all time is Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D. More on this!
From gallerymobile9.com I learned a bit about this game: “The nefarious Nitrous Oxide has joined forces with evil genius Dr. Cortex and his demented side-kick Ripper Roo, in a plot to beat the Bandicoots into submission once and for all, and at long last clear the way for world domination. In order to lure Crash and his gang out in the open, they stage a Kart tournament. The winners will be crowned ‘Kings Of Kart Racing For All Eternity’, the losers will be banished from N. Sanity Island.” Aha! One has to puzzle over what all this has to do with nuclear proliferation in Iran or the hideous civil wars in Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo etc. It has something to do with escaping reality.
By the way, mobile9 is on Facebook and 817,891 people like it. I have to ask: what am I doing that’s wrong? I put my blog on Facebook and only 56 people like it. I could probably boost this number by soliciting or even through the advocated paid promotion, but that seems a bit silly.
It’s inevitable that I will one day have a smartphone. The time is coming when I won’t otherwise be able to get into an airplane or buy groceries without one. Everything will have an app. Everything will be accessible by a QR, those strange two-dimensional matrix barcodes that tickle your handheld. I’m too old for this. Simplify, please. Show me the way to Sanity Island.