Smartphones are an indispensable part of modern life, and not only are today’s devices much more sophisticated than previous versions, but they can now draw on a much larger library of applications designed to cater to a huge range of tasks.
In fact, in just 10 years, the number of apps in the Google Play Store has grown from 460,000 in 2012 to 3,482,000 today. This has expanded the number of functions smart devices are theoretically able to perform. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at 3 key examples of things you probably didn’t realize your smartphone could be used for in 2022.
Smartphones make great teaching tools, with an increasing emphasis on educational technology and app development among the most pervasive trends in the sector over the past 5 years. More people than ever are utilizing educational apps and services to learn new subjects, skills, and techniques.
In Q1 2017 there were 249, and 273, million educational app downloads in the Apple and Google Play stores respectively. By Q1 2021, this had risen to 470 and 466 million, an increase year-on-year of around 30%.
The range of training topics available to users is incredibly diverse. Every day people employ their smart devices in order to help them learn new languages, understand basic math concepts, figure out how to play poker with the different resources available online, or brush up on painting techniques.
Users can also access popular tuition platforms such as Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera, all of which offer accredited courses presented by reputable experts covering an enormous range of subjects.
One of the most successful growth areas in smartphone development is the self-coaching and fitness sector. The global fitness industry is currently valued somewhere in the region at $160 billion, making it an incredibly lucrative market and one that invites large-scale investment. Fitness apps are diverse and occupy a spectrum running from wellness to nutrition, self-coaching to professional athletics.
Some of the biggest sporting brands in the world enjoy a strong presence in the space, with Nike’s subscription-based fitness tracking and personal training community Nike+ rubbing shoulders with Under Armour’s ecosystem of sports apps, of which MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun are noteworthy. Elsewhere, route-tracking endurance sports app and social network Strava enjoys a prominent position as a favorite among racing cyclists and casual runners.
For those with more professional ambitions, TrainingPeaks seeks to bring a rich suite of data analytics and training protocols to your work-outs, as well as the ability to liaise one-on-one with a personal coach. With the rise of the wellness industry, an increasing number of platforms and services are also emerging focused on catering to mindfulness and yoga, with Adriene Mishler’s Find What Feels Good yoga app and community a prominent example.
There are also apps dedicated to nutrition, one of the most important topics in the world of fitness, such as HealthifyMe or Eat This Much, which help you to organize your diet and make it compatible with your training.
Travel has been completely revolutionized by the benefits conferred by smartphone services. From booking flights to organizing itineraries, smartphones have automated much of the logistical challenges inherent in getting from A to B. For the first time, you can confidently leave your guidebooks at home.
Platforms such as TripAdvisor offer crowd-sourced reviews for points of interest in destinations anywhere on earth, ensuring you’re up to date on what to do and see at any location. Elsewhere, Google Maps has taken all head-scratching out of finding your way to your hotel, thanks to its inbuilt satellite navigation and ability to offer alternative routes based on travel times and traffic congestion.
Another area where Google’s progressive innovation has led to meaningful benefits is in its Translate app. In the past, translation was limited to converting blocks of text from one language to another.
But nowadays, it’s possible to hold your phone up with its camera open and have the app translate any text in view in real-time. And that’s not all, incredibly, the app can now even translate conversations between two people in real-time, overcoming previously insurmountable language barriers.