Apps for the iPhone and iPad have evolved into media in their own right, adding yet another revolution to the list Steve Jobs built up during his reign at the head of Apple. According to a recent article in Le Monde, since the creation of the brand’s App Store in 2008, some 425,000 apps have been created, fuelling 15 billion downloads.
And Apple is not alone on the scene: fans of BlackBerry and Android devices can also choose from an array of apps. Sites offering a selection of the latest apps are flourishing. Conducting a survey among more than 100 users, Le Monde discovered that each phone owner had downloaded between 70 and 120 applications, most of them free.
GPS and other orientation devices were among the most popular, along with social networking services like Facebook. Apps providing news and weather updates were also considered “essential” by many users. Other apps, such as games, were used for a while and then deleted. Ironically, games were among the few apps users were willing to pay for, even if they grew bored of them after a while. In this, they resemble far older consumer products like DVDs and CDs.
Advertisers are cautiously enthusiastic. One major French beauty brand commented: “Many users download an app, use it for a little while, then forget about it when something else catches their attention. The challenge is to make your app a ‘must have’ so it remains on their screen.”
Kantar Media has launched an app for clients of its daily Media Briefings clients. Now, clients can access their media coverage directly from their phones and tablets. (The Media Briefings are already accessible from other internet enabled mobile devices including smart phones and BlackBerries.)
“Brands need fast access to data on the current status of their brands’ reputation online and offline so that they can effectively monitor and respond to opportunities and crises,” said François Nicolon, international marketing director, Kantar Media Intelligence Europe. “
The iPad and iPhone applications enable users to view news from their sector at the brush of a finger: without a doubt a “must have” for those concerned with their image in the media.