It is the mobile age and 2018 was an exciting year in terms of both hardware and software. We look at three mobile apps that did not make it through the year.
The fact is, mobile OS users are spoilt for choice now. So much so that brands and developers are rewarding users for downloading their apps. According to Statista.com, more than 176 million apps were downloaded in 2017 and this figure is expected to grow to 260 million by 2022.
These statistics are not shocking considering that daily time spent per individual on digital media on mobile in the United States in 2017 was 2.3 hours according to ComScore.com. On the other hand, TechCrunch reports that people use an average of nine apps daily and thirty mobile apps monthly.
In terms of app availability, at the beginning of 2017, the iOS store had 2.2million apps available for download. The Google PlayStore had 2.1million apps available by the Third Quarter of 2018. The stats seem to be stacked slightly in favour of the Apple App Store despite Android’s relative dominance in the OS marketplace.
The Mobile Apps Graveyard in 2018
There is an obvious downside (from the developers’ point of view) to this; a rapid rate of app obsolescence. In 2018, quite a number of popular mobile apps either got buried six feet below the OS graveyard or signed their own death warrant. Here are just three of them:
If you never used Yahoo! Messenger, you can truly lay claim to being a digital native or a very late immigrant. This iconic app has earned its place in the Instant Messenger Hall of Fame with its wide popularity and usage since 1998.
Nigerian users may remember this app with fondness as it provided a platform for building relationships before the advent of social media platforms like Hi5, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sadly though, it never seemed to go farther than the desktop, failing to keep up as the new kids on the block flooded the mobile space with mobile apps that redefined the instant messaging landscape.
All attempts to step up their game barely caught the attention or fancy of users who were now hooked on new messaging apps. Finally giving up, Yahoo! announced the app will be laid to rest in July this year, giving users six months to download their chat history.
The six months expired in November and loyalists will be migrated to the company’s new messaging app, Squirrel. Good things do come to an end and we must admit this is the case with Yahoo! Messenger. Adios amigo.
This is just one of a few Google products that will be laid to rest. While Inbox’s final demise is not till March 2019, it is a done deal. It was created to function as an alternative to Google’s main email app, GMail. Despite its innovative slant and sleek features, it surprisingly failed to pull enough users.
Many may be surprised by Google’s decision especially after becoming accustomed to features such as snoozing, Smart Replies, Nudges and high-priority notifications among others.
According to Product Manager at GMail, Matthew Izzat, “We want to take a more focused approach to help us bring the best email experience to everyone. As a result, we’re planning to focus solely on Gmail and say goodbye to ‘Inbox’ at the end of March 2019,”. Google is also quick to reassure users that favourite features from Inbox will be available in the mainstream app, GMail. Well, Inbox, you were loved while it lasted. We’ll miss you.
This app was once viewed as a contender in the social media space, alongside Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Between 2011 and 2012, Path was a hangout for the who’s who in the mobile space. Founded in 2010, Path allowed users to share photos, status updates and check-ins.
Despite its popularity in some geographical areas within the United States, it always fell short of the mass adoption that saw competitors like Facebook and Twitter grow exponentially. A light in the tunnel appeared in 2015 when it was acquired by Korean IT company Daum Kakao but that wasn’t enough to prevent its demise.
Hindsight is 20/20 but its owners may rue the day they turned down Google’s acquisition offer of $100million. Google’s attention was, however, evidence of Path’s pioneering innovations such as post reactions and other design elements. Imitation being the best form of flattery, it is fair to say that today’s major social media platforms grafted many features from Path back in its heydays. Another one bites the dust. Adios, Path.
Win some, lose some. No one may like to lose especially after investing a decent amount of resources in a venture but in a demand and supply driven environment, some have to give way for others to thrive. It is expected that these companies will birth other innovations in due course.