Killer apps – do they exist?

These days we are constantly being told about the latest “killer app” that is taking the online world by storm. Some of these apps are popular only because people read about them and feel they should probably try them out because everyone is saying they are “killer apps”. After a few weeks the novelty wears off and there’s some new “killer app” that everyone is chattering about so people ditch the old one, get the new one and it all kicks off again.

I may be accused of being somewhat of a Luddite, but for me most of the apps that I have tried have added very little value. The home screen of my phone contains a grand total of 8 apps. Some of these I use regularly, but as I write this post I realise that I don’t use some of them any more. My home screen is about to become even less cluttered.

The first app on my page is a camera app. The second is one for viewing photos taken by the camera. To highlight the extent to which some apps have come to be regarded as commodities they have no name other than “Camera” and “Photos”. They may be provided by Google, or by someone else. Whoever made the apps isn’t doing a great job on the branding front.

The next app is Chrome, for browsing web sites. There’s not much to say about that one other than I need something to browse the web with and Chrome does me just fine.

To complete the top line I have the Android settings app. I used to use this a lot more but I’ve now realised that it has been a long time since I needed that urgently so I think a move to the second page is on the cards.

Across the bottom I have the phone app, an email client, the SMS app and WhatsApp. The email client used to be called “Blue Mail” when I started using it but I think it has been through a few rebrandings and is now called “TypeApp”.

WhatsApp is one of the few “killer apps” that I use regularly and which really has had a lasting impact on my day to day life. In my books it is genuinely a game changer. It has the ability to set up groups for any set of friends, or event, or anything of interest. This isn’t unique, but what I think sets it aside from other applications is that when people use it, by and large there is no expectation of a like or a response, or anything like that. Replies are optional.  It’s about getting information out there, not about getting feedback.

The point has been made elsewhere that a group in WhatsApp is normally a pretty accurate representation of a group with a shared interest, whereas the set of people who follow a particular feed on Facebook or Twitter really isn’t.

Bringing this back on topic, I think that WhatsApp really is one of the few killer apps out there.  I find that most of the rest of the apps are just different ways of doing the same thing, with different interfaces, different sets of people, etc . . .
What other killer apps do you think I could be using?

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