DTNS 2971 – Scrapping Apps

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAre we entering a post-app era? and will messaging apps or voice assistants inherit the crown?


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Show Notes
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4 thoughts on “DTNS 2971 – Scrapping Apps

  1. I live in Britain and your conversation about WhatsApp left me scratching my head. Both Tom and Rich (from lovely Cleveland) talked about never using WhatsApp, and Tom said something about using text messaging instead. Over here, in the UK, the only person I know who doesn’t use WhatsApp is American; everyone else I know uses it all the time. I know there are national/regional divides with apps like Line, but is it the same with WhatsApp? And is Tom unusual in using text messages, or is that something a large number of Americans still use?

    1. David,

      I just checked again, and out of all my contacts, only 12 showed up in WhatsApp. I reached out to them to try see if they used it and got 2 replies within a day, so I assume the others had deleted it. I’ve asked friends if they wanted to move over to using a messaging app, but most just prefer text because they don’t have to switch what they’re using to talk to people. I’ve had the most success with Facebook Messenger, mostly because people at least check Facebook regularly, and if they see the message they’ll download the app if they don’t have it already.
      I’m in my (early) 30s, so maybe it’s different for the younger folk. Anecdotally, I did ask my two teenaged nephews, and they said they mostly use text, but sometimes use Line. I should note, a lot of people I know are on iOS, so they’re getting the benefits of iMessage.
      I’d love to be able to use a messaging app like WhatsApp for a lot of the extensible features, but it’s a chicken and egg problem.

  2. In today’s episode, Tom made an interesting comment about making a single processing service that can be eventually used by different platforms, like Alexa, Siri, Facebook, and so on. I am currently working with this, and proposing a similar approach at work! Previously, if you wanted to develop an Android or an iOS app (or even a Windows phone app!), you needed a dev team for each platform. With chatbots and personal assistants, development is considerably reduced as you are most of the time dedicated towards implementing a single API, and then formatting input/output for all the conversational interfaces you service. However, voice offers more challenges with respect to typing, as users tend to be less forgiving when making a query and not getting the expected results -probably because they must make the same query many times?
    Just to add to the conversation, I think Amazon is moving away from only Alexa with their new service called Lex. Also, Microsoft is getting into the competition with LUIS, or the Language Understanding Intelligent Service. These platforms, along with API.AI which was acquired by Google last September, offer intuitive environments to develop conversational assistants for different assistants. In some cases, machine learning is offered as part of the package so the system can recognise utterances that were formulated differently. It will be interesting to see both industry and end-user communities embracing this technology!

  3. There may be some differences by age, but I’m around Tom’s age (okay, a few years younger) and work in IT at a university, so I see a cross section, and it seems to me like texting is still more common because everyone has it. With the variety of smartphone platforms, and some older or tech-phobic parts of the population still on “dumb phones”, there’s nothing quite as universal as texting. And most plans here now allow for unlimited texting, or at least it’s much cheaper than data plans can be in many cases. The students I interact with seems to split time between texting, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger, somewhat dependant on the student, their phone, and their data plan.

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