The Power And Promise Of Micro Apps

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Originally posted on: https://wickedbionic.com/technology/the-power-and-promise-of-micro-apps/

 

At the intersection of business and technology, there’s lots of talk about “micro apps” and how they can be used to make humans more productive. While it might seem intimidating to have to learn another aspect of the Internet, the truth is, you’re probably using micro apps on a daily basis without realizing what they are.

For example:

  • Do you click the small icon on your menu bar to see how much battery power your laptop has left?
  • Do you use Facebook Messenger or WeChat?
  • Do you have a weather app on your phone?
  • Do you use the “level” on your smartphone to see if you hung a picture straight?

If you said yes to any of these, congratulations—you are using micro apps!

 

WHAT IS A MICRO APP?

In simplest terms, a micro app is a small program (usually HTML-based) that focuses on doing one task well and doing it quickly. Developers started creating micro apps in response to complaints that desktop applications (and even several mobile apps) were becoming too slow, clunky, and complicated by trying to pack too many functions into one app. Micro apps can be standalone apps (e.g., your smartphone weather app) or embedded within a larger app or software suite (e.g., the spell checker or instant thesaurus on your word processor).

 

WHY MICRO APPS ARE POPULAR

It’s been discovered that apps that do fewer things quicker tend to be used more often. (Most new mobile apps lose 80 percent of their daily users within the first three days of use, mainly because people don’t want to take the time to figure them out.) In the business world, people have discovered that they can be more productive by using a set of micro apps that perform a few functions they repeatedly use instead of trying to learn a larger software platform that supposedly does everything.

Larger companies are also learning this lesson. Many mid-sized businesses have fallen into the snare of hiring their own programmers to create bespoke platforms to keep their employees on the same page (i.e., scheduling, task management, payroll, etc.), only to discover it made the workplace more complicated, not less. As an alternative, many of these companies have now turned to the micro app concept, creating smaller apps that help their employees do only specific things and making them more productive as a result.

 

HOW CAN MICRO APPS HELP YOUR BUSINESS?

Generally speaking, the value of micro apps is measured only in their usefulness to you. If you perform a specific task frequently and you find a micro app to help you and your team do it faster and more efficiently, then that app has value to your business. If you can’t find an app that does exactly what you need it to do, platforms like Progress and Citrix enable the building of micro apps with limited coding knowledge. In certain instances, you might even want to develop a micro app to enhance your customers’ experience with you—for example, a quick re-order app.

Micro apps help increase productivity, and for that reason, we’re likely to see many more of them in the years to come. That being said, functionality is still the ultimate measure of whether a particular app is for you. Like anything else, micro apps are tools. If it makes you work better, pick it up and use it. Learn more about tools that improve productivity on your website at Wicked Bionic.