Thursday, December 12, 2019
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The Apps that changed how we do things in this decade

This decade has been the decade of a lot of technological advancements and innovations. At the turn of the decade, we couldn’t imagine doing things that we currently do using our phones through applications. Below are some of the applications that have made our lives easier as we come to a close of the decade.

Ride Hailing Apps

Up until January 2015, we would only work around public transport vehicles, personal cars or taxis that you had to negotiate for long for pricing and were found only at particular spots. Then came Uber, which allowed one to just use their phone and order for a cab anywhere at anytime. This innovation also did away with price negotiations and would give a rider an estimate of how much it would cost for their journey before ordering (of course, there would be a plus or minus of some amount depending on other factors during the journey, at the end). Soon after, several others followed and even forced local cab companies to also launch their own digital platforms to remain competitive. Despite the initial resistance from some operators, almost everyone has finally accepted this and moved to embrace it. Other firms have gone a notch higher and introduced bigger vans and buses for shared rides that might spell doom to the chaotic public transportation system. With the organization and perceived security offered by these apps, many commuters have already embraced them. SWVL and Little Shuttles are the key competitors in this market segment.

Last Mile Delivery Services

A few years ago, it was highly unlikely that you’d trust a stranger to bring you ready food into your house or office. That has now changed thanks to apps like Uber Eats, Glovo, among others that have partnered with restaurants. One just needs an application and they can order for their favorite food from their preferred restaurant and it will be delivered to a location of their choice. For letters and parcels too, one initially had to locate a central delivery or picking point for courier services to send/ pick letters and parcels, technology has changed all that and now, letters and parcels can be picked from ones office, home and delivered to a preferred destination within hours.

Hotel Booking Services

Before the coming of AirBnB, Booking.com among others, identifying and booking an hotel was quite cumbersome. Going through the internet to find an hotel, get a phone number that was hardly answered or an email that was rarely replied, planning for travels was quite hard as one was never sure how they’ll manage at the other end. The disruptive technology came, which not only provided travelers with endless choices of hotels but also opened up to private investors with available spaces in their homes to earn a little income from an otherwise idle space. Now with a smartphone, one can easily find, read reviews and book a place to stay in their travel destinations.

Streaming Services

‘Who is your movie guy?’ was a common question whenever friends met or those off work discussions on a Friday afternoon in preparation for chilled out weekend watching movies. Watching movies from DVDs or USB disks was the norm. Then came disruptive technologies among them Netflix and Showmax and so many others. One needed to just download the app and with an internet connection could select from a large selection of movies, documentaries, content for everyone in the family. With a monthly subscription, everyone in the family can have access to a lot of content. One can now consume their preferred content anywhere using a smartphone, a tablet, a desktop or a smart TV.

Service Providers

There were days finding a service provider, one needed to get referrals from someone who had used one. Innovation has made it an easy search now, with an application, one can have access to thousands of service providers including electronic technicians, plumbers, welders, carpenters, among others.

These disruptive technologies have changed how things were done in this decade and going forward. Technology changes all the time and we can only look forward to more disruptive innovations in the next decade.

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