Adaptive apps – are they here to stay?

The overflow of information I face daily through the abundance of channels is striking. Personalised search results, breaking news in my area, film suggestions based on my ratings – the apps are getting smarter as the algorithms get more complex with the purpose of bringing me the right information at the right time and place.

When I’m at work, I don’t require navigation at my fingertips. When I’m in a car, I don’t watch films. When I’m on vacation, I don’t (usually) read e-mail. Apps that learn from users’ habits of using a device and adapt to users’ behaviour are therefore smart, really smart. Moves is an example of an app with minimal setup requirements or settings alternatives. It just “knows” whether you walk or run or cycle and “remembers” the places you’ve been at, learning your moves in the everyday.

Adaptive apps are built with the user’s needs and goals in mind. They empower users to focus on the current situation they are in without being disturbed. Ultimately, they make it fun using technology without jeopardising efficiency. (Haven’t all technological innovations been about just that – smarter solutions to achieve efficiency, thus adding new value?)

Necessary apps at the right place and time

Cover is an app that learns “when and where you use different apps and puts them on your lockscreen for easy access.” It is a very interesting idea that I think is on the verge of breaking new ground of interaction with a mobile device.

Cover – The right apps at the right time is a video by Cover for Android on YouTube

Homescreen adapting to user’s context

There’s also Aviate. Reminding of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Home, it is an “intelligent homescreen that organizes the information in your phone and surfaces it at the perfect moment”.

AVIATE is a video by Aviate on YouTube

Here to stay?

I doubt that the apps themselves are going to be dominant as the ones staying. The mindset behind them though is bound to be incorporated across the mobile operating systems at some point. Furthermore, I’d be curious to see a similar solution for desktop, even if, at first, it might be about my behaviour and habit based coupled with time (and timezone?) regulated applications.

Applications that enhance my efficiency and empower me to focus on the essential for the moment are fundamentally the ones that I think well can stand the test of time.