Getting to Know You

A look at what it takes to create successful mobile apps.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of apps available for your mobile device, you're not alone. There is a combined total of over 4 million apps available in Google and Apple's app stores. So, how do app makers differentiate their offerings in the hopes of rising to the top?

The growing trend in successful apps is personalization. Hannah Levenson of Business 2 Community reviews five mobile apps that are using personalization to work with the user to provide the best possible user experience. From the Drippler app that is designed to help you interact better with your smartphone to the Airbnb app that claims it has "personalization at its heart", the success of these apps depends upon how quickly they can evolve to meet their user's specific needs.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Topics/Activities
  1. What apps do the students in your class use most often? Are they personalized? Would students find them more useful or more enjoyable if they were personalized?
  2. Divide students into small groups and have each group choose one of the apps from the article to explore. If desired, ask the groups to download the app to their smartphone or tablet and use it for several days. Each group should create a brief presentation about the app they researched. If the app was also used, the group should report on their results.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research one or more of the apps on their own devices and investigate the permissions the app requires and how it handles the information it obtains. Students should write a brief report on their findings.


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