Don’t Underestimate “Crap” Apps, Especially If They Work

(By Ajibola Aiyedogbon)

It is easy as a tech enthusiast and mobile developer to label the product as not up to par, but you can’t argue with the numbers. Even though there are changes that could be made to the user interface, app updates usually screw things up, so I wouldn’t change much of anything on the 2Go app. Android soldiers can bash J2ME all they want, but with billions of devices shipped and counting, you can’t argue with that.

Recently I decided to try out 2Go on a Nokia full touch device. My first thoughts were that the user interface and experience wasn’t so great. But wait… isn’t this the same app that has been downloaded almost ten million times on Getjar? Probably millions more on the Nokia Store and other app stores. After playing around with it for about an hour, I began to think — this app is good, functional, and engaging. Really.

Tech enthusiasts typically like being on the cutting edge of technology. We are enthused about new stuff. Developers like to take the latest platforms and API’s on joy rides. But in reality the new fangled stuff may not be the platforms bringing in the cash flow.

There has been a lot of griping about people’s “crappy” products, and the quality of Nollywood movies, Nairaland et al. But It may be time to sub the enthusiast for realist. It is easy as a tech enthusiast and mobile developer to label the product as not up to par, but you can’t argue with the numbers. Even though there are changes that could be made to the user interface, app updates usually screw things up, so I wouldn’t change much of anything on the 2Go app. Android soldiers can bash J2ME all they want, but with billions of devices shipped and counting, you can’t argue with that.

When Maliyo launched with flash games, I was like in today’s world, flash, with all the HTML5 hype, really? But a few years ago I would have been playing those games, I am sure many teens would enjoy them as well. With the crap fest that mobile payments are now, the web is still looking super good and always will.

Did I really just call mobile payments crap? As a tech enthusiast, it is easy to see how that may be perceived as true, but as a tech realist, who has spent the better part of the last 3 years on mobile SMS payments, the numbers don’t lie, I estimate billions are made through SMS mobile payments each day by any single network in Nigeria. It may not be your preferred option, but SMS billing is as easy as it gets with mobile payments. Mobile money flows really suck! then again Stanbic IBTC reported billions in transactions for mobile money last year so there goes that argument.

I hope we will observe there is a trend here; consistently lambasting leading products because they may not represent the highest echelon of technology as it stands currently, ignoring the effort and turmoil that someone else had to overcome to arrive at a certain degree of success. If millions of people validate it, then it really doesn’t matter if we enthusiasts acknowledge it or not. Next time you want to label someone’s product as crap, stop and think about it for a moment. If you really aren’t ready to disrupt it, don’t play with that crap!

(Source: Techcabal)

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