Herald: Goans are well and truly on the app driven highway

Goans are well and truly on the app driven highway

23 Mar 2019 03:19am IST

Report by
Aditi Malhotra

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23 Mar 2019 03:19am IST

Report by
Aditi Malhotra

Leave a comment

Intro: Millennium Goans are no longer in control of their own lives. Apps control them. From walking up, to dieting, to keeping fit, to handling relationships, to maintain finances, to travelling or shopping and even sorting out problems in the bedroom, there’s an app for everything. This is convenient but what does it do to our interpersonal relationships

Armaan from Porvorim is 15 years old, doing home schooling

and is a blogger. His mother often gets worried about the amount of time he spends on his mobile phone, but sometimes she feels helpless. Because when it comes to studies, he uses apps like Byjus to help him with his homework, when he wants to unwind, he is playing games on the phone, if not games, watching videos on YouTube app is another entertainment for him. Since he is a blogger too, he ends up spending some time on apps like Facebook, Instagram, WordPress etc. In a situation where most of the jobs are done on apps, how does one complain? When asked Armaan about the same he said, “ My mother does control the time I spend playing games on my phone, but for all the other things, she can’t complain much because I am either using apps for my studies or to build my blogging profile.”

Do you remember when was the last time you went to your bank to request for a checkbook, or when did you go to the railway station to book a train ticket? Well, these are certainly a thing of past. In today’s time, all these things happen with a mere click and that too not even on your computer, but on your phone. Yes, apps are literally ruling our lives. Last year, India overtook the US as the world’s #2 market in app downloads, with 12.1 billion. There are more than 2 million apps available on Android and iOS and the average number of apps that a smartphone user installs is 51.

Smartphone users in India are spending a large part of their day staring at their phones and going through different apps, a study has found. The app addiction seen in users in India is among the highest rated worldwide, the study added. Indians are believed to be spending more than 4 hours a day on their phones using different apps. By 2022, India is expected to have 37.2 billion downloads a year, a growth rate of 207%, which makes it by far the fastest growing app market in the world.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Tinder, Shaadi, every relation is an app away! Social media is a way of life now. You won’t remember when was the last time you hugged a friend, but you would remember that dress your friend was wearing in her Instagram picture, won’t you? By category, the social media apps lead the usage with 76 percent of the users using them on a daily basis. Sinead, A PR, and Social Media Consultant say, “As a Digital PR Consultant, these days we completely rely on social media to get our brands messages across! With social media being so instant and fast we need our phones to access them, which then leaves us completely reliant on our phones and apps. I remember when mobile phones first started and have experienced the journey from there to the point of where we are now. We simply can’t live without them.”

Video streaming and gaming makes for the most popular category of apps and the number of users is increasing by the minute. YouTube has got the youth hooked. From recipe videos to comedy, movies, songs, gaming streams, everything is available on YouTube. The emergence of OTT channels has made this segment even more popular. Netflix is one of the top subscription-based apps in India, followed by Amazon Prime. Mobile gaming has gained a lot in recent times. It stood as the second most-used category with 70 percent of the users playing one or the other game daily on their smartphones. Candy Crush, PUBG, Farmville are some of the apps that have literally broken records.

Not just entertainment, but today apps also help people build their businesses, whether it is creating awareness or simple networking, apps play a huge role. Nikhil Mirkar, the proprietor of Goa Unlimited feels, “Mobile apps in today’s times have become the best form of support system, only if used to the fullest. I only wish that uneducated and old people who are afraid to use the apps, due to lack of digital knowledge, can be educated and can make utmost use of it on the move. They are so time-saving. I call the apps my man Friday. Almost 60% of my time is spent on the apps. Be it business or personal work, can’t imagine my daily life without it.”

The need for news on the go has created a decline in the traditional newspapers and given a surge to the news apps. People don’t have time to read newspapers nowadays, all they want is an instant update on what’s happening in the world and click on the links and read full news only of the topics that interest them.

Finding directions with navigation apps is something that everyone who drives totally relies on. Rani, who has just shifted to Goa and establishing her business says, “If not for Google maps, I would be lost! I am unaware of the roads and places and for I think especially when you are new to a place, navigation apps are your best bet.”

Mobile banking and e-wallets have changed the way we make our payments and handle our finances. We are practically going cashless and monetization becoming digital.

Today, in most cities, from a vegetable vendor to the grocery store or even a rickshaw-walla, everyone has access to these apps and they happily accept payments via e-wallets. Goa hasn’t quite reached that stage yet but it soon will.

Apps like Zomato, Swiggy, and FoodPanda have changed the dynamics of the f&b industry in India. Both Zomato and Swiggy have recently started their operations in Goa. With the ease of ordering food from the comfort of your home, getting a doorstep delivery from your favorite restaurant, what more can one ask for?

“For my business I travel so much and of course all the travel apps come in so handy. From comparing ticket prices, to checking out hotel pics and making my bookings I cannot imagine any other way of planning my travel”, says Arvind Nanda, a business woman.

Yoga tutorials, diet monitoring, virtual gyms, doctor consultations, ordering medicines, health & fitness is another category of apps that is catching up fast with the Millennials.

To do organizers, photo editing, video making, booking movie tickets, shopping gadgets to designer wear and groceries, so many tasks happen on apps every day. Our lifestyle is dominated by apps. Though there are a lot of positives, there is a downside too, aren’t we becoming too robotic in nature? Isn’t the ease of technology making us lazy and lethargic, there are so many apps and so many functions that they do at a mere touch of our finger, but are we losing the human touch?

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