A GUIDE TO APP-INESS: CONTEXTUAL ESSAY

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Over the last few years, the mobile phone has become such an asset to us that it has almost become a part of who we are. We constantly have and hold them wherever we go; they have become a very important part of our lives; our virtual being is stored in a device the size of your hand (Majdalani, 2016). According to Statista’s 2017 results, the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.77 billion (Statista, 2016) . This statistic is not even surprising as let’s be real, we live in a not so patient society where we want instantaneous results at a push of a button. We depend on several apps daily to stay connected, to the outside world as well as family and friends, as they are the medium through which the conversation goes through. It is clear that mobile applications (apps) have improved our day-to-day activities and made things easier. Although there are many affordances, there are dangers that exist, specifically spying and surveillance apps that inform on their users.

The topics discussed in DIGC335 regarding surveillance, copyright, and hacking was the inspiration for my Digital Artefact. My initial idea was to create a “How To” video series regarding the creation of a music application. I have had no previous experience with app development, with this in mind, my focus was on the user interface design rather than the coding aspect. I posted time-lapsed videos in conjunction with screenshots of the app development. The videos were aimed to inform the consumer on how to navigate the program Sketchapp.com in order to design simple and easy app pages. The screenshots of my progress were accompanied by captions that informed the consumer of my design decisions and the functionality of the pages.

However, as I researched more into app development, I became more interested with the issues of surveillance apps and copyright. This led to the creation of the first video on the blog ‘A Guide to App-iness‘ which informed and suggested tips to new app developers of the five main legal issues that you could be confronted with in terms of publishing your app. The videos mission was to provide knowledge on legal issues that can sometimes be overlooked by new app developers. This video frames the whole app development process as it ensures that the developers are ethical in the creation of their application.

Unfortunately, due to difficulties with the final coding and linking of pages on the program, the app is not yet fully functional and therefore unable to be downloaded currently. However, although it has not yet been launched, the screenshots and video tutorials have successfully provided a guide for novice app developers to follow and gain inspiration from. I have attempted to provide knowledge on the ethics of app development in order to reduce the negative stigmas of apps in today’s digital age, such as invasive surveillance apps and data storage.

 

Reference:

Majdalani E, 2016. July 25th. MobiApps Expert. ‘The Importance of Mobile Apps Today.’ Available here: http://www.mobiappsexperts.com/the-importance-of-mobile-apps-today/ [Accessed: 31 May 2017]

Statista. 2016. The Statistics Portal. Mber of mobile phone users worldwide from 2013 2019. Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/274774/forecast-of-mobile-phone-users-worldwide/ [Accessed: 31 May 2017]

 

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