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Got An App For That?...

Joe Harris



The recent launch of the Windows 8 operating system has become the flagship of a new thrust in technology culture that is here to stay if we like it or not.

Windows are trying to push their desktop experience into the App based smartphone sector whilst at the same time crossing paths with Google who are busy working on selling their App based platform to desktop users.

At the same time Apple is looking to futher improve communications between their many available devices to ensure a smooth user experience and to bond users more closely to their brand.

Users are increasingly being taught to think less about the specific machine that they are using to access tools and data (Laptop / Mobile / PC) and to instead focus on a common interface and a shared pool of data.

More content is being delivered to users in the 'App' format. By 'App' I mean simple, modular applications that are generally geared towards a specific focus area or subject. The aim in most cases is to simplify the interface used, allowing the more non-technical minded among us to interact in ways that would have been either slow or difficult to achieve previously.

This combines with an ever increasing 'Always on' mindset to create a demand whereby users are surprised and disappointed if they can't 'find an app for that' when they search.


One of the most common themes at the moment is the migration of existing products and services from a traditional email / letter / phone approach to instead utilise an App.

What name is given to the process of converting something which is not an App into an App though?

Imagine converting your hard copy lens calculator into an App, or maybe making your invoice payment system into an App. How do you describe this process of taking a none-app format procedure or task and making the same process achievable through an App?

I came across this dilemma recently and discovered the following terms actively being used in this context:

  • Appifying? (4.7k Google hits)

Sounds satisfying but not quite self explanatory enough
  • Appverting? (14.4k Google hits)

"Converting into an App" sounds feasible however this term was hijacked by the marketing industry for use as 'Appvertising' (A failed marketing attempt to channel adverts to mobile devices)
  • Appetising? (Huge number of irrelevant Google hits)

Hungry? This causes confusion already...
  • Apping? (576k Google hits)

A term that is used already to cover many different non App based uses (Such as applying for something)
  • Appification: (23.3k Google hits)

Probably the most prominent term currently in use, perhaps also the least self explanatory one for ‘Joe Bloggs’ non-technical person

Applicable applications

Why would this process be important to the Electronic Security industry? Our industry already embraces this technology in many ways you could say, with many hardware manufacturers beginning to make interfaces to their products possible through apps. Is this the only narrow use for this approach though?

We are a service industry. Many of the services we provide can be made more efficient or more easily accessible to a wider audience if converted to a format with which an end user can easily and securely access.

Processes which currently soak up valuable staffing hours could instead be made automated or at least interactive. The evolving possibilities presented by the internet of things (IoT) and IPv6 offer amazing scope but also an amazing level of potential complexity. Apps could help organise and empower users so that they are able to be informed, advised and participatory in the naming and configuration process.

Communication can be made much simpler and the secure sharing of information to relevant parties can be done in a transparent, seamless and immediate manner.

Many of the back end systems currently utilised by Installers and ARCs have common protocols such as SOAP or XML available which means that your App can directly interface with your core products if you wish.

You may find it worthwhile to take some time to stand back from your organisation and consider how you could use this ‘App momentum’ to your advantage.

There is potential for all sectors of our industry to take advantage of this migration including but not limited to Installers, ARCs and service providers. How can you empower your end users and staff through this technology?


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