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The size of the global mobile apps market is expected to grow by $497.09 billion between 2020 and 2024, and conferences like APPNATION are to a certain extent responsible for the app industry being able to transform mobile devices into powerful instruments that people from all walks of life use for much more than just communication.
If you’ve never heard about APPNATION, then this article is just for you because it explains what makes this conference so important and lists some of the best apps that came from it.
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APPNATION was the largest mobile app conference in North America, focusing exclusively on the business side of app development and the consumer app economy. App developers who attended APPNATION had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience, discover new development tools and frameworks, and present their creations to the whole world.
The conference was founded by Andrew Ianni in 2010, it had over 3,000 attendees at its peak. The APPNATION conference is headquartered in New York, which is also where the last place where it was held.
The 2014 Cross-Platform Summit hosted by APPNATION featured two days of insightful presentations from app developers and executives from across the entire mobile app ecosystem, giving them the chance to connect with one another and learn more information about the latest technology, business practices, and future opportunities.
Since then, APPNATION has moved to CES, giving app developers the opportunity to engage with over 100,000 attendees and thousands of hardware and software companies.
It’s one thing to know what APPNATION is, and it’s something else to be familiar with some of the coolest apps it has given the world. Selecting just a handful of the most interesting and influential apps from APPNATION wasn’t easy, but we’re satisfied with the results of our research.
Since many of these apps have been around for some time, it’s likely that you’re already familiar with them (and perhaps even use some of them on your device).
Splashtop is arguably the most popular mobile app to have come from the APPNATION conference. This remote desktop solution was first released in 2010, enabling users to connect to and control computers from their mobile devices. Today, Splashtop is available on Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, and Linux.
As you can probably imagine, the features Splashtop offers now are far more numerous compared with what it offered when it was introduced at APPNATION. The latest version of Splashtop can effortlessly transfer files between devices, stream high definition audio and video in real-time, and more.
The company behind Splashtop has also released dedicated solutions for businesses with remote employees, schools that want to enable classroom screen sharing, and managed services providers who provide customer support to customers in remote locations.
If you live in the United States and travel a lot across state lines, you need to download this app to your phone. While simple from the technical side, State Lines contains many years’ worth of useful information, which its developers compiled while traveling full-time in their RV across the USA.
More specifically, State Lines has over 55 pieces of travel relevant information for each of the 50 states, making it easy to learn everything you need to know about state-specific laws, tax exemptions, speed limits, pet leash laws, smoking bans, and so on.
Of course, you could look for all this information online, but having it in one place, accessible offline right on your phone, is infinitely more convenient, and it more than justifies the app’s price tag.
It’s a shame that it’s not possible to download Fountainhop anymore because the app made it incredibly easy for students to discover what’s going on around their campus. It was officially used by Stanford Dining, Stanford Undergraduate Advising and Research, Stanford Convocation, Admit Weekend, Parents Weekend, Housing, and other Stanford organizations and student groups, but many students attending other universities used it as well.
Fountainhop is a great example of an independently-developed app that managed to gain a lot of traction thanks to the publicity it received after being demonstrated at APPNATION. Its developer, Nikil Viswanathan, also created Down To Lunch, which became the #1 Social App on the App Store not too long after its release.
Even though Magic Window isn’t a mobile app, we think that it still deserves a place on this list because many people probably wouldn’t know about it if it wasn’t for the fact that it was first introduced at APPNATION. Just like its name suggests, this app allows you to transfer your Mac computer into a magical window through which you can watch beautiful sunrises and sunsets, mesmerizing day and night views, and gorgeous locations from around the world.
The app is compatible with all Mac computers, and it works on macOS 10.13+, including Big Sur. You can download the starter version of Magic Window for free from its official website, or get the full version for $14.99 directly from the Mac App Store.
Nimbuzz is an instant messaging solution for smartphones, tablets and personal computers. It was developed by MSM Global Holdings Limited and first released in 2008. Just a few years after its release, the app already had over 150 million users in 200 countries. The almost instant success of Nimbuzz led to it being largely acquired by New Call, with a major leadership change following soon after.
Even though Nimbuzz was processing more than a billion call minutes and in excess of 100 billion messages a month in at the start 2019, its site and servers went offline in mid-2019, and they have remained unavailable to this day.
Previously known as Toktumi, Line2 is a mobile app developed by a company of the same name. The app makes it easy for mobile users to get a second phone number that works as a full-featured business phone system. The app is advertised mostly to freelancers and professionals who want to separate their personal and work communication without juggling two SIM cards.
The service is available in the United States and Canada, and it costs $9.99. Set up takes just a few minutes, and Line2 works over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, LTE, and cellular voice, so service availability is rarely ever an issue. The company behind Line2 also offers enterprise-class solutions for businesses with multiple employees.
Introduced at the 2010 APPNATION conference, NutriSleuth was an iPhone and iPod Touch app that aimed to make shopping for groceries easier by extracting nutrition information from barcodes and comparing it with dietary profiles users set in the app. For example, the app was able to automatically tell a person allergic to soy not to buy a certain product. It was also able to rate food items according to their compatibility with certain lifestyle preferences, such as high fiber, vegetarian, or kosher.
Unfortunately, NutriSleuth doesn’t exist anymore, which is a shame considering how much potential the app had. The good news is that there are many apps in the App Store that do exactly the same, including Shopwell.