By editorial board • 

Developers, newspaper join an exploding mobile industry

The buzzword “app,” short for application, has swept into our everyday culture. Development of mobile apps is a booming industry that no longer can be ignored.

For consumers and creators, the app industry still is in a “Wild West” stage. That characterization came this week from the Federal Trade Commission as it fined application maker Path, Inc. $800,000 for improperly collecting personal information about its clients. The fine was doubled as a warning to the mobile communications industry with access to the pocketbooks of so many people. 

A new report released by Cisco predicts there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people by the end of 2013. The study said mobile data grew 70 percent in 2012, and now is 12 times the size of the global Internet in 2000.

Apps come with all mobile devices.

Some are pragmatic, like utilities to help you locate stores or products. Some are strictly for entertainment, like the countless number of games and silly tools good for passing time while waiting for the bus. Other app-driven technology seems almost magic, such as a new app that connects with a sensor clipped to a golf club, relaying such information as club speed, swing path and angle at impact to the duffer’s smartphone, and immediately producing a 3D playback of the golfer’s swing.  

The burgeoning app industry is everywhere, including here on Third Street in McMinnville. Last week, John Marr’s iAmDrums app — developed for his McMinnville-based app company, Savage Apps — was downloaded more than 1 million times in just 48 hours, becoming the Number One free app in 50 countries. 

“We’re still at the beginning of the industry,” Marr told the News-Register. “They’re really powerful. It’s much like building a portable website, but you’re touching it, interacting with it.”

With the consumer base growing daily for mobile data and technology, businesses of every size must take notice. Just as it seemed necessary for businesses to be social-media friendly to keep shoppers engaged, now the trends say they must be mobile friendly, too. 

The News-Register has joined those ranks with the launch of its first mobile applications for the newspaper and its monthly Oregon Wine Press. Users of iPads can download those apps from Apple store, with releases pending for Android and iPhone users.

As has been our tradition, we’ll continue to keep the Yamhill Valley connected using whatever formats best serve our readers, and today that includes an expanding number of mobile devices.

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