Are we already running out of useful smartphone apps?

The exiting network of apps delivers services that were unimaginable to the internet of 2005. Even when factoring in humanity’s insatiable lust for new things, there is a certain stability to tech. Facebook users may or may not be jumping ship in droves for Ello, but it’s not because Facebook’s current level of functionality is somehow lacking. Is it possible that no company or service will supplant Facebook as Facebook supplanted MySpace because there’s little room for improvement? Is Facebook “enough”?

San Francisco software developer Daniel Pennypacker believes that that there are still a lot of middlemen that can be cut out of the equation.

“Like HR,” he said. “HR could be replaced by a web app. It sounds mean, but submitting vacation requests can be automated. For every frivolous app that gets a lot of attention, there’s an app that falls into some other business trend that you never hear about, and which could make more money. A lot of stuff that’s hot right now is enterprise or ‘agile’ project management software, and even that might have a lot of frivolous aspects. There’s always some business trend that software is trying to catch up with.”

Has the golden age of app development ended? “I think we hit that point, years ago, and now we’re just into the spectacle,” Pennypacker said.