Bicycle-related mobile apps offer a wealth of new and exciting opportunities and gives us the world of cycling close at hand – 24/7 wherever we are.
By Anne-Kirstine Spring, Kofoed & Co
We live in a digital age where consumers are overwhelmed on a daily basis with technology dominating many aspects of our modern lives. This is not least true when it come to mobile phones.
Today, 63% of all Danes have a smart phone, and as smart phones gain more and more ground, software applications, so-called apps, have become a central tool in our mobile daily lives when we shop, consume, are entertained, share knowledge, or play games – all via our smart phones.
With the mobile apps on your smart phone, you have the whole world and everything in it right at hand, at all times and places. Apps have gained a foothold on the market to an overwhelming degree. Worldwide, the number of downloaded apps hit 10.9 billion in 2010. In May 2013, it hit 50 billion and is expected to increase to no less than 76.9 billion in 2014.
The apps’ ability to create and present content and information in a whole new way with colourful content, innovative features, motivating messages, and fun effects have taken the entire world – including the cycling world – by storm.
Mobile apps can help make cyclists’ lives easier, more convenient, fun, and maybe even more attractive. With only a few clicks and an app, the cyclist can become his or her own bike mechanic or training instructor. In games, you can navigate a cyclist through obstacles either just for the fun of it or as part of traffic training for children. The Municipality of Odense’s app, Find Vej (Find your way) app is a good example of this.
Via route planners like Bike Planner or Naviki, cyclists get easy access to planning their routes either on-the-go or in advance for instance in combination with bike-tourism apps which also give good tips to cultural sites to visit en route.
There are also numerous apps that can log the cyclist’s route under way and thus also be used as a training tool, as they include details about distances, average speed, top speed, and calorie consumption. Especially Endomondo is popular, but Cyclemeter and Map My Ride can be used for the same purpose. Many of these apps simultaneously work as social networks where users can follow each other, share their results, and compete. The linkage to facebook and Twitter makes the bike ride or the training a complete digital experience.
Today, the bike-related apps cover a wide field, from maps of bike share systems, tips for bicycle repair, GPS tracking, to bike games and bicycle dealers. With the abundance of possibilities and information offered by the mobile apps, technology has found favour in the cycling world. This not only makes traditional cycle maps superfluous; other technologies like bike computers also have to step aside for the apps that make the world of cycling available to us any time or place.
Category: Newsletter 11