by Tom Kaneshige

16 Mobile Digital Disrupter Apps

Apr 12, 20133 mins
Consumer ElectronicsEnterprise ApplicationsMobile

Exciting mobile apps such as Pandora, Yelp and Hailo along with features running on smartphones and tablets have disrupted entire industries. The old ways of serving customers and bridging supply and demand are being upended by the more efficient one-two punch of digital and mobile. Smart companies are joining the movement rather than resisting -- they're disrupting themselves!

Digital disrupter: Hailo, a mobile app for hailing taxi cabs.

Dearly disrupted: Traditional taxi services relying on call center operators to connect passengers with taxis.

[ Mobile App Drives Digital Disruption for London Taxi Company ]


“Image by Puuikibeach/Flickr

Digital disrupter: LoseIt!, a mobile app for tracking calorie intake.

Dearly disrupted: Brick-and-mortar weight loss services, such as Jenny Craig.

[ Mobile Health Apps and Gadgets for Better (and Longer) Living ]

[ 10 Best iPhone Apps for Healthy Living ]

Mobile banking apps

“Image by Bmward/Flickr

Digital disrupter: Mobile banking apps.

Dearly disrupted: Brick-and-mortar banks.

Bonus self-disruption: Banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America deliver apps that disrupt their traditional channels.

Amazon Kindle, e-books

Digital disrupter: Amazon Kindle mobile app for buying and reading e-books .

Dearly disrupted: Book stores, such as Barnes and Noble and Borders.

e-newspapers, news apps

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Digital disrupter: News apps for reading e-newspapers on tablets and smartphones.

Dearly disrupted: Print newspapers and magazines.

Bonus self-disruption: Newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times deliver apps (and new digital paid-subscription models) that disrupt their print channel.

[ 10 Best Android Tablet Apps for News Junkies ]

[ 10 Popular iPad Magazines ]

productivity apps

Digital disrupter: Mobile productivity apps such as Quickoffice and Documents to Go .

Dearly disrupted: Microsoft Office on the desktop is threatened by “good enough” mobile productivity apps that cost far less than their desktop counterparts.

Bonus self-disruption: Microsoft has brought a mobile version of Office on its new Surface tablet.

[ 11 Time Management and Productivity Apps for Android ]

[ 10 Best Windows Phone Apps for Staying Productive ]

Smartphone cameras

“Image by Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

Digital disrupter: Smartphone cameras.

Dearly disrupted: Bulky, expensive standalone cameras that previously used film are being replaced by quality smartphone cameras that even professional photographers are starting to use.

[ iPhone: The World’s Most Popular Camera, Says Geekaphone ]

music and gaming apps

Digital disrupter: Mobile music and gaming apps.

Dearly disrupted: Standalone MP3 players and gaming consoles, such as Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.

maps apps

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Digital disrupter: Mobile maps apps, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Dearly disrupted: Standalone GPS devices, such as Garmin and TomTom.

TV apps, Hulu

Digital disrupter: Hulu Plus mobile app for watching TV shows on-demand.

Dearly disrupted: Traditional cable television networks.

video, Netflix

“Image by Jim Davies/Flickr

Digital disrupter: Netflix mobile app for watching streaming movies.

Dearly disrupted: Brick-and-mortar movie rental stores offering DVD and Blu-ray discs.

taxes, TurboTax

Digital disrupter: TurboTax mobile app.

Dearly disrupted: Brick-and-mortar tax services such as H&R Block.

travel apps

“Image by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Digital disrupter: Mobile travel apps, such as Kayak and Tripit.

Dearly disrupted: Traditional travel agencies.

[ 10 New Business Travel Apps for Busy Executives ]

[ 11 Mobile Apps to Enhance Your Travel Experience ]

[ 10 Essential Windows 8 Travel Apps ]

Yelp, reviews

Digital disrupter: Yelp, a mobile app for reading reviews of restaurants and retailers.

Dearly disrupted: Traditional ways of advertising for retail stores and restaurants.

Pandora, music apps

Digital disrupter: Pandora, a mobile app for listening to all types of music.

Dearly disrupted: Will Pandora kill the already crippled radio industry?

Spotify, music apps

Digital disrupter: Spotify, a music streaming service that delivers songs and albums.

Dearly disrupted: Apple’s iTunes music store, one of the original digital disrupters.