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In Pictures: 15 iPhone apps millennials can't live without
Everyone wants to hire millennials for their fresh ideas, youthful energy and tech savvy. But how much do you really know about them? The apps they carry on their smartphones tell a lot and you can expect millennials to want these apps on their BYOD phones at work, too.
With newly released iOS 7 casting a spotlight on iPhone apps, it's a sure bet millennials will upgrade right away. These apps will no doubt make their way to work. A Huddle survey found that 70 percent of 25-to-31-year-olds will download personal apps and software onto enterprise smartphones, and 42 percent of 18-to-24 year-olds will store work files on personal smartphones. CIO.com senior writer Tom Kaneshige spoke with millennials at the AirWatch Connect customer conference in Atlanta earlier this month about what mobile apps they can't live without.
Stuck in traffic? Quick, call an audible. Millennial critics will argue that the younger generation is too impatient – and they're right. At work, millennials don't want to sit around "paying their dues" or be told to suffer with old technology simply because that's the way it's always been done. Even when stuck in traffic, they don't want to be bored. They'll fire up Audible and listen to a book or podcast.
Thanks to the rising cost of a higher education, millennials graduate with a mountain of student loans. Not surprisingly, they use mobile apps such as Scoutmob and Groupon to look for sweet deals at local events, restaurants and shops. They use Gas Buddy to compare prices among nearby gas stations, Food on the Table to plan cost-conscious meals, and Mint.com to help them budget and pay off that debt.
Only a few years ago, a phone was just a phone. Now the phone is a text messaging device, at least that's the killer app for millennials. According to an eMarketer survey, 43 percent of 18-24-year-olds say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation with someone over the phone. This means the texting app takes a hallowed place on their iPhones. (Note to companies: Text messaging is a security blind spot, unless done over a corporate text messaging app.)
Seriously, who writes checks anymore? Not millennials. They do all their banking online, even sending money to friends and family. If given a paper check, they'll simply snap a photo and deposit it – all over their smartphone banking app. Millennials just might be the first checkless, cashless generation.
Social networking and millennials go together like peas and carrots. Most of them check their phones every 10 minutes. What are they doing? They're firing up Facebook (up to 14 times a day), Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates and status reports. If they didn't have these apps or have forgotten their smartphone at home, they'll feel a little lonely.
Standing on a street corner trying to hail a cab just like everyone else is so old school. Why not whip out your smartphone, launch the Uber app and quickly get a nearby town car or SUV that will take you wherever you want to go? For millennials, everything happens digitally these days, even routine tasks.
Spotify, Pandora and iTunes Radio
Every young generation loves its music. Baby Boomers had to scratch records or wade through 8-track tapes or listen for hours to the radio in order to hear their favorite songs. Things got a little easier for GenX-ers with audio cassettes, CDs and, at last, the Apple iPod. Now millennials have it even better, getting instant access to their songs and free Internet radio via Spotify, Pandora and the new iTunes Radio.
Instagram and Vine
For the first time, a great number of people have a camera always within hand's reach. In fact, millennials have grown up taking pictures and video on their smartphones. To them, it's part of daily life. It's also the closest connection they can have with their phone; the camera lets them marvel in the world around them, as this Apple iPhone ad shows. With Instagram and Vine, millennials share their visual experiences with others.
As a former waiter and reporter, I have an affinity toward pen and paper for jotting down orders and taking notes – but not millennials. Paper? Really? They are the "digital natives" who shun the physical tools of older generations. When they take notes in words, pictures and audio, they use the Evernote app, which stores their notes in the cloud and makes them searchable.
Workplace watchers will tell you that the main difference between the generations is in the way they communicate. Baby Boomers prefer the telephone. GenX-ers love email. Millennials have embraced video. The younger generation doesn't always pick up the telephone or check email regularly but will start up a Skype session in a second.
Unlike the "lost generation," millennials want to know where they're going. The Kerouac crowd would mindlessly head down highways and stumble upon local hot spots. But millennials use RoadNinja on their road trips to travel like a local. RoadNinja lets them know what's coming up at the next exit along the interstate.
More than any other generation, millennials know how to tap the power of social networking in nearly every facet of their lives. It's a big reason companies want to hire them. We're not just talking about Facebook and Twitter, either. With Waze, millennials leverage a 50 million user network to outsmart the daily commute traffic. They get road alerts and find cheapest gas stations along their routes.
If you remember the days popping into bars and restaurants, looking for friends or action-packed places, then you're probably not a millennial. They don't waste time wandering the streets and relying on chance. Checking in with Foursquare, they already know where their people are at or can broadcast where their friends can find them. Efficiency is the millennial mantra.
Despite their tight budget, millennials are budding fashionistas. They love the latest clothing but don't want to look like they should be in an advertisement for Joe's discount clothing. Instead, many millennials use Gilt – as in, guilty pleasures – to find designer brands at insider prices. Gilt on the iPhone delivers exclusive, mobile-only offers.
A common myth about millennials is that they don't care much about privacy. After all, they expose their personal lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare. But a recent MobileIron survey found that employees over 55 were far more comfortable than 18 to 24-year-olds with their company seeing their personal data. It should come as no surprise that the most talked about app among millennials is SnapChat, which lets you share a photo or video and then deletes it after a certain time. Privacy still matters.