These Companies Have a Plan to Kill Apps

Everyone wants to kill the app. There’s a wave of companies building so-called app-less phones and gadgets, leveraging artificial intelligence advancements to create smarter virtual assistants that can handle all kinds of tasks through one portal, bypassing the need for specific apps for a particular function. We might be witnessing the early stages of the first major smartphone evolution since the introduction of the iPhone—or an AI-hype-fueled gimmick.
There’s the Humane Ai Pin, a wearable that can identify objects, take photos, and project information into the palm of your hand. It’s powered by a digital assistant that uses multiple large language models, such as ChatGPT, and it’s designed to reduce reliance on the smartphone.
At CES last month, Rabbit debuted the R1, a tiny gadget that can perform tasks you’d typically use a smartphone for, like ordering an Uber or booking a flight. Instead of hunting for an app and tapping on the screen multiple times, you can hold the push-to-talk button and command the R1 with your voice.

Now, at MWC 2024 (Mobile World Congress), Deutsche Telekom—T-Mobile’s parent company—unveiled a concept Android phone that can generate an interface as you speak to it, powered by large language and action models from Brain Technologies.
I also spoke with a new Lithuanian company called A Phone, A Friend, which is starting software development on a smartphone with a conversational digital assistant interface at its core to handle all your needs. These two companies don’t think traditional apps are going anywhere anytime soon, but they do believe the way we use apps needs an upheaval.
Speak Up

I watched as Jerry Yue, the founder of Brain Technologies, spoke into Deutsche Telekom’s concept phone—it began registering his words and generating an interface based specifically on his query. He asked the phone to find a flight for two on March 14 from San Francisco to New York, and the resulting interface offered multiple flights to choose from—not unlike what you’d find searching Google Flights. Yue was able to choose one, vet all the vital details, and close the transaction via Google Pay.

{Categories} _Category: Platforms,*ALL*{/Categories}
{Author}Julian Chokkattu{/Author}
{Keywords}Gear,Gear / Gear News and Events,Gear / Products / Phones,The Big Uninstall{/Keywords}

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