AppsFrom Mobile Phones to Digital Lives
From Mobile Phones to Digital Lives

Since the rise of the smartphone, apps have become entrenched in billions of users' daily lives. Accessible across phones and tablets, watches and wearables, connected cars, sensors, and cities, they are an inescapable feature of our current culture.

In this book, Gerard Goggin provides a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the development of apps as a digital media technology. Covering the technological, social, cultural, and policy dynamics of apps, Goggin ultimately considers what a post-app world might look like. He argues that apps represent a pivowtal moment in the development of digital media, acting as a hinge between the visions and realities of the “mobile,” “cyber,” and “online” societies envisaged since the late 1980s and the imaginaries and materialities of the digital societies that emerged from 2010. Apps offer frames, construct tools, and constitute “small worlds” for users to reorient themselves in digital media settings.

This fascinating book will reframe the conversation about the software that underwrites our digital worlds. It is essential reading for students and scholars of media and communication, as well as for anyone interested in this ubiquitous technology.

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  • August 2021
  • 154 pages
  • 153 x 216 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509538485
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509538492
  • Open eBook $52.00
  • 9781509538508
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations

List of Tables


1. Introduction

2. What’s an App?

3. App Economy

4. App Media

5. Social Laboratories of Apps

6. After Apps


About the Author
Gerard Goggin is Wee Kim Wee Professor of Communication Studies at Nanyang Technological University.
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“Apps is the definitive book for anyone who wants to know about mobile apps. International expert Goggin guides us through the complex and contested histories and evolutions of mobile apps. This is the first book to take seriously the role of mobile apps across social, cultural, economic, and political terrain by providing a systematic overview of mobile apps as interwoven in the many facets of our lives.”
Larissa Hjorth, RMIT University

“We all use apps, but what are they? In this technologically expert, economically smart overview, Gerard Goggin, a leading global expert on mobile phones, offers a timely assessment of the creative, social, and extractive work that apps do while we use them.”
Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science

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