Japan’s love affair with all things bizarre and electric is not new. Walking the streets of Tokyo can instantly make one feel like a video game character. Bright lights, music, noise of all kinds, colors, and video games line streets, doorways, and even restaurant billboards. So, is it any real wonder that some of the greatest apps come from this intense digital culture?
Cell phones are important in Japan. Japanese cell phone manufacturers produce hundreds of phones every year. Most of these phones sell out quickly. Japan also has a love affair with Apple products (who doesn’t?), and some other best-selling North American phones. But there’s an air in Japan that’s nothing like the North American vibe. Simply, a different way of being – of living. This difference makes Japanese apps better than most other apps on the market.
Existence Not Purpose
Japanese apps don’t necessarily have a direct purpose. Developers may or may not have designed these apps to reach a specific target audience. But most Japanese apps do have one commonality: apps coming from Japan are fun. Not only are they fun, but they’re highly interactive.
Take the app Tiny Riot, for example. Tiny Riot makes a lot of heavy metal, head-banging, noise while you shake and yell at your iPhone. Sure, this app was created in order to help angry Japanese teens deal with anger issues, but it’s also a lot of fun to use. The harder you shake your iPhone, the more noise Tiny Riot makes. It’s just plain fun, and that’s what apps should be.
The Most Successful Apps
Have you ever noticed how the most successful apps tend to be gaming apps? Look, for example at the Angry Bird empire. Angry Birds is, essentially, a video game. But, it’s also a game that’s a lot of fun to play. People have become so hooked to Angry Birds that some can’t put the game down. Granted, Angry Birds is not a Japanese invention, but it’s still a fun app that doesn’t necessarily serve a direct purpose.
This is not to say that North American developers haven’t created some great apps. There are apps that make Twitter easier to use and apps that help you fall asleep, but most of these are targeted and full of purpose. Purpose isn’t a bad thing, but it won’t allow you to let loose and abandon all fear of public embarrassment the way that many Japanese apps do.
Where to Find Japanese Apps
If you don’t speak Japanese, you may want to stick to foreign-made apps that can be used in English. Otherwise, you may be navigating a whole different type of water (who knows, you may find that many Japanese apps are still fun – even if you don’t completely understand the directions!). Thankfully, a lot of great Japanese apps come with English instructions.
To find the best Japanese apps on the market, start by conducting a bit of research. I recommend that you research all the apps you download beforehand (Japanese or not) anyway. This way, you know whether or not you are wasting your hard-earned pennies.
You’ll quickly find that the apps coming out of Japan are simply fun to use, and that’s something worth exploring!