What3Words – How the app landscape is changing

A picture of the What3Words app logo in red and white.

How the app landscape is changing

In 2018, the app as it were celebrated its 10th birthday. In 2008, there were about 200 apps on the first version of Apple’s app store. Tim Cook in 2018 stated that there were over 20 million iOS developers over the app market that serves the approximately 500 million weekly users in the store. In fact, as of August 2019 there were about 5 billion mobile users, which makes the app market one of the most dominant industries out there. 

Here is our newest, and likely to be our favourite app, already making a massive impact for its use and convenience. 


Ever gotten so lost that you were physically unable to find your way back home or to a recognized location? With the technological upgrade of the mobile phone to a smartphone, you are almost always able to find a landmark or configure where you are via GPS. But what about when you or someone you know are in a dire situation and you need emergency services to be able to locate exactly where you are? No need to start describing the houses, or trees around you. While GPS navigtaion can be reliable, but it doesn’t pinpoint your exact location to a 3m x 3m square. It also doesn’t relay information back to those looking for you at a moment’s notice. Luckily for any hikers, wanderers or adventurers, a new app can save your life if you are in a crisis. 

Not just hide and seek                                                   

What3Words is a new and trendy app that has managed to box off the entire planet’s topography. It has given those 57 trillion-something squares three specific words to help associate it with a given location. This precise pinpoint, about a 10ft x 10ft area, will never have a repeat of those three exact words, as it is unique and randomly assigned. Those three lifesaving words will never change with time, to avoid any confusion. 


Anybody can find and know where you are, if needed, within a minute of downloading the free app. With the assist of the What3Words, emergency services, who are also integrated with the app, can also figure out where you are. This app plans to revolutionize emergency response by providing a quicker service to those in need.  Although the app does a signal to send out someone’s location to emergency services, it does not need a signal to figure out what 3-word-location someone is at. Anyone can find where someone is at, just by inputting those three universals into the app’s search bar. 

The beginning

Owner and founder Chris Sheldrick, states, the app was born out of a frustration for deliveries to his home. “Our postcode did not point to our house,” he said. “We got used to getting post meant for other people or having to stand in the road to flag down delivery drivers.” 

Chris founded the company in 2013. He also claims music as an inspiration for it, as he used to have to meet with bands at a venue’s entrance, but often one party would get lost. “I tried to get people to use longitude and latitude but that never caught on,” Sheldrick says.

No looking back

Sheldrick states, “It got me thinking, how can you compress 16 digits into something much more userfriendly?” And thus, What3Words was born. “I was speaking to a mathematician and we found there were enough combinations of three words for every location in the world.” Sheldrick, in fact, used 40,000 words in combination with each other to create the app. 

Sheldrick now employs over 100 people at his app’s headquarters in Royal Oak in West London. The success of the company has grown to such extensive levels that Mongolia now uses it solely for their entire postal service. Mercedes Benz has also taken an interest in the enterprise and has incorporated it in its cars, giving it the platform of being used in 35 different languages.

While What3Words is on-trend, it has saved countless lives already. Please download the app on your smartphone, which caters to iOs via the App Store, or Android on the Google Play Store. You never know when you might need it – https://what3words.com