Sara's Column: ‘There’s an app for that’

“I think there’s an app for that…” Back a few years ago, you heard that sentence so often it became a running joke.
Jan 31, 2014
Sara McManamy-Johnson

“I think there’s an app for that…” Back a few years ago, you heard that sentence so often it became a running joke.

When I made my first foray into the Apple and Android wars, I started out with a fourth-generation iPod Touch.

I was amazed by the number and diversity of apps available. Whether you wanted to listen to or mix music, edit video, track your workout details or any number of other things, there was an app for that.

It was nothing compared to what it is now.

I rarely have to go to the bank anymore because I can use my phone to snap a couple photos of my check, type in a bit of information, and within a few minutes my deposit is pending.

I can reset my home WIFI router from anywhere I have a cellphone reception.

You can load coupons to your shopper loyalty cards from your phone.

You can even find out how long you’re staying in REM sleep.

The trick is finding which apps actually help make your life a little bit easier and which apps are pure novelty.

I’ve started a routine where maybe once every month or two, I comb through Google Play’s app categories looking for highly rated free or cheap apps of all different types.

I’ll try just about anything (making sure to keep my antivirus active, though), and I’ll download 20 or more apps in one sitting.

If I can tell right off the bat I don’t like something about an app, I immediately uninstall it. Otherwise, I’ll keep it on for a while – maybe a month or so – and if I use it more than once or twice, I’ll keep it. If I haven’t been back to it since I installed it, though, I uninstall it.

No use taking up valuable space for something I’m not going to use. And if I change my mind down the road, I can just reinstall it; once you buy an app, it remains available for download in your Google Play account even if you delete it from your device.

You never know what all you can do on your smartphone until you start investigating it.

I’ve found one main pitfall, though.

Now I’m usually expecting there to be an app for that.

 

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