Byte Me Article 266 – Phones #4

Let’s Look at Smart Phone Apps

Today’s article marks the last in a 4 part mini-series on smart phones and we will wind up this topic by looking at some of the useful applications (apps) that smart phones can provide us with as well as looking at future smart phone trends.

You will have heard people talking about ‘apps’ which is simply a shortened version of the word ‘application’ when referring to software that can run on your smart phone.  It often seems that nearly every software programmer in the world has taken to writing simple little bits of software code ‘apps’ that can be installed on the iPhone or an Android phone such as the Samsung Galaxies – there are that many apps out there!

Most of these apps are very small software programs, especially when compared to Windows based software and as a result the average modern phone has enough power and space for several dozen apps.  The normal sequence of events is that you find an app that you are interested in (many of them are totally free) which you then download and install onto your smart phone.  Presto – you now have a new icon to click on and it will normally perform a particular task with a high degree of efficiency.

2016-04-02 Byte Me Article 266 - Phones #4

Smart phones already come with lots of pre-installed apps such as a calculator, alarm clock, voice recorder, camera, daily planner etc.  Some of the apps that I have manually added to this list include an app for my emails, one that turns on the camera flash light so that I can use my phone as a torch at night, an app that tests Wi-Fi signal strength, an Internet speed test app, a navigation app, a gumtree app, an eBay app and several banking apps.

I also have a surveillance app that allows me to access the work cameras and view footage in real time and a very handy app called CircleOf6 which is a personal safety app that I have been testing.  This last app allows you to store up to 6 emergency contacts so that in a couple of simple clicks you can ask them to call you or you can broadcast your location to them and ask that they meet with you urgently.  It also stores the 000 emergency number for one click access – all in a convenient single location should you ever need these levels of help.

So where is all of this technology headed?  As I have stated in previous articles the rate of change of technology appears if anything to be increasing and this unfortunately does leave a lot of people feeling out of touch and even alienated to some extent.  Younger generations are growing up with these changes and are more able to adopt or adapt to them – although some would argue that this is simply due to the lost hours that they invest in front of one screen or another.

If you are feeling left out then often the best source of help is kids or grandkids when you can pin them down for long enough, although as I pointed out to my Mum after giving her a smart phone the other day – you now have ‘homework’ as these things require some practice before you feel comfortable with them.  Keep a notebook handy for all of the questions that you have and don’t be afraid of pushing some buttons to practice what you have learnt.

Lately we are seeing smart phones in the form of smart watches and miniature devices that are still Internet enabled and still able to make/receive calls.  This is a trend that is unlikely to disappear as consumers become more focused on carrying convenience while still having access to the information that they deem as important to them. The World Wide Web is aptly named for both its geographical reference as well as the stickiness of its offerings. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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