Theres an App for that

Hi my name is Issy and I’m an App-oholic.

Having recently made the switch from a camera-less, touchscreen-less, qwerty-less Samsung, to a new jazzy Iphone 4S, I often find myself questioning, ‘maybe less is infact more?’ With all these gizmos and gadgets  (approx 1,200 new apps per day) competing for my attention, I often find myself neglecting the more fulfilling aspects of my life. I’m not ashamed to say, that the first thing I do every morning is check my phone.  Why am I not ashamed? Because I know im not alone.

It seems that this new app phenomenon, has single-handedly caused a zombie apocalypse. Plugged into our phones, we stagger down streets, half-aware of our surroundings, whilst endlessly searching for the ‘fix’ our phones give us. Each glued to our separate screens, in our compartmentalized worlds, we sit silently, playing games, sifting through facebook, shopping online, paying bills, reading emails, counting calories, taking photos….

…and so the list continues.(Total Apps Seen in US App Store: 933,348)

To put it simply, apps have made our lives so efficient and effortless that we feel insignificant without them. But how is this effecting the way we live our daily lives? A prime example of this, occurs regularly with my friends, my family and even my boyfriend. Sitting in bed, watching The Wire together, I cant help but grab my Iphone and check for updates. Sifting through emails, I become distracted by Instagram and Facebook, then suddenly Ebay pops up and Scramble needs my attention. 30 minutes later I find myself on Catpaint, replacing my friends heads with cyber-cats with laser eyes, all the while questioning “what have I become!”. Feeling guilty in my wayward ways, I place the all-consuming device down and look over ashamedly at my boyfriend. But what do you know, he too has become entranced by the hypnotic screen of his Iphone.This might be a more severe case of app-ititis  but it is certainly becoming more common among younger generations.

All this being said, I do believe that the app phenomenon has largely benefited our society (Even though it causes the risk of turning us all into anti-social app-collectors.) quite simply:

1. Apps are cheap: Current Average Overall Price: $1.80 (by western standards). and can therefore benefit a larger range of people.

2. Apps are mobile: And can therefore assist us when we are in transit or lost. (such as the Google Maps app, which has saved me numerous times from certain death… i know a touch dramatic)

3. Apps have a single location: Apps allow users to conglomerate all of their information into one distinct place, and sync it others. Instead of hauling out a photo album, or searching through your calender, or walking to the Bank, you can obtain the same information from a small device held in your back pocket. This becomes a necessary evil, for those of us with organizational problems.

4. There are thousands of different apps to suit each person: This has become very beneficial for those suffering from different illnesses or disorders. Such as Gazelle, an app that reminds its users when to take their medication. or Ontrack diabetes, an app that helps diabetics manage their diabetes by tracking various items such as blood glucose, food, medication, blood pressure (BP), pulse, exercise and weight.

If one can learn how to balance their cyber-life with their real-life, then the app phenomenon can be seen as a truley remarkable facet of our modern lifestyle.

As I’m sure your aware by now, I love a good app. So here are a few of my faves:

  1. Tramtracker. (my ultimate savior) this is a wonderfully designed app, that is simple to use, and saves one from waiting for a tram… that may never come.
  2. Incredibooth- Just a cheeky bit of fun. Allows you to recreate a photobooth in your home… and add certain effects that we have come know and love.
  3. Kayak- For those of you who love to travel, this is a wonderful app that compares all the flight prices of the major airlines, including cheap airlines such as AirAsia that get abandoned from STA, Flight centre and Webjet listings.
  4. MyfitnessPal- For pretty much any woman. Ever. It deals with everything about your health. From counting calories, to planning excersize routines. It even tells you what vitamins and minerals you are deefficient in!
  5.  Scramble- Being bored easily by repetitive adventure games, I tend to mostly pay word games. This is why i love Scramble, which allows you to play a fast-paced boggle game with your pals.
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