Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What good are apps?

Apple advertises over 500,000 apps on the iPhone App store. Most of these either have counterparts for the iPad line or can be used on an iPad. But really now, how many of these does anyone really need? The same thing is true for the Android devices, Google claims over 400,000 Android apps. Even if you are an app aficionado, you only have so much space on your device and only so much time to look at or use apps. Isn't that true?

So, recently, I have been checking out my app usage. I must admit that I have far more apps on both and iPhone and an iPad than I will ever use. But from time to time, I still add new apps as attractive products show up in the app world. My favorite apps are those that give access to the Internet. I use both Apple's Safari app and Google's Chrome app to look for content on the Internet. Probably equally as used is the Apple Mail app. I check my email accounts throughout the day, almost every day. In making this analysis, I am not considering the telephone functions of the iPhone to be part of the apps. I also use Apple's Calendar app to check my calendar and add appointments.

Its hard to say what is next in my usage, but I am certain that I use the Google Map app constantly. Especially when I am traveling and also when I am doing research. Some functions are better done on my laptop or desktop computers, so even though I have apps for genealogy, I don't end up using them nearly as much as I do the programs on my computer. I also do not use either the iPhone or the iPad to write my blog posts, books, letters, email or work with my photographs, so that rules out a considerable portion of my computer use.

When I check what apps I have used recently on the iPhone or iPad, I always find that I have checked the Whether Channel app, and for some reason, I also check the SeismicXML app to see if there have been any earthquakes, not that I am expecting one, but you never know.

I also seem to check the local and national news regularly, I use local news outlets apps and some national ones, such as the AP app. I also regularly review an aggregator app called Pulse that feeds about 50 news, tech and photo magazines into my iPhone and iPad. I also use a Feedly app to check on my RSS feeds from all the blogs I am following.

In all, I find I regularly use about 20 to 25 different apps every day. They sometimes vary, but mostly I end up using that number about every day. I have several apps related to the scriptures that I use daily and in genealogy I do use Family Tree app, Family Tree Maker app, and the Reunion app.

I like to listen to music and I use the Pandora app frequently. I sometimes use specialized apps from stores, such as Walmart, Costco, BestBuy, REI and others. I also use specialized searching apps like GasBuddy to find low cost gas and Google's Local to find about anything else. I also have some astronomy apps and some National Public Radio apps. The list seems endless and it is.

If I download and app and after a while, if I find I just don't use it, I do delete the ones I don't use. Sometimes an app seems like a really good idea, like the one I had to find my car in a parking lot, but then in reality, I don't lose my car in parking lots, so the app was never used.

I also use the iPhone as a camera very frequently. It is surprising how many times I find something to photograph and wish I had a camera and then I realize I do have a camera.

I don't think my list will be awfully helpful to anyone else. You really need to adapt apps to your own lifestyle, interests and preferences. But if you once see how they work, you will slowly begin using more and more as you discover how convenient and helpful they can be.


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  2. I have an Android and I wish I could delete some of the apps. I really never use sport apps, and never watch movies on a 2 x 4 inch screen.

    All they do for me is waste my battery.

    1. This might help:

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    1. I have a webcast on the Mesa FamilySearch Library website with lots of information. See and click on the link to the webcasts