Phone apps range from useful to plain weird

I don’t own a “smart phone” as such.

I do have a mobile phone, but I’d guess it operates at a grade six level

I don’t own a “smart phone” as such.

I do have a mobile phone, but I’d guess it operates at a grade six level compared with some of the genius level smart phones.

It has some “apps” but I don’t make a lot of use of them – other than to occasionally use the camera application, only if it turns out to be opportunistic.

Not long ago, while at my son’s house, we found a young “lost dog” wandering around. It had a collar with a phone number. But there was no response when the number was called.

But out came my son’s smart phone and by entering the number there was a reverse phone listing that gave us an address and the dog was able to be returned to its owner, about three streets away.

So, while there’s little doubt the new phones, with their more powerful processors and software capability, have many and varied uses, I’m coming to the conclusion that these phones are just too versatile and quirky for a too-old “techno-dork” like me.

Smart phones can do so many different things as new applications proliferate. Many most of us could live without. But if you do get abreast of the new “app” uses on the phones, they virtually do away with such items as your computer, your TV and its remote control, your PVR, your camera, your MP3 player, and your telephone and address books.

You won’t even need a radio, even satellite radio. Toss your gps machine in the glove compartment.

If you want you can now use the phone to swipe your credit card, without dragging the card out. That’s just too far out for me….

Throw away your library card – just read books on your phone or relax, play video games, download and listen to your own selection of tunes. You can bank and pay bills. You can browse the internet, watch movies, read  newspaper versions or scan internet news, send and receive e-mail.

But, to me, as the software geeks come up with new ideas ten to the dozen, maybe it’s time to get a little choosy.

It’s passe at a concert just to flash the light on your phone, when you can touch the screen and have a  digital Zippo lighter to flash instead. The flame will even move back and forth when you wave it!

You can do a knuckle knock or a high five with your pal, if you’ve both got the same app.

I just don’t want to explain the iFart app – but it’s available in a range of rude noises.

Or the iBeer, which will pour you a selected beer on screen … just tip the phone to drink it … and tap it again for another brew.

This is perhaps the only safe way to drink and drive!

Another available app steams up your screen and let’s you draw or write with your finger tip. Why? Well, nobody knows, but like most of them it’s only 99 cents!

There’s another weird one called the Economizer – you have to pre-enter cash amounts that you can spare for non-necessities. When you spend the money you get the opportunity to digitally pull a toilet chain to “flush” your spare change.

I’m not making this up – you can’t make this stuff up.

I even saw the Facebender app on a recent hockey trip, in case you think some of these are too unreal. Facebender allows you to warp old or new photos in any direction you wish or just shake the phone and see what it comes up with. You can make your friends look very strange by twisting their faces or adding glasses, beards, tattoos etc.

More?

There’s one called the ‘metal detector’ that turns an iphone into a metal detector.

It actually works. The phone’s compass has a magnetometer that can measures magnetic fields. So the user can de tect ferromagnetic metals like iron or steel, but up close only.

It won’t detect copper or aluminum. Your phone and the metal must be very close. So, it’s mostly a toy, but it will work as a stud finder!

The Voice Dialer app eliminates dialling, very useful when driving. You push a single button, then just speak the name of any contact in your phone, and you’re connected. That one costs a buck.

I also found a half a dozen apps that will help you select wines, match wines with food, even read price codes.

There’s one that will identify up to 150 North American birds and another to help you identify over 800 types of trees.

Truly, I am not sure where all of this is going. but it’s just the beginning  – I’m just not ready yet.

 

 

 

 

ahewitson@telus.net

 

 

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