Just Download the App

How often haven’t you heard that phrase before? It’s become such a common thing to hear that it gets taken for granted. I think we sometimes fail to see the extent to which smartphones have pervaded our lives and practically carved out a place therein. The smartphone and the technological platforms that these devices have bequeathed to software developers has created a fertile ground for creativity and innovation. A quick glance at Apple’s iTunes Store or Google’s Play Store will confirm this notion. You’re not going to find an app for everything but they sure are trying. Not any old Tom, Dick or Harry can make an app and have it in the Play Store.

There are rules for submissions and certain apps will certainly get the omission. How about that play on words? Having said that, despite having to meet a set of rules and requirements when it comes to submitting an app, there are a surprising amount of chancers out there who have not just gotten past the gatekeepers, but have published some truly atrocious apps. There is a sea of mediocrity out there, especially in the world of free apps. There’s the constant advertising you have to contend with, developers who’s names you can’t pronounce off-hand, and my biggest pet peeve, the submission of personal info that always makes you think ‘What’s going on here?’

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I don’t know what can be done about the laws of privacy when it comes to online interaction. I often feel that we’re signing away so many rights when we sign up with websites or download apps; and the surveillance is so obvious already. You visit one site that offers products you might have an interest in and the next thing you know, these products are popping up all over the show. There’s an infringement happening in the online space and we’re all so busy being distracted by this, that and the other that we’re not fully comprehending what’s at stake. I fear that when the penny does drop, it might be too late.

Having said all this, I also cannot overlook the fact that there are some really good apps out there; even exceptional ones. Technology is meant to improve life and there are apps out there that have done just that. There are apps that are worth having and there are developers out there designing amazing products.

The App Downloading Process

Before I go ahead, I’d like to add that I know that many of today’s smartphone users are tech savvy or on the level. This article is really meant to serve those who haven’t downloaded an app before. Right, so, if you don’t have your smartphone on you, you’ll still be able to go to the standard website version of the Play Store and the iTunes Store. Whatever you download will then be sent to your phone. If you’ve got an Android or an iOS (iPhone) device, you’ll notice that there’s an icon for the applicable app store. In the case of an iPhone, it’s the iTunes Store and for an Android smartphone, it’s the Play Store. Click on the icon and you’ll find yourself in the store with a search bar at the top and below that, popular categories. The search bar is your friend and the easiest way to find what you’re looking for. Be warned though, you will be flooded with options. This can be both pleasurable and overwhelming – pleasurable because there are so many options and overwhelming for the exact same reason.

The good news is that all the apps are rated on a star system – the more stars, the better. Each app is also assigned a score out of 5. Try and aim for anything over 3 for something decent. In addition to the rating system of each app, prior users have also rated the app and provided feedback that you can read in the form of mini reviews and believe me, if users don’t like an app, they’ll make their opinions heard.

Once you’ve decided which app you’d like to install, you’ll notice a big button toward the top to the right that says ‘Install’. Click on it and allow the download and installation process to run its course. The download procedure for all apps is exactly the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re downloading an app that offers online slots or one that offers a food delivery service – the installation process remains the same.

And that’s essentially all there is to it. Next time I’ll discuss actual apps that are worth downloading.

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