I join the world of apps


By Janice Lindsay

Janice Lindsay
Janice Lindsay

I never paid attention to apps, never needed to. But now…

According to Google, an app is “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, esp. as downloaded by a user to a mobile device.”

I had no app-inclined mobile device. My cell phone was – still is – not terribly “smart.” Its singular expertise lies in the realm of making and receiving phone calls.

My phone, my laptop, and my point-and-shoot camera seemed to be all the electronic devices I needed to conduct business and manage my life.

But then Apple invented the iPad. I admired a friend's iPad. I did not need an iPad. I could not justify buying an iPad. What would I do with an iPad that I couldn's already do? Being a Yankee born and bred, I don's generally buy something I don's desperately need. I did not desperately need an iPad.

I wanted an iPad.

Then Apple invented the iPad Mini — just my size and more affordable. But I didn's really need a little one any more than I needed a big one.

One day, a friend and I were visiting a third friend, the third friend and her husband were raving about their new iPads, we two were admitting to each other that each of us would really like an iPad Mini, it was pouring rain so our planned outdoor excursion was curtailed, iPad Minis were on sale at a local store, our friend's husband is a computer guru and could help us set up Minis if we had them. Such a confluence of coincidences. Clearly, the universe wanted me to have an iPad Mini.

So my friend and I each ?bought one. I joined the world of apps, of which there are hundreds of thousands.

Initially my app taste tended toward the admittedly nerdy. First, I downloaded a dictionary/thesaurus; you never know when you'sl have a word-meaning emergency. Then I got an encyclopedia app in case of knowledge issues. And a Google app, to put me in direct contact with that unbelievably vast store of valuable (and much useless) information. And a couple of e-reader apps so I will always have something to read. And a word-processing app in case I experience a creativity attack when I's away from my laptop.

One day, my partner-in-buying-an-iPad mentioned the app for a game called Candy Crush Saga. That night, I attended a gathering where one of the guests was playing the game. Twice in one day I heard about something I had never heard of before. Maybe the universe was telling me to check it out. So, like half a billion other people (I learned later), I downloaded the app.

It's a moving puzzle, with candy-like icons. You solve one puzzle and move to the next, which is a bit harder. Solving the puzzles is based partly on skill and observation, partly on luck. You can's predict exactly what will happen, so you have to pay attention. It's sort of like life.

Part of me thinks this puzzle is a waste of time. The other part, the one I's currently listening to, says that any such challenge is good exercise for the aging brain.

So ?the universe has led me into the wonderful world of helpful and educational apps.

I recently received an email from a washing-machine manufacturer announcing a new app, a laundry app “that makes laundry fun…an entertaining game the whole family will enjoy.”


The universe says I can skip this one.

Contact [email protected].