22 Nov

Home screen apps

Homescreen
Homescreen

My android screenshot: The apps I use most

Take a look at your home screen and check out the app shortcuts you have on there. Are they your favourites/most used? I tend to update mine regularly, and switch them around to fit in with whatever wallpaper I happen to have that month.

MyFitnessPal during a health kick, Candy Crush Saga (see app review) during a particularly slow week, but there are a few that stick.

Facebook being one of them. Everybody has Facebook on their phone. How would you ever know how great your old schoolmate’s life is now without it? Check out this great list of statuses everybody writes and everybody hates on Mashable.

Twitter is another of those stay-forever apps. There is a lot of great content linked on Twitter, even if you have to sift through all the rubbish first. I’ve found some great resources on Twitter that would never be on the top pages of a Google search. Although there isn’t a better starting point than Google, which is why that stays on my home screen too.

How did people survive pre-search-engine? I remember a time, back when I was a very young girl, when I would ask my mum the spelling or definition of a new word and we would run off to the bookshelf and look it up in a dictionary. Now, anything you want to know, Google it. The internet: simultaneously making knowledge more accessible and people more lazy. Don’t even get me started on txt spk.

The BBC News app is a regular. I like to keep up-to-date with current affairs. I like to know what’s going on in the world, and the app is brilliantly simple to use.

As for Instagram, I’ve rather lost interest in it lately. This one might not last much longer on the list of usuals. It is primarily pictures of people’s dinners, people on exercise machines, posing in bathroom mirrors and “look at my new lipstick/dog/sofa”. All stuff that is interesting to the person taking the photograph, and of little/no interest to anyone else. There’s a great list on Buzzfeed illustrated by artist Joanna Zhou about the types of Instagram photos.

I also keep O2 Priority Moments on there, not because I use it a lot but just to remind me to check it. I would hate to think I was missing out on a free coffee. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to load though, and sometimes I lose interest before I’ve even made it past the loading screen.

What apps do you keep on your home screen? What is your favourite? Leave your comments below.

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04 Nov

Tesco ‘face-scanning’: Where do you draw the line?

It has been announced that Tesco will be installing face-scanning technology at tills in their petrol stations. The idea is to recognise the customer’s gender and a rough approximation of their age. I can see this going badly wrong…

My first thought is what a great way to anger your customers, advertising Tena Lady to women in their forties, and tampons to men with long hair!

Face Scan

Face-scanning: Would you be happy about this data being collected?

If this technological leap is anything like their self-scan tills, we can expect a whole host of teething problems. More importantly, however, is the issue surrounding how our images are to be used. A Tesco spokeswoman said, “No data or images are collected or stored and the system does not use eyeball scanners or facial-recognition technology”, but does this really fill you with confidence? Surely as any system, it will be vulnerable to hacking and security issues. Personally I, and I’m positive many will feel the same, don’t feel comfortable with my face being scanned every time I go in to fill up my car.

It’s all very big brother of Tesco to initiate advertising in this way. I even find banner ads showing those shoes I’ve just looked at a little creepy.

As one commenter on a BBC News article put it, “This is where technology is blurring the line between the reasonable and intrusive.” and I think ravenmorpheus2k got it spot on.

And that’s the problem with this. It is intrusive. And entirely unnecessary. Will it make me think twice about filling up at Tesco? Yes. And we’re not exactly spoilt for choice.

 

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