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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20 Oct

Where’s my phone?

If you haven’t seen this video yet (and there’s a good chance you have considering it has had well over 26 million views at the time of writing) then you should watch – and take note!

There is a lot I have to say on this subject. I am definitely in the ‘how rude!’ camp. It’s not as straight forward as this though. There’s a time and a place for the smartphone. I love my smartphone as much as the next geek, but I will never take it out during a meal. If it’s an emergency, which doesn’t come up as often as we are lead to expect, than I excuse myself like a normal person.

But that’s just it. Normal doesn’t mean enjoying the moment for what it is anymore. Normal has slowly become, “Oh wow! What a great time we are having – let’s Instagram it!”

I take photos every now and then. I have a DSLR for those important events, and yes, my phone is great for the unexpected moment. I do, however, have a problem with people uploading the same ‘selfie’ about fifty times a day. No, we don’t want to see every single morsel of food you put in your mouth, or how stupid you can look pulling a duck-face.

I think to myself when I see these accounts, how do you have the time?

I know how much time technology and especially Facebook can take up. I admit, I am guilty of a love-hate relationship with the devil that is Candy Crush. I’m on level three-hundred-and-something. I hate that I’ve spent so much time playing it, where I could have been doing something brilliant and productive like reading a book or going to the gym. (*Idea – Candy Crush at the gym?!)

I have had to tell my brother to put his phone away on a visit. I mention this because he is family, and it is acceptable to be blunt with your family in a way that you wouldn’t with say, a work colleague. I found it rude. We were out for dinner, and I was trying to make conversation as we hadn’t seen each other for months, but I was second best to a text that could probably wait.

The worrying thing is that more and more people are falling into the following categories;

  • Those who find this behaviour rude but are culprits unknowingly and
  • Those who just don’t care because it’s so common now.

The amount of families I see out to dinner with little ones on phones, iPads and the like. Then the parents worry why their speech isn’t developing normally. “But they are really smart because they know how to hack the passcode on my tablet!”

Like I said, I love my smartphone. I love having google right there to answer every ridiculous question I have at any time of the day. But there are times when maybe it’s just better to talk to the person next to you. Let’s face it, they might have something to offer that you can’t find on your phone…

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