Apps are officially the new earrings of my life. Small price, surge of instantaneous pleasure and usage and then, months/weeks later, neglected – although in this case on the page 4 screen of my phone or in a folder of my new iPad, rather than the one earring graveyard of my jewellery box. The phone fix without a future – levels completed, new update available… and yet the app market continues to deliver on novelty value. New apps regularly appearing, and suddenly fulfilling needs that you did not know existed. As such, I find the app market a fascinating place to investigate new consumer trends, the digitalisation of our offline lives – lifestyles organised by one precious, personalised handset. Ultimately, the mobile conveys so much about its owner, and even more on society. With this in mind, these are four new apps that have caught my attention recently –
1) The crime reporting app
Launched by NYPD, the free app provides a list of the current most wanted criminals, up-to-date news, calls for information and videos relating to the department – a Sherlock Holmes alternative to crime fiction reading on the go. Users can also access crime statistics through the app and information about the stations servicing each precinct; although whether this would reduce the fear of crime I am not so sure. However, most interestingly, citizens are able to submit anonymous tips regarding crimes they have witnessed, playing cop themselves.
2) The driving do-gooder app
The RodeDog app detects when motorists are attempting to drive and text at the same time, alerting friends and family members who can discourage them from the practice. However, what I like best about this app is its canine feature – it barks when users grab for their phones. The irony that has to be mentioned, is that app is also on a phone.
3) An app for the elderly
Silverline is probably an app more envisaged for the silver surfer, as my granny barely knows how to turn on her phone. Nevertheless, the Singapore-based app hopes to increase the number of elderly smartphone users with a range of apps that make the devices easier to use – no more missing out on whatsapp-ing the grandparents or tweets about gardening. However, the app does make the vital functions easier to use, as well as having a useful reminder add-on.
4) The track my burger app
In Australia, McDonald’s has s introduced the ‘TrackMyMacca’s‘ iPhone app (yes truly). It uses your phone’s GPS to find out the location of your restaurant, image recognition to see what you are eating, and the date and time to track the exact ingredients that went into your food. Although whether you want to know this before you take that first bite is another story/big Mac. The app then truly goes to techville by using augmented reality to turn the tables into a ‘farm’, allowing you to learn about the food. Let’s hope they don’t show the unfortunate cows.
Have you seen any other apps that have caught your attention?