Monday, 1 August 2011

There's an app for that

Is there an app that shuts up screaming kids at 3am? Because I would really find that one useful and could imagine it getting a fair few downloads. I’m not sure what form it would take, possibly some kind of hypnosis that gets them to sleep through the night or at the very least settle themselves when they wake up and put their own frigging dummy back in.

I would also be ever grateful for one that stops me from saying the wrong thing to the man when he’s already in a bad mood. This one could be a real relationship saver. They could even call it call it that, it’s quite catchy. It could calculate the number of hours sleep the man has had and offset that with the number of calories he’s consumed, if the number is too low an alarm would go off and suggest that I either just keep my mouth shut or not attempt a conversation without handing over KFC first.

Next on my list would be an auto placator, type in something that I have said and get it to explain to me that I haven’t actually offended anyone. This would save the man absolutely hours and possibly dispense entirely with the need for the Relationship Saver.

There are an estimated 500,000 apps available in the Appstore and 400,000 in Android Market. That’s an awful lot of life sorting, mapping, organising and helping software. How did we manage before?

I have only had my android phone for two weeks and despite being adamant that I wouldn’t start relying on apps, I have become a bona fide app junkie and downloaded over 25 apps already. I am now reliant on my phone to count my calories (is that last KitKat chunky wise?), what the weather is like (no longer content with just looking out the window, I also need to know whether it’s raining in Tokyo or windy in Taipei) and to entertain me while sitting in the kids room waiting for them to go to sleep. I’m then awake half the night trying to kill pigs by catapulting birds into the air, or release a mouse from a maze of Lego. But it’s ok because I’ve also got a sleep hypnosis app to get me off to peaceful slumber afterwards.

Years ago we all presumed we’d be walking around in silver jumpsuits and have robots that would do everything for us by now. But I don’t think anyone could have predicted that we would be relying on our phones so much. Is it really such a bad thing?

The old fashioned gal in me wants to say what’s wrong with a pencil and paper? What’s wrong with the old landline? And you can see the weather on the telly. We have all become so reliant on technology that if we were stranded on a dessert island without being able to Google “how to dig a latrine” and “what species of exotic fruit are poisonous” we would perish fairly quickly.

But on the other hand the man and me have a saying: “use all your tools” which means that you should use everything available to you to make your life easier. As a mechanic he uses time and labour saving devices everyday so he can get a job done in the allotted time frame, and sometimes after a bad day when I’m wondering whether or not to take the kids to Asda coffee shop for their tea to save me cooking and to get us all out of the house before insanity sets in, he will text me and say “use all your tools”. Why make life harder when there are things available to make it easier?

I am addicted to apps. I have just downloaded a shopping list app, and next on my wish list is a to do list. I have become a serial app searcher, any time I find a problem I am straight into the market to see if there is an app to help me fix it.

Some things however will never be solved by an app, dirty nappies and housework for example. You never know though, that robot could be just around the corner. But they can keep the silver jumpsuits until my calorie counting and fitness app gives me a firmer butt to put in it.

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