Smartphone users plug into the world through a variety of apps that bring the world to their fingertips
In the age of the smartphone, it is the app that makes your phone ring in the new and stand out from the herd. Smartphone users in the city use a wide variety of applications in all walks of their daily life. “Like almost all my friends, I use my smartphone primarily for browsing, social networking and messaging,” says Niranjana J.N., an engineering graduate who uses a Samsung Galaxy S4.
“Social messaging services such as WhatsApp, Viber and Hike are a rage among us. We rely on such applications for almost all our non-face-to-face communication needs. I also use mobile applications of popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, in addition to games like 2048 and Candy Crush,” she adds.
Social messaging services have become so popular that people rarely use the conventional text messaging feature in mobile phones these days. “It has been ages since I sent an SMS to someone,” confesses Arya Suresh, a young economics post graduate and a research scholar. “The highlight of these services is that one can communicate with almost anyone in the world for free, provided both persons use the same social messaging application,” explains Arya, who owns an Apple iPhone.
“Thanks to WhatsApp, I still keep in touch with my old friends in Manchester, United Kingdom, where I did my postgraduation. It also helps that applications like Viber and BBM have free calling plans too,” she says. While applications such as Viber and Hike are free, WhatsApp is free only for the first year and costs $0.99 every subsequent year.
For Sibi M. Ismail, a doctor, the smartphone is more of a productivity-enhancing device. “I find tools like the S Note and Action Memo in my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 very useful to keep track of my daily needs,” he says. Sibi also uses Flipboard – a news magazine application, to follow news and OfficeSuite Pro for composing and reading documents. “Being a doctor, applications like MedScape and iPharmacy also come in handy for medical reference,” he says.
Mrinal M., a young entrepreneur and a photography enthusiast, swears by the Nokia Creative Studio application in his Nokia Lumia 525 because the software makes even photos taken using low-end mobile phone cameras look amazing with a unique set of filters.
“Another application which comes in handy is Truecaller – which helps track calls from unknown numbers. Being a food-delivery entrepreneur, I handle a large number of calls each day, mostly from people who call me for enquiries. Truecaller identifies these callers for me,” he says.
Ajailal P, a senior system analyst working in Technopark, extensively uses his Moto G for navigation by tapping applications such as Google Maps and Waze. Ajailal also uses an application called Money Manager Pro to manage his finances and mobile banking applications of ICICI Bank and SBI for his banking transactions.
Denizens of the city not only use mobile applications in their daily lives, some of them create apps too. “Creating a successful mobile application is a tough process,” confesses Akhil Krishnan, chief executive officer, of Nubeslogic, a startup based in the city, which recently launched its first independent mobile application – WCB 14, for football aficionados. “A good mobile application should have a perfect mix of an intuitive user interface and features that users will love. For every application in the market, there are a hundred competitors. Making your application stand out is a tough task indeed,” he says.
Is the profusion of smartphones and mobile applications disconnecting today’s citizens from the real world, decreasing people-to-people interactions, one wonders. “Technology and the advent of smartphones is a double-edged sword,” feels Swapna Gopinath, professor at S.N. College, Chempazhanthy.
“In fact, social messaging services like WhatsApp have actually helped people connect with each other more. So, it is up to people themselves to decide whether they should use technology as a tool to enhance their real lives or to forget reality and live in a virtual world,” she says.
Five Most Popular Apps
WhatsApp – The most popular social messaging app with the largest number of users.
Facebook – Mobile application of the famous social networking site. Available for all platforms
Truecaller – An application that helps track unknown callers. Available for all platforms.
Flipboard – A newsmagazine app that makes reading news a pleasure by converting it to a
magazine form, quite literally. Available for Android and iOS.
2048 – An addictive puzzle game where one has to slide numbered tiles to form the
combination of 2048. Available for all platforms.
Apps to Track Football
It’s the football season, and every other football fan is glued to the mobile phone to get football
updates on the go. Here are some apps that will help you get the best out of the World Cup.
1) Fifa’s Official Football App – The comprehensive app features live score lines and also has
features like live standings and constantly updated schedules.
2) FotMob – An old favourite among football fans. It gives useful data including details of top
scorers and past results of the teams, not to mention video highlights of each game.
3) ESPN FC Soccer & World Cup – The ESPN App has a tab dedicated to the World Cup where
all the latest clips, scores and statistics are made available. There’s also a lot of room for
personalisation in this app.
4) Squawka – An app for football fanatics, the highlight of the application is its ready availability of even the most nuanced of football statistics. It gives users a dashboard full of updates of the user’s preferred team, and has live match centres that help you keep updated with each goal.
5) 2014 Table – A clean and simple application for the average football fan. It cuts all the peripheral information and gives all information about teams which qualified, tables, groups, draws, fixtures etc.