A smart phone makes a great gift for yourself or for someone else. But receiving a smart phone is a bit like buying a pet: the fun parts also come with some work and some adjustments.
Downloading apps that make life easier and incorporate local information is like training a puppy. It results in less hassle and more fun.
The major difference between a smart phone and your computer is that it’s tough to see the whole Internet on that little screen. Apps are simply ways of displaying something you usually do on your computer’s web browser, but in a simpler and more elegant way that makes sense on a little screen
Each app is represented by a small, square icon that you touch once to launch its features and functions, whether it be GPS navigation, local business listings, your to-do list or your favorite game.
Help a new smart phone owner out and tell us your favorite apps and the ones you just can't live without in the comments section below.
Here are some app suggestions to get you started.
- UrbanSpoon and Yelp have apps for iPhones, Droids and Windows phones that are great for finding a local restaurant in a hurry, based on your location.
- MapMyRide and MapMyRun offer apps for fitness enthusiasts looking for a new route in their neighborhood.
- Most smart phones have a built-in app for local weather, but you may find it worth experimenting with the Weather Channel’s app, as well as other competitors.
- The Google+ Local app will show you search results similar to what you are used to seeing on the map listings part of Google Search on your computer.
- The GasBuddy app will help you figure out which of your local gas stations has the best price.
- And, of course you can't forget the Patch app! Patch for iPhone keeps you connected to the latest community news, weather, local business listings and events happening around the Barrow community. Patch’s app lets you stay engaged and mobile by delivering 24/7 news coverage. Patch Places is the go-to directory of local businesses.
A little secret many smart phone users don’t know is that you can make any of your favorite websites look like an app on your phone. If you are frustrated by using your phone’s browser and typing in the web URL, tell your phone’s web browser to “Add to Home Screen.” The resulting button will look like an app, but the button will take you to your favorite website instead of launching an app.