We have been blaming smartphones about loss of productivity and distraction, but it is also true that we need them for every task from finding restaurants to booking flights, from sharing files to tracking steps. Life without them is unimaginable -- not impossible, but unviable.
Thirty percent of US users had an average of ten apps on their phones whereas 32 percent had 11 to 20 apps in 2015. That said, a lot of apps remain unused or were deleted in a few days. Your phone must have many useless apps too. This is because we have more apps in the app stores than we know what to do with them and all of them promise to solve this problem or that. This is a simple and quick quiz that helps you decide how smart you are with your smartphone.
1. How secure is your phone?
- My phone has a pin/pattern lock.
- My phone has an auto wiping app that deletes data when phone is stolen.
- I have enabled SIM lock.
If you answered all of them in yes, kudos to you. But there are many more advanced security apps that allow you to secure your phone from prying eyes. PIN Genie Locker has a patented PIN Pad design that is better than the traditional number and pattern locks. It disables phone after three failed attempts, takes the picture of the intruder and emails it to you. The best part, it is ad-free.
2. Are you leveraging productivity apps?
- I schedule all important dates and events using calendar.
- I use assistant apps (like Siri, Tempo, Sunrise and so on).
- I pen down 90 percent of my thoughts on note-taking apps.
Every few months, newer and better apps are introduced. For instance, using a calendar app is prehistoric. People are using schedulers and tools that can be synced with other apps to create a seamless workflow. Timeful (acquired by Google) uses artificial intelligence to schedule tasks in calendars based on events. It also estimates how much time each task will take. So make sure you are using the latest, cutting-edge apps that help you become more productive.
3. Are you saving money through mobile apps?
- I have a discount/cashback alert app.
- I use data compression apps that downsize my files and save costs on my data bills.
- I have a parking app that informs me about free parking.
- I have a budget app that helps me save more money.
If you have all these apps installed, you are well and truly saving a lot of money. Other than these, there are many smart apps such as Unsplurge, which provides a beautiful and inspiring way to save more money. All you have to is add your goals to the app with a picture and then track your progress.
Another way to make some quick money while passing your time is playing free games that pay real cash prizes. Your Web Base is a connection point for tournament games for members. You can earn points by referring new members and stand a chance to win awesome gifts. The app is still in the nascent stage but has the bearings to become big due to its powerful idea.
4. How many ways are you communicating?
- I text, chat and call on my phone.
- I have all the trendy group chat and messenger apps.
- I send emails and files to communicate with staff.
Traditionally your phone is built to call. But if you are still using your phone to call and send text, you might as well have been living under a rock. There are dozens of free international calling apps, apps that translate your messages, video calling apps, and many more. My personal favorite is Fluenty that uses artificial intelligence to send automatic replies to common questions on FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Hangouts, Kakaotalk and SMS.
5. Are you making use of health and fitness apps?
- I have a workout app.
- I sometimes use calorie counter and recipe apps to watch my diet.
- I track my runs and hikes through tracking apps.
The greatest benefit of technology to mankind is not through enhanced communication and productivity but through healthcare. The recent slew of health and fitness apps have literally brought healthcare to our fingertips. Komoot helps you track your tours, runs and hikes, connect with other tour participants and get detailed highlights of all tours.
6. Are you advancing your knowledge?
- I have subscribed to news app.
- I play a lot of brain exercise games.
- I am learning a new language in my free time.
We have a plethora of educational apps like Udemy, Khan Academy, and WolframAlpha. We also have many news sites like Flipboard, Readly and many more that make news reading palatable.How smart you are with your smartphone depends on how many good apps you have, and how smartly you use these apps. If you are using these apps to make yourself a better and more productive person, then well and good. If not, start now!