The world is steadilly going smartphone crazy, and along with that comes the apps craze. You have probably heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that”. It is used to refer to the fact that if your smartphone lacks a functionality that you need, you can resort to a 3rd party app. If a built-in functionality does not perform as good as the manufacturer says it should, you can resort to a 3rd party app. Also, if you need a specialised application, then 3rd party apps is where you look too.
As such, people who have been given a short end of the stick by a mobile manufacturer, people who cannot afford a more expensive model that comes with all their required features built-in, and people with specilaised needs, all find that 3rd party apps are a God-send.
Personally, I have observed over the years that there are really no 3rd party apps that I must have, regardless of the smartphone platform. The reason is simple: there are only two services that I really need on a mobile – web and email (and along with those, good text entry).
Because my real needs are few, when mobile shopping, I simply opt for a device that meets those few core needs excellently and purchase that. Problem solved. Once I have email, web and a good keyboard (preferably but not compulsorily hardware), I really don’t care much about anything else.
If there’s a music player, usually I use it as it is when I need music, and if its not there I just don’t bother. Same goes for features such as camera, social networking, instant messaging, etc. Because I do reviews, I find myself installing several apps and trying them out for the first few weeks of possessing a device. Thereafter, I almost never use them again.
I tell people that what I really need is essentially an internet tablet, not a smartphone per se. When people ask me for a list of apps that I must have on my phone, it is usually hard to come up with any.
Fortunately, the world does not revolve around me (actually, many people would consider me boring) and my needs are not representative of the rest of the planet. As such, there are many more people who want more on their devices. GoogleTalk, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, music and other services are important to them.
This set of people have a ready list of must-have apps for their devices. Are you a boring, straightjacketed nerd like me, or do you belong to the hip mass of humanity whose lives are full of flashy colours and schedules?
If you belong to the later, tell us about your must-have apps. And just in case you are more like me, have your say-so too. Perhaps we can meet up and have a drink over a pizza sometime.