‘Apps’ with friends

Shanisha branch
Staff Writer

Phone applications exploding in popularity on campus.

Have you found yourself using downloaded applications or “apps” more than you actually use your phone for its original purposes? You are not alone.
Phones and the apps available for download have flourished into a plethora of entertainment uses. Apps like Instagram and Ruzzle provide people with hours of seemingly mindless enjoyment. Retailers like Apple’s App Store and the Google Playstore allow for consumers to buy and download apps directly onto their mobile devices, making it easier and more accessible. An app’s main purposes are playing games, appreciating music and connecting to social media.
New technology has brought about tremendous advancements for the 21st century. The introduction of tablets like Apple’s iPad in 2010 and new software programs like Windows 8 in 2012 gave people the tools to utilize apps more freely.
Software businesses are not the only ones making money. Along with an upgrade in gadgets came an elevation in app developments. Over the course of five years, individuals have downloaded more than 25 billion apps. Needless to say, most of us have more than one app on our mobile device, and this includes games.
Ruzzle is a new craze hitting the app store and people are obsessed with it.
“It allows you to play with people all around the world with different language options,” said freshman Lauren Amos. “And it builds your vocabulary.”
This is closely associated with the previous craze Words with Friends, which received much popularity also. However, Ruzzle is different in that one match allows for an allotted time of two minutes, using the same words on the board, players are expected to compete for three matches.
It’s similar to a timed word search, unlike Words with Friends, which is “a digital version of Scrabble,” said Amos.
Other games like Angry Birds and Temple Run are popular; however, people are keener to play games that involve communication with someone else rather than competing against themselves.
Music lovers, they have an app for you, too. Actually, there are several apps that cater to the musical being inside all of us. Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio just to name a few, are available for download. There are also multiple apps that can actually help you play music, such as “GarageBand.”
“Pandora is probably number one [above other music downloads],” said freshman Crystal Lunkin.
“[Pandora] plays a variety of music and I can change the song when I want to,” Amos said.
If you don’t just want to listen to music but also watch videos there is always YouTube. It is common for internet media such as this to be made available for mobile devices, like many other social media sites
“I mostly go on Youtube to watch videos and I’ll watch a web series,” Amos said.
Socially inclined folks might have more than one social media app. These apps have made their mark on today’s mobile scene. Apps for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer various avenues for friends to connect. Instagram is a fairly new app introduced in 2012, yet it has had over 50 million downloads to date.
“Everyone with a smart phone probably has [an account]” said sophomore Cheryl Fields.
It is made strictly for people to upload pictures they take in everyday life.
“The ability to connect with people through pictures,” Fields said is the most attractive reason to use this app.
Then, of course, there is Twitter and Facebook. They are both personal posting sites and permit individuals to express their feelings freely. However, Twitter allows you to unite with people on a broader network by using a trending topic.
“A trending topic is basically the pound sign [or hash tag,]” said Lunkin. “People start the trend and people start to re-tweet which gets it out there faster to people who don’t follow you.”
A trending topic could be about anything from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” to the Superbowl. Facebook’s a little different because you have more extensive profiles, more posting control and no character limitations.
Mobile applications have made a remarkable evolution in this technological age. Regular phone calls and text messages do not suffice anymore. More and more people are downloading apps to communicate with their friends. Mobile marketing gives vendors the ability to globalize their apps simply and prosperously. Mobile apps have made mobile devices and handheld tablets flourish. With an abundance of apps covering several areas of interest, there is a guarantee that if you want it, there’s an app for it.