It’s Worth One Dollar

Having been thoroughly sucked into the world of tablets and smart phones, I’ve learned a couple things about the apps that you can get. And one lesson in particular stands out:

The app is worth one dollar.

A very common revenue model for apps is that there are two versions, a free app that has ads and a paid version that does not have ads. So far we’ve just downloaded the free version and ignored the apps.

However, even on our regular computer we’ve found that our kids aren’t always discriminating about where they click on the screen. Sam has already purchased and downloaded an app (we have no idea what it does…). But the kicker for me was when I accidentally clicked on an ad inside of an app, and found that I was one more click away from adding an additional $10 to my monthly bill.


Yep, some dinky ad that I accidentally clicked on started signing me up for some additional service, that would automatically charge me $10 per month, which would very nicely (and conveniently) be added to my phone bill. And I’m sure that opting out or canceling would be very simple and painless.

So, I’m thinking that the extra dollar to get the paid app is a worthwhile investment, especially if you ever let your kids play with your phone or tablet.

The new computer

We have finally decided to enter the world of smartphones. My wife and I have been on a family plan with her parents until now, but do to various circumstances, it was time for us to get set up on our own phone plan.

I have to confess, I am really enjoying my smartphone.

It’s nothing really spectacular, a LG myTouch. My wife got a nicer phone (HTC Amaze 4G), but I like the smaller size of my phone–it actually fits into my pocket nicer than my old feature phone.

I am certainly not a fan of the wonderful data plans that come with the phones, but I am finding myself really enjoying a lot of the basic features of this new world of apps and constanct connectivity. The question “How did I get along before without this” is an indicator of successful technology.

I did have some planned uses for getting a smart phone. The main things I was thinking of were the ability to synchronize contacts and calendar items between computer and phone (and to share a calendar with my wife). I was also wanting to have the LDS Gospel Library information (scriptures and manuals, etc) available–ever since we started carrying a diaper bag, we’ve had a harder time bringing our scriptures to church.

Happily, my phone does not disappoint on either of those points. I have been able to have a better management of contacts and calendar, and have already made a lot of use of my phone at church. But there are a number of other things that I have really found useful. One of these is simply Google Reader. I have lately found an awful lot of really fun/interesting/informative blogs, but I have had the hardest time keeping up with them–every so often I would just have to skip a whole bunch of entries. With the phone I have been able to read blogs in my spare five or ten minutes while I’m waiting for the carpool, or in the bathroom… after washing my hands very carefully and thoroughly…


I have also enjoyed the GPS navigation apps, especially since the in-laws have just moved and I haven’t quite got a good handle on where they live and how to get there. And I have never really been all that great with directions anyway.

The next app I have enjoyed is audiogalaxy. This allows me to stream my music from my home to my phone. Awesome.

The, a couple weeks later, my company gets a tablet for me to use! So I am typing this post from my new Lenovo tablet. It’s a little heavy and (as with all things lenovo) the speakers aren’t that great, but so far I’m pretty impressed. I have an external keyboard that goes with the case, so I can really use this as a pretty nice netbook.

It is interesting to see how the computer has shifted over the years. Laptops and desktops certainly have not gone away (but mainframes and servers haven’t really gone away, either), but the common user device is now part of your phone. Maybe a tablet.

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