Are Our Apps Wasting Our Time?

Are Our Apps Wasting Our Time?

Not only do they take up your phone storage but they also take up your time.

At least five times a day, I get a notification on my phone telling me that I have very low storage. Most of the time, I just want to throw the device against the wall. But what I end up doing is either ignoring it or doing what Apple calls “managing my storage.” As I manage the storage of my phone, I am able to see what is taking up most of the space and, I have to say, a good amount of it is apps.

But what exactly is an “app” and what is the purpose of downloading them? Also known as applications, they range from social media, like Facebook or Instagram, to news sources, to productivity. Since everything a person might need is practically in all of these apps, the idea of an app is that they are helpful tools that make our lives easier and save us time.

The real question is whether these apps are useful or just deceiving and actually a huge waste of time.

Let’s take a look at social media apps. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, sure make it a lot easier for users to check their respective accounts and be constantly connected to their social world, something that wasn’t possible when smartphones weren’t yet created. However, I think that social media apps are the biggest waste of time that there is. Most of the apps on my phone are social media apps. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr.

My account for each of these platforms is always connected through their apps, which means that there is never a moment that I am logged out of my social media platforms. Yes, this makes my social life a whole lot easier. I get to check all my notifications the moment I receive them. But is it really making my life easier when I am constantly connected? There never is a moment that I can back away and concentrate on one specific thing.

The apps keep me connected, but also distract me from more productive things I could be doing.

Apps that provide news, such as newspapers or magazines, can be a little bit more constructive. Before one would have to buy a newspaper or search online for the news source. Yet now with apps people are able to receive news notifications the minute the news breaks.

One of the biggest category in the app store is “productivity.” These applications are designed to make the user’s life easier in terms of their work or school life, or really any aspect of their life they want to keep organized.

Most of these apps consist of to do lists, emails, virtual notebooks, calendars, and other organizational tools. There is even an app that through algorithms learns your behavior and smartly suggests different ways that you could get things done.

I love the idea of these types of apps, but I always download them, use them for maybe two or three days, and then completely forget I downloaded them.

Call me old school but I am still the type of person who likes to have an actual physical planner and a piece of paper and pen to write my to-do list on. I think that in the time you take to download the app and update all your information into it, you could already have written down all your tasks in your calendar or to-do list. But that’s my personal preference. I do see how these apps can help people stay organized with all the different options they might offer.

So, are applications beneficial or a waste a time? I am not quite sure. Apps can be very useful and productive, but it mainly depends on how and for what the individual uses the application. An app can be designed with the purpose of making the user’s life simpler, but in reality it could just take away from their time, whereas someone else might be able to make the most of their time with the same application. Because I believe that smartphones themselves are highly distracting, it is hard for any application on a smartphone to be non-distracting. It all depends on personal preference and how people use their applications for productivity without letting other factors of the phone waste their time.

Cover Image Credit: tophdimgs

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The Bumpiest Feud In The Tech Industry Since 1976: Microsoft v.s. Apple

These two companies are definitely familiar to most, because you're probably using one of their devices or pieces of software to access the internet itself. However, the competition has been around for longer and was much rockier than you'd ever think.

The debate has always been there, even if it comes in many different names. "MacBook versus PC," "IOS versus Windows" and "Apple versus Microsoft" are just a few of the ways we name this particular feud that has lasted for at least 10 years. Both sides have had their ups and downs, but who actually "wins" this competition? Or is there even a way to "win?"

Microsoft originated in 1975, and Apple originated just a year afterward, in 1976. Surprisingly, there wasn't a ton of hot air between the two companies initially, like most would expect there to be. They actually worked together on the Macintosh, Apple's first computer. Microsoft was critical to several programs that would be on the Macintosh. There was even a promotional video with Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft, for the Macintosh to advertise it.

Apple started to create more software, with graphical interfaces. This led to things between the two companies becoming the way we picture them: sour. With two new companies competing with each other for technological dominance in the 1980s, tensions began to rise. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, started to toss insults at Microsoft left and right. He stated that they had no creativity and were just innovating on old ideas instead of inventing new ones.

The public apparently didn't agree with Jobs though, since Windows 1.0 was released in 1985 and ultimately allowed Windows to build the road from a local company to software that was known throughout the world. At around the same time, Steve Jobs was booted from Apple, his own company. The balance of power shifted to Microsoft and Apple was dismantling. While Windows continued to release new software for computers, Apple struggled for 12 years until they brought Jobs back to the company. After so much bitterness towards Microsoft, Jobs finally decided that working together would be more beneficial than "destructive relationships." The public was, by now, well accustomed to the hatred between Microsoft and Apple and did not like this new development.

After being on better terms for a few years, Apple was nursed back to health from its valley in the late 1980s and early 1990s and started to accuse Microsoft of cheating yet again. Apple and Microsoft continued to develop their products, with Microsoft still holding the upper hand into the early 2000s.

Portable music systems held great value ever since the Walkman was released in the 1970s. Apple released the iPod in the early 2000s, and it quickly made a name for itself in the years after. It was easier to transport than the Walkman and had actual storage, not cassettes. Everyone had one of these until the next decade, and its importance carried into the next big Apple product, which was releasing in 2007.

However, now that both companies had made a name for themselves in the national market, the words of consumers started holding more and more importance. The two companies were essentially forced to race in creating the best technology in the least amount of time and "hating" the competition.

Finally, Apple introduced a groundbreaking product — the very first iPhone. This started a chain of items that almost everyone would have in their pockets in the next few years. It gave Apple the push it needed, and for once, the company skipped ahead of Microsoft Windows and introduced iOS, successful up to this very second. Ever since then, Apple and Microsoft have been consistently creating new interfaces and products, always taking public demand into account.

Of course, there were a few slip-ups. iOS 7 was initially rejected by some for changing the app designs to abstract images and completely changing the layout of everything in all the basic apps, and the iPhone 7 was rejected for not having a headphone jack. But Apple is known for making things simple and aesthetic and eventually, these products won Apple customers over.

Microsoft had released more Windows software-Windows ME (Millenium Edition) was actually released in a hurry to give customers something new, so it's said by some to have been poorly made. The biggest ever Windows flop released in 2007 and is known as the infamous "Windows Vista." The software was full of flaws and was also extremely slow in performance, but Microsoft released another software, Windows 7, and this brought them back from the mess caused by its precedent.

Whew, now that the history lesson (although a quite interesting history lesson) is over with...

Both companies have flaws, and they both have a rocky history with each other as well, but they both endured their worst mistakes and managed to survive to this day, with products known around the world. Some of their products are probably in your house today.

So who wins the competition? Microsoft had pretty steady successes compared to Apple, but Apple made a huge comeback in the late 2000s to emerge on top of Microsoft and several other companies. The answer is whoever you, as the consumer, think is better. It sounds cheesy, but it's true: each company has something unique about it that people like to see in their technology. There's no doubt that this debate will go on as long as these two companies exist.

After all, companies started in garages by college dropouts have a knack for getting the public's attention.

Cover Image Credit: Kashvi Mundra

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The Reason A Lot Of Today's Most Common Job's Won't Be Around In 20 Years

Will Your Dream Job Still Be Around In The Future?

The other day, I was reading a newspaper on the train and I noticed how that newspaper emphasized how a lot of today's most known jobs will not be available in the future due to the rapid growth of technology.

When you go to a grocery store, have you noticed that their is more self-checkouts rather than cashiers? Or how robots are starting to replace surgeons? The reason for this is that these new devices are becoming cheaper for companies, and they are a one-time investment.

Though these new devices are taking many out of work, these companies are also saving millions of dollars by doing this. Companies are trying to cut costs, and liabilities by getting rid of employees and installing these new systems within the workplace.

While many employees are being left unemployed, and angry; many have come to the realization that this is the real world, and everything that happens is because of business. The business world does not care about anyone's emotions, all the business world cares about is cutting costs and making a profit.

As technology continues to grow, and rise, a lot of things that we are used to, and are accustomed to will not be around.Though it is hard for us to adapt to these new changes, this is just the direction that world is heading in and we have to accept it.

So by accepting these new technological changes, that means that there is a great chance your dream job may not be available when you are ready to get it. An example of the jobs that will probably not be around in the future include and are not limited to: Surgeons,Cashiers, Chefs, Accountants, Technicians, and etc.

So if you're looking for a future career, it should be within an industry that will not be going down. It is best to get involved within the industry that is taking over these jobs, and that is technology!

Any individual that decides to get involved within computer science will be guaranteed a sustainable career for years to come because after all this industry is on a rise to take over every other industry in existence. Technology is allowing each industry to grow because of the new developing system, devices, and interfaces. Without technology we would not be able to grow at the rapid rate we are today. So it's best to set your future hopes at a realistic view, and do what's best.

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