Friday, March 25, 2016

Planet of the apps

Every time I think I've got my apps all figured out and organized just the way I want them, new apps emerge from the depths of the oceans or sky or wherever.


There seem to be apps for everything now. Apps for navigation, AIS, anchor alarms, marinas, anchorages, weather, tides, fishing, night sky, birding, whaling, cooking, reading and so much more. Tell me, how did we ever get along without apps. And what's app with this anyway?  They used to be called programs. Then they were web links accessed through browsers. Now they are apps. My laptop no longer has program files, it has apps. This has become the planet of the apps.


So what is an app anyway and how does it differ from a program? It is best to think of programs and apps as the same thing with different names, just like cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons which technically are all the same thing. So an app and program are just the same thing with different names, sort of.

Apps will usually be (or at least feel like) one file downloaded. Each will have one icon. And deleting it is straightforward. A program will require an uninstaller in order to get rid of the various files installed all over your hard drive. Programs in general are pretty messy things. It may be helpful to think that some things which are usually done on a browser on a computer will be done by an app in mobile devices. E-mail is one of those things.

But mobile and PC and phone and everything else e-technology are all converging. Hopefully there will be only one system in the future so everything will feel the same and learning how to use it all will be uncomplicated.  At least that's what I hope. As I get older, I feel less interested so I hope they hurry up with this convergence. Or maybe not.

So getting back to useful apps, Sail Magazine has a good chart reviewing the features of all the different navigation apps here. Countless articles have been written reviewing the available apps for iThingys and Androids. I can't even keep up with the articles much less the apps.  And here I am writing yet another article about apps. More of a rant really. I am really fed app!

No sooner will I have written this article than a new app will come out or an old one be updated and my article will be out of date.

Then again, my android (Samsung S5) is acting up. It's hard to turn on and the screen keeps flickering. There's no app-arent reason for this except that maybe I've gone one app too far.  Let's get rid of some of the latest apps and see if sanity is restored.  Enough about apps for today. More, I am certain, tomorrow.







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