Opinion: App–lying genius to life

For those of us among the uninitiated, software for the increasingly ubiquitous so-called smartphone is referred to as Apps rather than the standard desk or laptop parlance where such things are identified as “programs.” The expression is the diminutive of the software “application” that is how one might hope to use the program to accomplish an objective.

With the game-changing introduction of the iPhone some years ago, Steve Jobs and his crew opened Apple’s smart phone’s interface to the world. Anyone that might have an interest in developing an application for use by the device was invited to do so. Rather than create barriers to folks imagining how we could live differently in a mobile and connected world – and perhaps even more importantly, rather than try to keep every potential dollar of software earnings from themselves – Apple lit a bonfire of creativity that is still burning bright. On my own phone, I can exchange a unit of measure or currency into any other instantly. I can not only check the status of my flight but can actually see the incoming plane’s location on a map. I can watch a movie. I can post to social media. I can buy a book then read it on my screen. There are many thousands of applications eager to be downloaded and hopeful to become indispensable. Without doubt, some are not so requisite. A quick perusal of any teenager’s phone will show a sophomoric retinue of silly games and amusing contrivances designed to pass the time.

But isn’t the lesson that sometimes an open architecture, like and open mind, can invite genius along with the distracting? My favorite is a flashlight app that uses the flash from the camera phone to light the way. I’d be app-lying if I didn’t admit I love it!

Terry Anker

Terry Anker is an associate editor of Current Publishing LLC. You may e-mail him at terry@youarecurrent.com

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