The creation of the first smartphone, which was presented by IBM and BellSouth in 1993, led to a fundamental shift in all future devices developed by the genius human mind. Alexander Graham Bell had a revolutionary idea about connecting the world through telephones, but even he would be surprised to witness the progress in the world of communications. As new apps hit the market by the day, the initial purpose of the telephone may become completely obsolete in near future. The capacity of smartphones is being continuously upgraded thanks to different applications that help people find more convenient solutions to the issues they face. Apple’s App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore are the most reputable stores that house the new Holy Grail of technology – smartphone and tablet applications. Tens of thousands of apps for private and business users represent a huge slice of the market whose values is estimated in billions of dollars. When people install productive apps on their devices, they can only improve the quality of their lives because they will connect with other people and get the needed information more efficiently.
The initial purpose of the Internet, which was meant to serve for transfer of knowledge, got a new dimension when apps became part of our daily routines. Today, we use apps not only for gaining information, but also for shopping, playing games, education, finance, exercising, social connections, and work. Few people realize that the emergence of modern technology is related to the secret exchange of information from the field of nuclear physics during the beginnings of the Cold War. When we look at the big picture, we realize that the Internet was primarily supposed to meet the needs for efficient transmission of relevant information in terms of scientific interests. Although that purpose was transformed when the Internet was presented to the broad public, information remained the primary reason for using this technology. Today, people can download apps and subscribe to electronic versions of papers and magazines in several disciplines. These apps give them access to full editions right from their phones. CNN, The Guardian, and other sources of reliable information come in the form of free apps that give us access to trustworthy news at any time of the day.
Education was another challenge that app developers handled successfully. Parents rely on their tablets when they want to introduce their children into the world of knowledge without overwhelming them with huge piles of text and definitions they cannot understand. Educational apps are among the greatest benefits people from all generations gain through the usage of modern technology. The process of learning through apps is not based upon the traditional pedagogical element present in the classroom. Thus, the students are free to estimate their own capacity and access the materials that are relevant for their current level of skills and knowledge. Then, they can upgrade those skills as they make progress through other courses and educational content provided by app developers. Language learning, in particular, has become much more efficient thanks to Duolingo, Busuu, LingQ, and other applications that present content and exercises for learning different languages.
There is one question imposed by people who are concerned about us being too dependent upon modern technology: are apps really necessary? Do they help us become more effective or are they just wasting our time? The most negative aspect of technology is its power to make people addictive. Many children and teenagers, who grew up with different apps, cannot last ten minutes without their phones and tablets. They are mesmerized by the screens while eating dinner, sitting in the desk at school, and even when they go to bed. In these cases, they rarely use apps that boost their knowledge and productivity. They mostly spend their time playing games and chatting with people they know and don’t know. Overuse of technology makes young people inert and uninterested in the real world that surrounds them. There is no argument against the fact that apps can lead people into an addiction that’s difficult to fight. When people become overly attached to their phones, they lose the thread that connects them with the family and all people around them. However, apps are not dangerous at all when they are being used with responsibility. In such case, they can only serve our commitment to learn more and increase our productivity when covering different tasks.
Budgeting, education, calculating, writing, reading, playing, connecting… there is an app for everything. When technology consumes people’s daily existence, it wastes them a lot of valuable time they could use in real productivity. However, the right app can only be beneficial when we use it in the right time. Thanks to apps, we don’t need telescopes to see the universe. Cosmos navigating apps present the universe in a much clearer way than teachers and textbooks could possibly achieve. That is a real example of how apps and mobile technology help us learn and understand complex concepts more clearly than ever. Productivity apps like Evernote and Remember The Milk boost our productivity and keep us committed to our daily to-do list. Apps for exercising keep us committed to regular routines and healthy eating patterns. When we use different applications to get informed and increase the level of our productivity, they do not waste our time. On the contrary; they serve as reminders that those 24 hours in a day give us space to realize our full potential as human beings.
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