Staying connected? There's an app for that
FIND, talk, sing along, group chat and more are app choices at our wi-fi connected fingertips.
The app store is your friend, or foe, with thousands upon thousands of apps to choose from to fill up your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer, and all of your time.
In the past we might have survived quite well without these choices, but now apps are a part of our everyday life.
Here are just a few from that long list of apps that you can download for free or at a cost; just remember you need, most of the time, to be wi-fi connected to use them.
Find my car
I don't think there is anything more distressing than wandering around a car park with a blank mind, trying to remember where the car is parked.
Personally, when I am in a large or unfamiliar car park, I take an iPhone photo of where I am parked which shows the floor number and colour, and the parking space number.
For the digitally more active, there are apps for this. One that comes to mind is Find My Car for iPhones.
You need an active internet connection to access the data and the Location Services option in settings.
The app uses GPS location services to help find the car.
To use it; before you leave your parked car, open the app and save the location on the map.
On returning to your car, you open the app and tell it to locate the saved position of the car on the map.
The distance to your car is displayed in real time as you walk round and round the car park or down the street.
It also tells you the quickest walking direction from your current position to your parked car.
Find my mobile phone
Mislaid your mobile phone again? It might be buried in your bag or still on the counter at the local shop. Either way, there are apps and phone settings to help you find your phone.
If you own an iPhone, the easiest way to find where you have left it is to set up your phone for this service.
- Go to the home screen.
- Select Settings and then iCloud.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Find My iPhone.
- Slide to turn on Find My iPhone and do the same for Send Last Location.
You may need to sign in using your Apple ID.
Once you log into iCloud or the Find My iPhone app on another device, it will track and show on a map the location of your iPhone.
For a Samsung mobile phone, follow these steps to set up your phone:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap the Lock Screen and Security icon.
- Go to Find My Mobile.
- Select Samsung Account.
- Enter your Samsung account details.
When it comes time to find your lost Samsung phone, log onto https://findmymobile.samsung.com
Where am I?
You need to meet a friend at a restaurant or building; you have the street name and number, but still can't work out how to get there.
Whip out the phone and click on the WhereIs app. Hey, presto ! You now have the tool to get you from A to B with little to no stress.
Enter the address you need and then follow the bouncing blue button on the screen.
Or select one of the quick link buttons on the top of the screen to take you to the nearest ATM, chemist, supermarket or other quick option locations.
Facetime is a free Apple video and call app that is available on an iPhone, iPad and iPod.
The app only works between these products.
To use the service, you need to:
- Select the Facetime app on your device
- Enter your Apple ID if asked.
- Search for a person's name or email address in your contacts or enter their phone number.
- Chose to connect with the selected person by video or voice.
- Press the red button to connect.
- The video option can be activated when already on a call.
Skype can be used on computers, iPhones and most android phones, Kindle, iPads and some android tablets, on Apple and android watches, and even on your TV.
It's a free video and call service for Skype registered users.
Registering is simple, you just need to select a username that is unique.
While Skype to Skype is free, sending SMS texts or making calls to mobiles or landlines needs a credit or subscription with Skype.
For more information on Skye, go https://www.skype.com/en
Messenger is another app which offers free instant messaging, face-to-face and video communication.
You can send photos and videos instantly, see when messages are delivered and when they are read, send stickers, start group chats and more.
To use this app you need to have a Facebook account and be signed in.
Hugely popular, it's a free video and photo sharing app which can be used either privately or publically.
The photos are published publically, by default, unless you specify for them to be kept for access by people who follow you on Instagram.
The app also connects with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
It's available for download from both the Apple app and Google play stores on iPhone and most android phones.
For more information on Instagram, go https://www.instagram.com
You can give up buying CDs and get connected on these free music apps which works on phones, tablets and desktops.
Pandora and Spotify are just two of the options available for listening to music online.
Once the app is downloaded you can search for favourites or the latest music release by song, album, artist, label, genre, mood, activity, or friend.
You can play whatever you like wherever you are at whatever time suits you, tell your Facebook friends what you are listening to and share your favourites.
To avoid the advertisements that are played regularly, you can subscribe to an upgraded service for a cost.
DREAM AND LEARN
If you think you can't wait to watch a show on the television at home, then Netflix is the next best option for getting a quick visual fix.
It's a TV show and movie online streaming service, commercial free, but it costs to access the material through a monthly subscription.
The app can be used on internet-connected devices.
Shows are regularly added keeping the content current and extensive.
For more information on Netflix, go https://www.netflix.com/au
Finally, it's time to sit down, relax, chill out and broaden the mind with something different, that is, books.
But, not just any kind of book; iBooks are the electronic type, similar to the Kindle concept, but with this app you read your book on an Apple device.
The app can only be used on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Macs.
Available for purchase and download are newly published, classics, bestsellers and audiobooks.