There seems to be an app for everything these days. There are game apps, apps to waste your time, utility apps to pay your bills, movie and television apps to keep you entertained, and apps that can provide the latest weather forecast or give you directions to the new supermarket that just opened. I have heard there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 million apps available for app enthusiasts. That is absolutely mind boggling. How can that many apps possibly be needed much less used? t believe it is humanly impossible to turn on that many apps in a lifetime much less actually use them, but I know some friends and relatives who are doing their best to prove me wrong.
Of course, apps are not all bad. There are some that are very practical and useful. When used wisely and properly, apps can actually enhance our life experience. However, the key is practicality. Do we really need all the apps that are floating around in cyberspace? No, what we really need is more practical apps and less gamey, cutesy, waste-of-time applications that serve little purpose other than to separate us from our money. For example, I have been waiting and waiting and waiting, but I have yet to see an app that addresses or provides a solution for such issues as the looming death of interactive human conversation caused by the human nose attached 24/7 to a cell phone screen, texting while driving or the lack of cleanliness of fast food restaurant and gas/convenience store restrooms. I honestly believe practical apps that address such issues would be welcomed by everyone. People have suffered too long without help with such perplexing problems, so if I was an app programmer or if I knew someone who was, the first thing I would create or ask to be created would be the following seven apps:
- Talk to Me:
Problem: Everywhere you look people have their eyes glued to the screen of their iPhone, android or tablet. Even when visiting friends or family there is always someone with their device in hand browsing the web, texting, twitting or playing games. Since everyone has their eyes glued to the electronic device in their hands, family gatherings, parties and social visits have deteriorated into awkward silence. The art of social and family conversation is dying in our society. What can we do?
Solution: The Talk to Me app is the answer! Talk to Me is an app that will rejuvenate interest in person to person conversations and save parties, family visits, and other social gatherings from the abyss of electronic rudeness and silence.
How It Works: There is nothing for the user to do. Talk to Me is a standalone app that would come on all iPhone, androids, and tablets. It automatically activates when a second party voice is detected in the room. When activated, the device screen flashes a warning telling the user the device screen will go black in thirty seconds. Once the screen shuts down, the screen will remain black for at least thirty minutes of no use or lack of live conversation in the room. In other words, the device screen will not light up when other people are present and engaged in conversation. The theory is that without the distraction of electronic devices people will engage in conversations rather than engaging their thumbs.
- Poo Detector:
Problem: (1) You are traveling on vacation, and you stop at a gas station or fast food restaurant to go to the restroom. When you enter the restroom, you are overwhelmed by the disgusting smell of excrement. Why wasn’t there a toxic environment sign posted on the door? (2) The family has just piled into the car for a trip to the movies, but by the smell, someone must have stepped in dog poo. Who? (3) There is an awful odor in the house. You have cleaned the cat’s litter box and checked behind the sofa for any surprises Rover may have left, but you cannot find anything. Company will be arriving shortly, so what do you do?
Solution: The Poo Detector app is the answer! Poo Detector is an app that pinpoints disgusting odors as well as alerts the user to toxic stench that should be avoided.
How It Works: Use Poo Detector to . . . . (1) Open the gas station or convenience store restroom door far enough to extend the app into the restroom. If the restroom smells disgusting, an alarm will sound and a voice will warn, “TOXIC! TOXIC! DO NOT ENTER! WARNING DO NOT ENTER! TOXIC AREA! If the restroom is safe to enter, the app will play, “Welcome to My World;” (2) Who stepped in the poo? Wave Poo Detector over each person in the car. Poo Detector will announce, “CARGO CONTAMINATED! PLEASE REMOVE!” when the guilty party is located [Works not only with poo, but there is a body odor setting as well]. (3) To find where that disgusting odor in your house is originating, turn Poo Detector on and simply walk around the room and watch the odor meter. The meter will read from COLD to WARM to HOT to YOU FOUND IT the closer you get to the source of the poo odor.
- Out of Context:
Problem: Facebook participants are always looking for good quotes that illustrate their personal, religious, and political views. However, it is not always easy to find quotes that meet their needs, so what can they do?
Solution: The Out of Context app is the answer! This app is a quote generator for use with Facebook. Since there is often little regard for the contextual meaning of quotes used on Facebook, Out of Context is the perfect app for the mindless Facebook user. It simply generates meaningless random quotes based on the user’s category choice.
How It Works: You are logged into Facebook, and you decide you want to share your political or religious philosophy and opinions with your Facebook friends. That is easy enough to do, but you also want to use a quote that will make you look like you know what you are talking about. That is when you pull out the Out of Context app, choose either the politics or religion category (There are 15 other categories to choose from as well.) and push the generate button. The perfect quote appears on your screen. Being random, the quote may not be in the context you intended, but you are on Facebook, so the odds of anyone noticing are slim and none. Enjoy your notoriety!
- Text Detector:
Problem: Texting and driving continues to be a major problem, especially among teenagers and the 20 to 35 crowd. What can you do to make sure your loved one does not text and drive?
Solution: The Text Detector app is the answer! This app is designed to incapacitate the vehicle in which the texting is taking place.
How It Works: There is nothing for the user to do. Like Talk to Me, Text Detector would be designed as a standalone app that comes installed on all iPhones, androids and tablets. It automatically activates when a driver of a vehicle uses one of these devices to text while driving. The app is activated the moment the car engine is started. If the driver of the vehicle tries to text while the vehicle is moving, the screen of the device will flash a warning, and an electronic signal will be sent immediately to the vehicle’s onboard computer to shut down. When the vehicle shuts down, it will maintain power long enough for it to be maneuvered safely off the main road. The vehicle will not restart until after a thirty minute delay, which gives the companion app, Text Now and Pay Later, time to do its job.
- Text Now and Pay Later: [Works in conjunction with Text Detector]
Problem: This app answers the question, “What can I do to get texting drivers off the road?”
Solution: Text Now and Pay Later is an app designed to notify authorities when the driver of a vehicle texts while driving.
How It Works: There is nothing for the user to do. Like Talk to Me and Text Detector, Text Now and Pay Later is a standalone app that comes installed on all iPhones, androids and tablets. It is designed to work with Text Detector. It automatically activates when a driver of a vehicle starts texting in a moving vehicle. When activated, the device sends vehicle registration information to law enforcement agencies. The registration information is then processed and a traffic violation fine is issued electronically to the owner of the vehicle. As the application title says, you can Text Now and Pay Later.
- Movie Zapper:
Problem: Inconsiderate people using cell phones to text and check email in movie theaters during the movie. What can be done about this rude, disrespectful, distracting and annoying problem?
Solution: Movie Zapper is the answer! The app is designed to inconspicuously Zapp annoying phone users in movie theaters [Note: the app Zapps the device not the user].
How It Works: You have paid over sixty dollars for tickets, popcorn and drinks to take your wife and two kids to the movie. You are enjoying the movie, when the screen light of a phone flashes on a couple of rows in front of you. You can’t believe how crude and rude some people are, but you don’t sweat it since you activated Movie Zapper on your phone prior to the start of the movie. When a cell phone screen lights up anywhere in the theater, Movie Zapper sends an electronic signal to the offending device and its screen immediately goes black. The only down side is the muffled obscenities of the foiled user as he/she stuffs the device angrily back into their pocket or purse. There are few things sweeter than knowing you just Zapped some jerk using a cell phone in a movie theater. Movie Zapper is the best friend a movie goer can have! It works in the background on your electronic device as a light sensor. It screens the theater for electronic devices with lighted screens. When a device screen anywhere in the theater lights up and some inconsiderate slob begins texting or checking email during the movie, Movie Zapper plunges their device into blackness. Another caveat is that the person you Zapped will never know who Zapped him unless you are unable to keep a straight face. Another great use for Movie Zapper is that it can also be used during business meetings or social gatherings where you want people to pay attention to people rather than the electronic device in their hands.
Problem: Children and teens would rather play on their iPhone, android or tablet than read. What can parents do to promote reading?
Solution: The answer is Readlock! The app would deny access to all device functions until the user unlocks it by reading for a designated time period into the device’s built in microphone, to the parent or in silent mode for a designated period of time. The designated reading time is set by the parents.
How It Works: Readlock is parent activated. When parents activate Readlock on their child’s electronic device, the child cannot gain access to the device until the child reads to the device for a certain amount of time. The reading time required to unlock the device is set by the parents at intervals of 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and one hour. To gain access to the device, the child must read into the device’s built in microphone for the number of minutes set by the parents. What the child reads is up to the child – books, poems, magazines, etc. Once the required reading time is met, the device will allow access to all its functions. The app uses voice recognition, so there is little chance anyone except the child or the child’s parents can unlock the device. The voice recognition feature will also effectively prevent the child from trying to circumvent the process by laying the device in front of a television or radio. If parents want their children to read more, Readlock is the answer. It is a simple premise – No read, No device! Of course, parents could always take old fashion measures and take electronic devices away from their children until they read, do their homework, do their chores or join in a family conversation, but for too many parents that would require an additional app called Parentballs that is still under development and not yet ready for mainstream America.
These seven practical apps would definitely make a positive difference in our lives. I believe the market is wide open for such practical applications of technology. I, for one, would be first in line to purchase each and every one of these apps. Now, if I could find a BS Detector app for politicians; oh, I’m sorry, there is one – when they open their mouths.
©Jack Linton, August 23, 2015