Read this beginner’s guide to downloading, accessing and organizing apps.
If you’ve just been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the smartphone world, there are a few things you might need to know. Like apps, for instance. If you’ve got a phone, computer, smart home product or car, you’ve got apps. They can be entertaining (like YouTube or a game) or useful (like your texting app or your phone’s calculator.)
How do I use an app?
To open one, just tap the icon (the picture on your device screen that symbolizes the app.) It will open, and you’ll either get right to playing your game, editing your photo, etc., or you’ll need to sign in with a username and password.
To close an app with an Android, press the “recent applications” menu button. This will vary depending on your smartphone, but on some, it looks like a square at the bottom of your screen. Your applications will appear like a stack of cards. Swipe them to the right or left to close them.
Go to this blog for detailed information on managing apps on your new iPhone.
So, where do you get apps?
Devices come with several already loaded, like the camera, texting, or internet browser. You can also add more by going to the iTunes store app (if you have an iPhone) or Google Play (for Android.)
It’s pretty simple: open Google Play or iTunes, and start typing the name of the app, if you know it. If you’re not sure what it’s called, type a keyword—the most descriptive word for what you’re looking for. You’ll see a list of applications, ranked by popularity, to choose from.
What do they cost?
The price can vary. There are thousands that are free, but most of these will have in-app advertisements. More complicated apps are likely to cost more money, and lots have a basic, free version, with the option to upgrade for a fee. Still, the costs vary widely: from $.99 for music and games to $899.99 for an app made to manage surveillance video feeds.
Which apps should I get?
Your phone likely has lots of cool ones already built in, like a flashlight, alarm clock or compass. But you might want a better compass, for example, with the ability to copy, share and view your coordinates in a map. For that, try Compass for Android phones. If you have an iPhone, try Compass x for iOS. If you want to get better with your smartphone photography, check out this blog with suggestions on photo editing apps.
Can I have too many on my phone?
Yes, you can have too many. Apps require memory to run, and if you have too many of them on your phone, it will slow down or get glitchy. The fix is simple, though; simply uninstall your excess apps. If you have an Android phone, touch and hold the app icon on your screen until you see “Uninstall” on the screen. Then, drag the icon to “Uninstall.” If you have an iPhone, press and hold the app icon until it wiggles, then let go. Press the “X” on your app. “Are you sure?” will appear. Confirm that you want to delete your unwanted app. Done and done!
Tip: this is also a good thing to try if one of your apps doesn’t appear to be working properly. Uninstall it, and then re-install by going to iTunes or Google Play and downloading it again.
How can I organize them?
You can move them to different screens (like your home screen) on your smartphone. Start by pressing one until it either wiggles (iPhone) or your phone buzzes slightly (Android). Now, you can move it around. To change screens, keep your finger on the app and swipe it toward the next screen—as far right or left as you can go. You might have to try this a few times.
Remember each phone is different, so your apps and screens may operate slightly differently than we’ve described here. Just keep experimenting!
Want more hands-on help? Bring your device into a Cellular Sales store near you. We’ll be happy to help you out!