I recently upgraded my smartphone, and in the transfer of data from my old phone to my new phone a number of my apps … disappeared. No problem. I can always replace them. But, not so surprisingly, I don’t really miss ’em.

Let’s be realistic. How many apps do you have on your devices and how many do you use? Both the App Store (Apple) and the Google Play Store (Android) have somewhere between 3.5 million and 4 million apps in their stores, respectively, so there are more than a small number to choose from.

Normally, an average person has 40 apps installed on their phone. Out of those 40 apps, 89% of the time is split between 18 apps. This means, more than half of those apps remain unused. As users get older, the number of apps installed by Boomers decreases.

A new study reveals that smartphone owners in the U.S. typically use only three apps frequently despite the average smartphone user visiting 25 apps per month. So, even if we have many apps, most of us tend to stick to a handful we use over and over.

About 58% of users said that entertainment apps like social media, gaming and communication were their top three most-used app categories. But there are millions of other apps out there, from photography apps (to make that perfect photo), games, news and information, productivity and tools, commerce, and so much more.

All of that being said, everyone has their favorite apps, and this list represents some of my favorites and ones I depend on. Compiling a list like this is totally subjective, of course, and the categories and specific apps I describe here are ones I am most familiar with, not necessarily the “best” apps in each instance.


So, use this article as an opportunity to review the apps you currently have on your devices and some apps you might like to have. I like to read what the experts say about best apps (from their point of view) and you might want to search for articles such as “Top 20 apps for iPhones/Android.”

Please note that none of these apps are hard to find or unusual. In fact, in several cases, they are very common and may already be used by millions of fans. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite apps and why I can’t live without them.

• WhatsApp (communication/messaging): A free, multi-platform messaging app lets users make video and voice calls, send text messages, share their status and more with just a Wi-Fi connection. WhatsApp is completely free (no fees or subscriptions), and the app works with iPhone and Android phones and Mac or Windows desktop or laptop computers. Other benefits: WhatsApp can identify people in your contact list who currently use the app. Both the receiver and caller must have downloaded the WhatsApp app, so you may have to convince friends to download it if they don’t currently have the app. WhatsApp has been less popular in the U.S. than across the world, but that is changing.

• Google Maps (travel): Sometimes the best apps are the closest ones to us. Google Maps, a free app, has been used for years on both iOS and Android devices. Google Maps is a web-based service that provides detailed information about geographical regions and sites around the world. In addition to conventional road maps, Google Maps offers aerial and satellite views of many places. In some cities, Google Maps offers street views comprised of photographs taken from vehicles. Great to find restaurants, hotels, gas, groceries, parks and much more.

• Health (health and fitness): Apple’s Health, a health app, helps organize your important health information and makes it easy to access in a central and secure place. It has lots of places for health records, medications, labs, activity and sleep, and it’s easy to share that information. It also collects health and fitness data from your iPhone, built-in sensors on your Apple Watch, compatible third-party devices and apps that use HealthKit. It provides very comprehensive fitness information, and helps you stay on top of trends like your blood glucose, heart rate and respiratory change over time. And much more.

• cloudLibrary (reading): Want a simple way to connect to your local library to access books and other resources online? All you need is a library card, and you are good to go. The cloudLibrary enables you to browse, borrow and read a collection of titles selected by library staff. Books can be read — or listened to — on personal devices, such as iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Nook, Kindle Fire, PC and Mac OS. Particularly helpful are the how-to videos to learn all aspects of the app, which is simple to operate and easy to use. If you’ve lost the reading habit, this is one way to get you reading again.


• YouTube (streaming video): Who doesn’t know YouTube? But do you know that YouTube is the second leading search engine behind Google? Most people think of YouTube as the source of all kinds of strange videos, but it is much more than that. It is so valuable because you can learn how to do just about anything, and the best part is that what you are learning is demonstrated for you. Need a refresher tutorial in operating a chainsaw? Need help in cleaning your dishwasher? Want to learn how professional chefs spatchcock a turkey at Thanksgiving? YouTube is the place to go.

When I asked several family members recently for their favorite apps, they suggested a handful of apps I was not familiar with. You might want to take a look at one or more of these: Remind (from our teacher), Zillow (from our real estate watcher), Note Rush (from our budding musician) and All Trails (from our hiker).

In future articles, we’ll continue with our focus on apps — choosing an app and controlling your apps. So, stick with us.

So many apps, so little time!

For more tips and information to make your digital life easier, visit BoomerTECH Adventures at boomertechadventures.com. Subscribe to their YouTube Channel for lots of free video tutorials at youtube.com/channel/UC1rS22ccn11gtOXY2yp1yRw.

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