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Get Appy

Mark Gale

Mark Gale

Author

Technology

Are you getting the most out of your smartphone? Here’s a handy apps guide.

If you have a smartphone or tablet but haven’t downloaded any apps, you’re missing a trick. Last year Deloitte reported that while smartphone ownership had jumped above 50 per cent in the over-55 age group, 30 per cent of the buyers had never downloaded an app. Make sure you’re not left behind with these apps for silver surfers.

WhatsApp

Whatsapp screenshots

Download it for free, give it a try and you’ll wonder how you lived without it. It works in a similar way to texting but you can set up groups such as family or book club, where you all ‘talk’ to each other in live conversations. And because it works on Wi-Fi it’s a cheaper way to stay in touch when you’re abroad.

Spotify

Spotify app to listen to music on your mobile phone

This free music app caters for all tastes from hip-hop to Handel, and it has 75 million users. You can listen to as much music as you like from 20 million tracks. Make your own playlists and see what your friends are listening to, too.

Flush toilet finder

Find a toilet wherever you are in the world

Whether you’re near home or abroad, this handy app will help ensure you never get caught short, by telling you where you can find the nearest public toilet and whether or not there’s a fee.

World Walking

Find a route to walk and count your steps whilst you're walking

 

This app serves as a pedometer, recording the number of steps you take. It also provides holiday inspiration! Users can pick a legendary global route, such as Peru’s Inca Trail, and try to take enough steps to complete it.

Google Maps

Never get lost again with the Google Maps app

Still the most popular free navigation app. It’s easy to use, and you can set it to voice function while you’re driving to be guided along your route. You can’t download maps, though, so you will use a lot of data.

Vouchercloud

Get discounts off your local amenities with this app

This handy app helps you to find restaurant, cinema and shopping deals in your local area. To use the special offers, simply show the vouchers on your screen to the offer provider.

Downloading apps for dummies, starting with Skype

If you’ve never downloaded an app, it can seem confusing, so here’s our step-by-step guide to making it simple, using a name most of us are familiar with: Skype. The free internet-based video calling service has helped many of us keep in touch with our friends and family via our computers or TVs, but the mobile app version means you can video chat while you’re out and about.

Skype App screenshots

1. The right app store

You need to find the relevant app store. The icon will usually be found on your phone or tablet’s home screen. If not, look in your phone’s folders (you may need to check the instructions).

For an android phone (e.g. HTC, Sony, LG or Samsung), you can find apps in the Google Play store.

For a Windows phone (e.g. Nokia) you’ll need the Windows Store. 

For an iPhone, use the App Store.

For BlackBerry, apps are available at BlackBerry World.

2. Finding Skype

Once you’ve found the icon, click on it and you should be taken to the relevant app store. Find the search function and type in ‘Skype’. You should then be given the option to install the Skype app. (If you haven’t set up an account with your app store, you may have to do this first.)

3. Installing the app

Click ‘install’ and Skype will begin downloading on your phone. Once it has installed (this could take a few minutes), you’ll see an option to open the app. After signing in with your Skype details, you’ll be able to use the app in the same way that you use the desktop version. To download other apps, follow the same process – you can either search for named apps or browse featured items in your app store. But not all apps are free.

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