The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Apps: Part 2 – How to Browse, Compare and Obtain Apps
From part one you should understand better about what an App actually is, what they can be used for and when they may come in useful…
In this chapter, we’ll explore where to find Apps, how to sift through them and what to look out for when you find one that looks good. We’ll clear up any concerns about security issues when using apps, explaining how to avoid any unwanted use of your information.
Where do apps come from? We’ll show you how to add, purchase and remove them step-by-step, as well as discussing new versions of apps and what this means.
Where to find Apps
Broken down into easy to follow steps and jargon-free language
Every operating system (computer program which runs your smartphone or tablet) has it’s own market to browse, compare and acquire apps through. As we’re mainly focusing on the ‘Android’ operating system, the place to download apps is called the ‘Play Store’.
Note: Smartphones and tablet computers made by Doro, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Huawei, LG, Google and Sony are on nearly all on Android.
The ‘Play Store’ has thousands of movies, songs, books and most importantly, apps. There’s two main ways of finding the app you’re looking for, either browse the integrated categories or use the search function.
Our tips to help you find what you’re looking for
If you’re looking for something specific like ‘torch’ or ‘weather’ apps, then searching those terms is the best method, (as shown in the image above). The Play Store will rank the results, taking various things into account e.g. user ratings, number of downloads (people adding to their device), number of uninstalls (people removing from their device) etc.
Some results will have a small yellow badge next to them titled ‘Ad’. We advise you skip these sponsored apps, as they’ve paid to be at the top of the list and aren’t there due to popularity or quality.
Browsing Apps: Categories, Charts & More
Guiding you through the world of app markets
If you’re looking for some inspiration, maybe the latest travel or food apps, just select the ‘categories’ button (shown above) and browse the recommendations.
Once you’ve found an app of interest, touch the images to see if you like how it looks and feels, sometimes there’s videos to show you the app’s features too. Tap ‘READ MORE’ to view the app’s detailed description.
There’s plenty of different app charts, categories and collections to browse from the home page, just select the one that suits what you’re looking for best (e.g. TOP PAID).
Browsing Apps: Reviews & Comments
Help ensure it’s the best app to suit what you’re after
Apps will have comments from users, although we recommend you take the top comments ‘with a pinch of salt’, focusing on the overall star rating (out of 5) as a better indication of quality. This is because Google often to puts the most negative comments at the top, even if the app has 4.5/5 stars.
The people who make the app (developers) have the option to respond to user’s comments, handy in seeing if there’s an explanation for problems other app users might be experiencing. Remember you can always delete the app if you’re not a fan after use, we’ll show you how to do that further on…
App Security: Staying Safe
Luckily using apps is pretty risk-free, these tips will help you stay that way
The first way to verify an app’s safety is if it’s in the ‘Play Store’. Google performs routine scans to ensure they don’t include any malicious programs, so if it’s on there, it’s a good indication it’s probably safe.
When installing an app, you will be informed the permissions it’s asking for. This could be access to your location, connecting to the internet or use of your phone’s camera. Now don’t panic, this might seem like a risky invasion of privacy, but apps must ask permission before accessing bits of your phone they require.
For example, if you’re installing a ‘Boot Sale’ app that lets you sell things online, it requires access to your camera so you can take pictures of the things you’re selling, it’s unlikely to randomly start taking snaps without you knowing.
The best way to ensure security is to use your common sense. For example if a torch app has a poor star rating and it’s asking to ‘Send SMS’s’ from your device, it’s probably not legitimate. Bare in mind that some free apps may ask for slightly odd permissions, (like internet access), in order to show you the occasional advert.
Adding New Apps
So you know where to find apps and what to look out for, but how do you get them on your device?
Adding (Installing) new apps is nice and simple on an Android device, saving you time and hassle.
Installing an App…
1) Open ‘Google Play’ store & select the app you want
2) Once you’ve decided, tap the green ‘Install’ button
NB. The install button might be a green price, this means the app isn’t free (we’ll explain more on the next page)
3) Check the permissions it’s asking for are reasonable and tap ‘Accept’
How Much do They Cost?
Using apps is probably cheaper than you think!
Most apps are free, especially on Android. This may seem too good to be true, but similar to watching commercial TV, you’ll get the occasional advert, (just tap a the small x on the screen to close them). Don’t panic if you loath adverts, many apps have the option to purchase the ad-free premium version for a small fee.
Buying apps can be a cost-effective way to do a variety of things, like learn the guitar, brush up on your foreign language skills or even track flights in real time… it’s up to you! (We’ll walk you through our recommendations, category by category, in later chapters of this guide).
What to look out for…
Those who make apps often bring out new versions, normally with fresh features or to fix a ‘bug’ (problem) in their app. If there is an update available, the app will display the new features in a green banner titled ‘WHAT’S NEW’. If you’re experiencing problems with an app, the update has probably fixed them. Although it might seem like a ‘no-brainer’ to do, app updates can use up precious storage space, whilst updating them over the internet without being connected to Wi-Fi will use up your mobile data allowance, (which you only have a certain allowance of per month)…
As a result of this, we recommend you either set Google Play to not automatically update (leaving you to manually decide when to do it), or to only automatically update when you have a Wi-Fi connection, so you don’t use any unnecessary mobile data.
We’ll show you how, step by step below…
(there’s images to help you too)
1) Open the ‘Google Play’ store from your list of apps
2) Tap the menu button in the top left (three lines)
3) Scroll down the menu and select ‘Settings’
4) Tap ‘Auto-update apps’
5) Select your preference from what we’ve discussed.
Removing Existing Apps
Sometimes you’ll want out with the old and in with the new
Removing (uninstalling) apps is useful to free up storage space and keep your device running smoothly, but differs slightly depending on your device, (we’ll show you how on the most popular operating systems).
Uninstalling an App on an Android Smartphone made by Doro…
1) Select ‘My apps’ then tap ‘I want to’ in the top right hand corner and select ‘Uninstall Applications’
2) Tap the red bin icon on the app you want to remove, then confirm your selection by tapping ‘OK’
Uninstalling an App on other Android Devices
1) Hold your finger on the app’s icon until you’re able to drag it around the screen
2) Drag it over the bin icon marked ‘uninstall’ then let go with your finger.
3) Confirm your selection by tapping ‘OK’
Uninstalling an App on Apple Devices (like iPads and iPhones)
Apple devices require you to hold your finger on the app icon for a few seconds (long press) until the icons wiggle continuously, then tap the small grey ‘x’ icon, and confirm to uninstall.
Which Apps Should You Get?
We’ve sifted through the thousands of apps available, selected our favourites and categorised them, so you can pick and choose the ones that suit your lifestyle.
Throughout the following chapters of this guide, we’ll go through our grouped recommendations, with app categories like ‘Food & Drink’ or ‘Travel & Adventure’ . The link below will ensure you receive them!