Apps have become an essential part of our lifestyle and it covers virtually every aspect of our daily life. Farheen takes a look at the advent of the apps, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
The advent of technology in the last few years has made our lives comfortable and smooth. Thanks to the technology that we use day in, day out.
Have you ever wondered how we have transformed our habits and habitats; the way we live, communicate, socialise, invite, travel and so on?
Besides this, think about how we react and expect responses based on technology.
Nostalgia hits me when I think about the telegrams that were sent – telegrams were the harbinger of good and bad news for generations in the world.
Then the telegram was the fastest medium to send or receive the news. Imagine now, WhatsApp, emails and video calls have replaced the former.
Technology has helped us to move on swiftly by creating methods to smoothen our lives.
Let us take the simplest example of a phone. In India, the phone revolution started when Reliance launched CDMA services nationwide at only 501 INR, including 100 INR worth of free talk time. Until then, if you wanted a mobile phone, the handset alone cost around 2000 INR and more, the connection attracted additional money. Everyone owned a mobile connection and was at the peak of euphoria.
I remember the times, getting an autorickshaw or a taxi was possible only if you meet the taxi owner’s office or reach an autorickshaw stand or to be specific in certain cases, the pre-booked autorickshaw stands.
You can still run around to get a taxi or an autorickshaw now, but if you trust the technology, an easy way out is to download an application (app) on your phone and book the taxi or autorickshaw via Ola or Uber. This service of booking a taxi or an autorickshaw has been received with open arms by passengers because it does not only make the commute easy, but it also provides a detailed information what a user would like to know or do using an app. The transparency such a provides is also one of the reasons, the users want to use the app.
Now, for payment, you have the traditional method to pay the fare. But, with technology, you have an option to pay using E-wallets.
Mobile banking has given us back our time from standing in the queues for hours waiting for our turn to be assisted. Remember the times when the cashier, at the bank, knew how much money you have deposited into your account and for what occasion you would withdraw that money. The relationships used to become concrete because an individual would meet the cashier regularly. People became friends forever while having conversations with the people who stood in the queue with you. Yes, mobile banking killed the human interactions and paved a path for transferring money to any account in the world, checking your account balance, paying bills, ordering a cheque book over the Internet without hassle.
One of the blessings is booking airline, train, and bus tickets without having to waste time standing in the queue without having to answer questions, such as “You want the ticket for which route? What time do you prefer to board the train?
In the comforts of your home, you can book any ticket, at any time, for whichever destination you want to travel. Not only that you have one-click apps and websites through which you can book the hotel of your choice by reading the reviews and browsing the pages to check the amenities, tariff, pictures and the type of food the hotel serves.
WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, and all the other different types of applications available to ensure that you are in touch with people at any time. You have an option to send and receive messages, pictures, audio files, songs, videos, documents. You have an option to see and talk to the person you want to using a video calling technology.
An Amazon spokesperson says, “Fire TV Stick is the powerful streaming media device that plugs into an HDTV and lets customers access thousands of movies, TV shows, apps, and games.” Furthermore, Amazon fire stick has a voice remote that offers spoken language support for Indian customers in Hindi and English. With a voice remote, users can search Amazon video by calling out the name of the video.
This is amazing, how we have progressed from using a hard copy of a map to be using a Google Map on our smartphones now. Whenever we set out for a road trip, we always relied on the paper maps. Gone are those days, more than a decade ago, Google Maps were born.
We are blessed to have Google Maps that offers traffic data in real-time, using a colored map overlay to display the speed of vehicles on specific roads.
The advent of apps that cater to different users with myriad interests. Foodies’ lives have been made easy by apps because these apps recommend great places to dine. Some of the apps are OpenTable, Zomato, Tripadvisor, SWIGGY, et al.
Another sigh of relief is the app for finding and booking appointments with doctors and diagnostic labs. You can also read up feedback given to doctors by patients. This app provides you with the facility to schedule an appointment at your convenience by referring to the appointment timings mentioned on the app. Some of the good apps are Practo, Setmore, Appy Pie, and others.
The e-commerce industry has magically changed the way we used to shop earlier. Every businessman is looking to have an online store where they can sell their range of products and services. Every customer is waiting to buy things online. Not everyone can afford to set up a brick and mortar store, but it’s comparatively easier to start an e-store. An e-commerce store can save you money. E-commerce has become one of the preferred ways of shopping because of its easiness and convenience. You can buy products or services from their home at any time of day or night. You also have the freedom to return the goods within a stipulated period. You can benefit from the sales that the e-stores run online.
We can’t brush off the arguments against the use of technology and its disadvantages. But, the reasons for humans surpassing technology even now has made us reason out how, when, where, and what technology to use to make our lives easier or to become a slave.
Photos sourced from the author and the internet.
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Farheen Viquas is a Senior Technical Editor/Writer working in Bangalore, India. She has worked as a Technical Writer/Editor, Mentor/Coach, Language Consultant, Information Tester, English Trainer, and Transcriber. When not at work, she loves to cook, read, write poetry and prose, listen to music, bake cakes, fish keeping, and embroider. She is also a stained-glass enthusiast.