An appetite for apps | November 12, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - November 12, 2010

An appetite for apps

Local software developers tap into smartphone craze

by Karla Kane

They can give you your horoscope, teach you to play the piano and organize your time. Want to compose a tune on a virtual instrument or create a digital shrine to your favorite sport? As the iPhone advertisements say, yeah, "There's an app for that."

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Editorial Assistant Karla Kane can be e-mailed at


Posted by jobs jobs jobs, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 12, 2010 at 1:16 pm

American jobs are getting more complicated. Make sure your kids get a good education if they want a comfortable life in the coming years.

Posted by Moira, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Yes some (not many) of these applications seem useful. Do we really want more distractions, games, extraneous information from friends about where they're shopping or dining on our phones? Just because you can create unlimited phone applications, does that mean you should? We're filling our time with nonsense. TV was bad enough growing up, now it's 24/7 media. Yes, I know I live in Silicon Valley, doesn't mean I think all this technology is useful. Problem is we don't seem able to discern what is useful and what is nonsense.

Posted by jobs jobs jobs, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Apps are like books. Some are worthwhile and some are not. But I'm not going to discourage anyone from trying to write their own masterpiece.

As phones get more and more powerful, I think we're going to see apps get more and more useful.

I recently took my Android smartphone on an overseas vacation and used it everyday. Street maps and directions. Restaurant reviews. Museum schedules. Hotel reservations. Weather forecasts. Language translations. Currency conversions. Airline confirmations and checkins. News from home (SF Giants!). All in the palm of my hand. And a lot more current and accurate that guidebook that I rarely opened.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Moira & Jobs Jobs Jobs both offer valuable points of view. I like Moira's point about a lot of apps being distracting nonsense - very true. JJJ shows how useful their apps were while traveling - replacing lots of books & maps, for example.

It's a little discouraging reading about people creating distracting apps as if they were life savers, or analogous to the book example, The Great American Novel, because it advocates mediocrity. It does seem that some of the apps are really useful, if you're an uber busy, To Do list type. But how does an uber busy person find the time to get the right apps vs. all the sill stuff? I guess they put it on their To Do list.

Posted by E.G., a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Why are there only 4 comments posted on this story in the Palo 'center of Silicon Valley' Alto town paper?

Is everyone busy playing silly games on their phones these days? :-)

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