You know that old saying: “No man is a hero to his valet”?
Sadly, I don’t have a valet. (I know, I know, it’s a tough life, how do I cope… ahem.)
But I think I’ve coined a new saying: “No man is a technical expert to his wife.”
Not as snappy, but more relevant since I may not have a valet, but I do have a wife. (And all things considered, I’d rather have my wife than a valet!)
She’s also pretty good with technology. And the other day she pointed out something I was doing that’s a bit daft… and I might not be the only one.
You see, I use my smartphone for a variety of things, including checking the weather forecast. You might do the same – or use a tablet for it.
And every time, I wake up my phone, tap to open up Chrome, the web browser I use, and I start typing in “bbc.” At which point it gives me a list of possible websites I might be after including “bbc.co.uk/weather”, which is the one I want. So I tap on that to go to the web page.
In the past it remembered that I live here in Cumbria and gave me a local forecast, but lately BBC have changed how it works so you have to log in for it to do that and I haven’t got around to it, so I have to type in “Millom”. Plus the Chrome update I mentioned about the other week means this particular webpage doesn’t work smoothly anyway.
The thing is, all that is a bit pointless. Browsing the web is all well and good, but since I’m repeatedly checking the weather on my phone, I should download the app the BBC make for it. Then all I need to do is tap on the app and it’ll tell me the forecast for where I am. No having to type in the web address or tell it where I am. Much quicker and easier.
The daft thing is that I already have a different weather app on my phone that was on there when I got it – I just don’t like it as much as the BBC’s forecasts, so I don’t use it.
The really daft thing is it’s not like I didn’t know about all this – I just never got around to downloading the BBC app (and maybe getting rid of the other one).
This isn’t just relevant for checking the weather – if there’s anything you find yourself doing a lot in a web browser on a phone or tablet, it’s worth checking whether there’s an app you could download from that organisation to make it simpler.
For example, you can check Yahoo emails on the webpage – but it’s easier to use an app. You can (or at least you could – I haven’t checked lately) check Facebook via their website on a phone – but it’s easier in the Facebook app. You can even get apps for various news or sports websites to make it easier to browse them.
If you’re wondering how it makes it simpler, there are a few reasons: buttons and so on are more likely to be the right size for the device you’re using, it might well remember more about what you do, the people who designed it had more control over how it works so they can design it better and simply that you can open it by tapping the icon instead of having to open a browser and then go to the website.
I’m not saying you should download an app for everything you do, but if there are things you do regularly, it might well be worth it.
And I’m off to download the BBC weather app right now, while I think of it!