By David Anderson
My wife and I couldn’t find her brand new cell phone.
She’d just updated to one of the latest and greatest in the smartphone category since others in the family on the group plan – me being the exception – wanted to upgrade. But a state-of-the-art phone – that doubles as a compact digital camera slash video camera slash GPS navigational unit complete with high-resolution touchscreen and web browsers with viewing capability in either landscape or portrait and downloadable apps for everything from widgets to wondering how long you can keep your finger pressed to the iPhone – isn’t much good if you can’t find it.
Yes, there’s an app for that. For just under a dollar your smartphone will tell you if you held your finger on the screen longer this time than last time.
It’s called the Hold On! app. With a name like that; and what with all the wonderful technological advancements in the industry; and my own inexplicable tendency to forget where I put things, you would think that finally, for the first time, in your grubby little hand, there’s now a Hold On! app that at long last will actually help you hold onto your PDA (personal digital assistant) so as not to lose it. Au contraire, the whole purpose of the Hold On! App is to tell you how long your finger has been registered against the screen.
Now perhaps I should hold on here for just a second in my assessment of Hold On!as the dumbest app ever to be downloaded on a smartphone. Maybe I’m being too hasty. Maybe the Hold On! app needs a second look. Seconds, after all, do matter. Time is of the essence. Just ask the 700 delegates representing 70 nations who attended a meeting of the United Nations telecommunications agency a year ago January where they spent a good deal of time discussing the significance of a single second. I bet you didn’t even know that as a result of their decision you had an extra second, what they called the “leap second,” to work with all last year that you might not otherwise have had.
Too bad though. You probably didn’t know that and now that second, as Chad and Jeremy sang, “was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.”
While my grandmother always said “a stitch in time saves nine” (to save me time here you can Google the meaning of that yourself), I still maintain that there could hardly be anything dumber than to have a Hold On! app on your smartphone. I mean, get a grip.
At least I would have maintained that except that Hold On! is not, as it turns out, the dumbest app you could download to your smartphone after all. It’s third.
In the list of top five most bizarre iPad and iPhone Apps for 2012, number one is My Horse, an app that enables you to raise a virtual pony. You can groom it, feed it, make it jump over obstacles and – AND – if you take good care of the critter you advance to the next level that allows you to change the saddle. Eventually you – more specifically your horse – achieve unicorn status.
Upon second thought however, My Horse in all actuality may not be so dumb. Where else can you raise a horse for 99-cents? Think of the time you saved. No actual trips to the barn; virtually no expenses raising this virtual horse. Of course no riding, but then no shoveling of the stall either.
But here’s what’s really dumb. What’s really dumb is if you can’t find your smartphone at all. Call me simple but if you can’t hold onto your phone what good does it do to have the Hold On! app?
As we searched about for that dumb smartphone, my wife and I eventually decided her phone number was up. But just to make sure I dialed it. Or rather I key-padded it on my phone. Right then and there as I headed out the door with my cell phone in one hand and a bag of garbage in the other on my way to the dumpster, the garbage bag began to ring. (How dumb can I be to have trashed her smartphone?)
Nonetheless, seizing the moment, admitting nothing, I turned to my wife, smiled, handed her the garbage sack and said sweetly, “Here sweetheart, it’s for you.”