Smartphone users talk apps, email synching
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 23:09
Senior Allison Kane says she still had not figured out how to link her university email to the mail app on her iPhone. Instead, she uses the Safari browser to manually log into GoogleApps to send and receive messages. Kane is not the only student with this problem.
As an employee at the Apple store, senior Kolby Dukes says that there are problems for several students that want to sync their university email account with the Apple software.
“People come to us every day having trouble with their email,” Dukes says. “We try to help them the best we can. Under UD’s Network Page, there’s a password setting tool. We have a cheat sheet. It breaks down all the steps you need to make it work.”
Email is not the only online resource that Kane likes to access from her phone. She says the UD app provides an easier way to get to Sakai and UDSIS.
Dukes says that the iPhone and iPad are useful because they bring things from the computer to the user’s fingertips.
“If you’ve got five minutes standing in line at the grocery store, you can study,” Dukes says. “We can make better use of our time.”
Dukes says he uses Pages and Keynote constantly. Pages is Apple’s word processing app and Keynote makes presentations. Apps have become a daily part of life, especially for college students, Dukes says. Smartphones are best for people who are always on-the-go, Dukes says.
“It’s become almost like a car,” Dukes says. “You don’t need it to live, but almost everyone has one at some point.”
There are several apps designed specifically for university students, Dukes says. He says Evernote syncs class notes between several devices and the Dropbox app can serve as a place to store different types of files that you might need for class.
Computer and information sciences professor Jingyi Yu researches in partnership with several leading mobile companies like Apple and Android and plays a part in the development of technological algorithms. Yu says the idea for an app is harder to develop than the software itself.
He says phone apps cannot always substitute for certain computer functions.
According to Yu, most app developers usually lose money because there is no surefire way to ensure success. Often, the profits do not offset the cost of development, he says, and the goal should be to have fun and be passionate about the development rather than to seek profits.
“There are certain applications you cannot easily replace, for example, the office processing tools,” Yu says. “It’s very inconvenient to type on the phone.”
Yu also says the iPhone is less advanced than it appears because he says it uses one of the lowest performance chips.
He says another major flaw in the iPhone is its smaller touch screen, a problem which Dukes says will be fixed with the iPhone 5 release. They are increasing the screen from three and a half inches to four inches, but existing apps will run with black bars on the top and bottom because of the larger resolution, according to Duke.
The iPhone is often chosen over Android and Windows, Yu says, because people consider it more trustworthy than Android and Windows due to its lack of bugs.
“The biggest advantage of the iPhone over the Droid is that the same company that is making the hardware is making the software,” he says. “When you have a company like Apple that makes hardware and software, everything just works better.”
Despite the expansion of apps, both in Apple’s market and several others, Yu says that there is a limit on the computing power of mobile devices. He says that the growth of apps has less impact on daily life than people realize.
“There are hundreds of thousands of apps coming up every day,” Yu says. “But if you really count the apps we use daily, it’s just a handful of apps.”