Web or app?

Can you remember the big advertising “There’s an app for that!” We all went digging into our application store to grab it because we had to have that. After all, who wanted to be caught short.

There’s still apps-a-plenty and you can knock yourself out grabbing them all and, importantly, setting your device to automatically update to the latest and the greatest. After all, there might be that one new feature that you don’t know whether you’ll use but you don’t want to be caught without.

Then there’s the confession that the update has “bug fixes and optimization” which translates often into “we now know why it crashes or that it’s giving your information away under certain circumstances”.

Staying up to date is important. Of that, there can be no doubt. It gets worse when you regularly use more than one computer. And, let’s face it, who in education uses just one computer? Sure, there’s your personal one that you take care of diligently, but there there’s the ones at school which might receive an image update once or twice a year. It’s not unusual having different versions of the program, depending upon where you are currently working.

So, this morning I turned on my Windows tablet (no, it’s not one of those tablets) and went to an application I needed to find out that there was a warning about updates. Grrrr. Exhibit A for this discussion.

I’m looking at you, OneNote.

It’s not that I don’t use OneNote regularly. I like the product and I use it for very specific purposes. I don’t use all the features of it – oddly enough, I use it for taking notes among other things. Other things, like bulleted lists for blog posts and brainstorming, I’ll use Keep.

If you want a roadmap that can be confusing, try to stay on top of OneNote and all its variations. Read this article Is the desktop version of OneNote dead? Of particular interest is the description for updates at the bottom.

There was a time when I bought into the “app for that” mentality. But, I’m really changing my mind rapidly. We have Google to thank for that. Using Keep on the web ensures that I have the latest and greatest version. There’s no effort on my part. When I look at the collection of OneNote applications that I have installed in various places, I really get it. Even with my Chromebook, I have the Android application installed. I did a full stop when I looked at my tablet this morning and asked myself “Why?”

Why indeed.

Instead of chasing my tail trying to keep up to date, there is a better way.


2 thoughts on “Web or app?

  1. Doug, this post makes me think of Jared Bennett’s one, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT. Since reading that post, I started to think about apps differently. I use very few now. Curious to hear where others fall on this.



  2. Good morning, Doug!

    Back in the olden days, when apps were young (and before that when you used to have to jailbreak your iPhone to install apps before there was an App Store because HTML5 web apps were the way of the future we don’t need no stinkin’ Flash), I enjoyed trying out all kinds of photography apps. Sometimes I tried a different app a day for a month to really enjoy the variety.

    Over the years, each time I replaced my phone I set the new one up based on the back-up of the previous one. The ever-growing collection of apps grew such that I think I had seven pages of FOLDERS worth of apps in 2018. They updated themselves when necessary (over Wi-Fi only), but this past fall when a new phone arrived, I set the replacement up As a New Phone. Currently (I just checked) all of my apps are sorted into 20 folders on one page, with room for eight more folders before needing another page. Granted, screens are bigger now.

    My laptop, on the other hand, still has its original SSD, and has been accumulating apps for five years now. It was set it up As New back in 2013 because I knew it wouldn’t have the capacity to maintain the apps from the previous HDD of its predecessor. While I have’t taken to deleting apps, periodically I need to offload data files to live within the 500 GB storage.

    However, there’s no doubt that I install fewer new apps these days (and thus update fewer apps as well), and the Cloud and web-apps have certainly shifted a good chunk of the apps/data off of local storage.

    Everything is peachy until you don’t have a solid connection, at which point having stuff in a local app really comes in handy.

    I have another related story to tell, which will have to wait for another day. My personal debate and rumination continues, but ask me sometime about FileMaker Cloud.


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