Appaholics not so anonymous

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In a world filled with smartphones and tablets of every size, shape and company support you can think of there is a phrase that has become quite commonplace: there’s an app for that.

In the modern age there seems to be an app that can do anything, even help lose weight.
Abe Mohammadione, from Atlanta, did just that using an app called Lose It helping him count the calories of his food, according to a report from CNN Health Minute.

“The initial shock was finding out actually how much calories, or how much fat or how much sodium was in a lot of stuff I was eating on a regular basis,” Mohammadione said in the interview with CNN.

What was once a task that was done by reading a package, has now become encompassed by the growing field of apps.

Mobile app downloads in the United States grew from 41 million in 2011 to over 72 million in 2012, as U.S. mobile subscribers are increasingly embracing mobile media services, according to a Nielsen study.

“They are really helpful,” said Kare Cha, a 22-year-old health information technology major. “Like the weather apps, the news apps and the dictionary app.”

The same Nielsen study shows that consumers spend more time on apps than the web and are diversifying the range of apps used.

Photography apps like Instagram are the fastest growing mobile app as in the last year alone Instagram added 13 million users, according to the Nielsen study.

Brian Pattenaude, 25, a business major is one of those that has downloaded and uses Instagram from his smart phone.

“Photo apps help me take more pictures throughout the day, where I don’t think I’d do with a normal camera,” Pattenaude said.

App users tend to use the variety of apps to stay linked socially and locally as some of the fifteen most used apps include Twitter, Facebook and Google Maps among many others, according to Nielsen.

“I usually use the apps to have fun,” said 20-year-old accounting major Tyron Nguyen. “I don’t depend on them necessarily, I just use them to start conversations.”

Apps, and consequently smart phones, are becoming so indispensable to people that the rate of app usage in stores has grown, according to Nielsen.

People tend to use their phones to check prices, check for coupons and check the contents of food rather than do the reading or leg work of old.

“I think that for shopping apps have become essential,” Pattenaude said. “It helps compare prices when I’m out and about.”

Pattenaude is not alone in that regard. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed by Nielsen were found to use their smartphones and apps such as Groupon or Shopkick while shopping.

The use of apps continues to grow as users even browse their apps while doing other activities such as watching television, according to Nielsen.

While some might see a growing dependence, not all feel the same.

“They can become dependent on them,” Cha said. “But I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

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