I have had my shiny new iPhone for about 6 months now. Previously, I was operating with an early 2011 version, which I think was actually the old version then, and it had very little ability to deal with most apps. At some point, even the built-in map app stopped updating with traffic. I checked email and could use it as a phone, and could see a few websites (many crashed it) and that’s about it.
My new phone takes much better pictures. It gets traffic info, and all that good stuff. I can read the newspapers I wish to read online without trouble. I downloaded Uber, and have used that in Nashville and Philly. I was tempted to tiptoe into the world of more apps, including productivity apps, but eventually I slowed myself.
Why? As I thought about it, I realized that apps might affect how I spend my time, particularly my not-working time. Even apps that promise to help with productivity make my phone more interesting. If my phone is more interesting, I spend more time on it — perhaps on the productivity apps, but also checking email and social media and all that, just because they are there. I call this the “app trap.” Any time gained through apps is quite likely to be lost in spending more potential work or leisure time in chopped up bits of screen gazing. I don’t think the cause of time management is well-served by spending more time on my phone.
So I have generally stopped downloading stuff. What apps make the cut of being worth risking the app trap for you?
In other news: Over at Fast Company, I have a post up about people with multi-year streaks of doing something daily. This includes my father’s 39-year Hebrew reading habit. This was a fun post to write. I may write another post here about streaks soon.
Photo: The old iPhone.