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Applications: Life’s easy button

Originally published in the October 8, 2010 issue

A robot apocalypse might be looming.

While that statement might be extreme, it’s hard to argue the rate at which technology has begun to consume our lives. The number of times I’ve proceeded to check my BlackBerry during the writing of this was absurd and rather frightening.  

Even with my computer in front of me, checking Twitter, the news or Facebook on my phone by using applications just feels so much cooler. I love the feel of the textured back and smooth track pad on my fingers and proud that my latest tweet reads “via Twitter for BlackBerry.”

I’m not the only one, either. Smart phones, be it a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android, are quickly ruling the cellular world.

Yes, these phones are overpriced, unnecessary and distracting, but the amount of weird, intriguing and just plain odd things that they can be used for makes up for all those outrageous service charges.

Besides the basic social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, apps encompass everything from the idiotic to the educated. And whether you’re trying to fix a musical fix with Pandora or Slacker Radio, kill time with a mindless game or quell your need for news with constant updates, there’s an app for that.

BlackBerry’s AP News app is the most efficient way to gain general news knowledge, as opposed to newspaper ones that just direct you to their respective websites.

If you’re really politically inclined, Visual Vote allows you to track how various legislators have voted on different issues and even send a letter to your Congressman the 21st Century way.

Google Voice for Android makes it easy to sort through all those nagging voicemails from your mom and cut right to that drunken mess of a voicemail your friend sent you the last weekend. The app forwards any missed call to an e-mail address, then lets you visually sift through them all, translating the voice into text.

Not every one has a point, though, but that doesn’t distract from its sheer awesomeness. Android’s LightSaber app allows you to reenact your favorite Star Wars’ battle with an interactive light saber.

With the largest selection to choose from, Apple’s store looks like a giant arcade, and its most popular downloads include the addictive Angry Birds, tests that rate your idiot or moron levels and a way for you to virtually carve a pumpkin. Want to cook like an Iron Chef? Do it with Mario Batali’s Mario Cooks! app.

Though I adamantly and most likely unrealistically stand behind traditional media, the advent of smart phones is a change I can embrace.