Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Programs for Smartphones

Smartphone technology puts a small computer in your hand.

The newest, hippest cell phones on the market call themselves "smartphones." They're loaded with all the functionality of a small computer, and able to run programs called apps. Smartphone technology, varies in its uses, and isn't limited to just average cell phone users anymore. Their compact size and strong computing power have made smartphones useful for many situations and applications.

Medical Treatment

Doctors use smartphone programs to help in the treatment of depression. By encouraging a user to track his behavior with a daily survey or questionnaire on a smartphone, both the patient and doctor can observe the small changes in a patient's day-to-day life, which allows more specialized treatment options. Developers have also created one program for community health care workers in developing nations to assist them in diagnosing and treating health problems. Because workers in remote areas may not have had access to medical training, and because doctors are scarce in those areas, these smartphone programs can help save lives.


Many retailers now offer "shopping apps," which are programs that allow you to browse and purchase items directly from your smartphone. Retailers intend these programs to increase customer satisfaction by reducing the amount of time spent waiting in line. These shopping programs allow the customer to compare prices between different stores, and to easily purchase an item from home. However, the time spent searching for items, and the advertisements that come with shopping apps, may cause irritation for some users.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement increasingly uses smartphone programs to assist in capturing criminals and responding to crimes. These programs allow for better communication between law enforcement and the general public, and eliminate the need for time-consuming paperwork. Police can quickly search criminal databases and retrieve the necessary information, for example, using a smartphone. Smartphone programs can also relay GPS information to law enforcement in an emergency, allowing them to find someone who's lost or injured.

Non-Emergency Services

Some smartphone programs allow people to report non-emergency issues to the government. This saves time for both citizens and government officials alike. People can use these programs to report problems with city utilities, to coordinate neighborhood cleanup and to monitor water quality. The smartphone program SeeClickFix, which Ben Berkowitz created to help his neighborhood connect with the local government, allows citizens to report things like graffiti and fallen stop signs. Several government agencies around the country employ this program to assist with citizens' problems.


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