How do I use apps (Dagbani)

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Josephine Myriam, what is that on your phone?

Myriam Hi, Josephine. This is an app I use to keep track of finances for my shop.

Josephine Eh... what is an app?

Myriam An app is a shortcut tool on smartphones for a specific service. Most of them use the internet. Facebook is an app, for example. On your main screen, you can see the apps as small pictures. I'm sure your phone came with some other apps. See, this calculator one allows you to make calculations, and doesn't use the internet, so you don't have to worry about data. And this one provides weather forecasts - I'm sure that's important for your farming!

Josephine Oh yes, I tried to use that before, but I can tell it uses the internet, because out on our farm the signal was too weak. Let me try it now that I'm in town. Oh! It may rain in two days? We may need to harvest tomorrow!

Myriam You see, apps can be really useful.

Josephine Yes I see... so how many apps are there, Myriam?

Myriam Oh, I could not say; every day new ones are created... and sometimes others fall out of use. You can see what exists on the Play Store, here.

Josephine "Play"? Oh, are there games too?

Myriam Yes, there is almost everything you can imagine. Games can be fun, but you can easily spend too much time on them! My son used to spend more time on my phone than with his girlfriend, haha! Now I limit his playing time. Some of the games use a lot of data. And I had to remove one game that allowed gambling... it would be so terrible if my son lost money playing games!

Josephine I will have to watch my children carefully... So Myriam, how much do you pay for apps in this "store"?

Myriam Actually, many of them are free. Some of them charge a subscription to use fully. But there is always a cost around data use - both to get apps onto your phone and to use them when they connect to the internet. Let's look in the Play Store. Here, we can choose to look only for free apps. Now, what would you like an app to do?

Josephine Um... is there one that will cook dinner for me?

Myriam Haha! It is only a phone, Josephine! But let's think about the vegetables you grow... sometimes do you see a problem on the plants and wonder what it is?

Josephine Oh yes! An app can tell me that?

Myriam Let's search... "Vegetable growing" ... Aha! There are several... though it appears few are in French.

Josephine Oh I see. How will I choose one?

Myriam Look at the stars. More stars means more people think it is a good app. Let's get this one with four stars. But before we download, remember that your phone will use some data to get the app onto your phone. Actually, I prefer to download new apps when I go to a town with a shop or cafe where I can connect to a 'wifi' network. Then the phone uses the 'wifi' to connect to the internet instead of using the data I purchase.

Josephine I see... Well I have some data left, Myriam, so I think we can proceed with this app for now.

Myriam Great.

Josephine It is asking me if I will share my location. Why?

Myriam It may want your location to show you recommendations for your soils or climate. But I don't recommend allowing the app to track your location all the time - some apps ask for permission to do that, but it uses a lot of data.

Josephine I don't want my location to be known all the time anyway!

Myriam And be thoughtful if you are entering personal information into an app. For example, if you are prompted for financial account information, consider if the app is from a legitimate provider - like your bank. I recommend you lock your phone once it contains confidential information - if it's lost or stolen, you wouldn't want the person who finds it to access your information.

Josephine Oh yes, I already lock the phone with a PIN. It's -

Myriam No don't tell me!

Josephine Haha, Myriam I was just going to say that my PIN is a secret!

Myriam Haha oh good!