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6 Ways To Learn About An App’s Performance Before You Download It

6 Ways To Learn About An App’s Performance Before You Download It

Smartphone and tablet users understand the frustration of paying for a bad app.

There are over one million apps currently in Apple’s store with Google Play hot on its heels.There are a wide range of options to choose from no matter what kind of app you’re looking to purchase. Some of them will be perfect for your needs. Some of them will be bogus, difficult to use, or completely incompatible with your device.

Purchasing an app that doesn’t meet your satisfaction is the source of much frustration. Thankfully, there are quick steps that smartphone and tablet users can take to find out about an app’s performance before downloading it. These simple but effective tips mean you will never waste any of those hard-earned bucks again.

Read the Reviews

    There are many great third-party websites that are dedicated to checking out the hottest new additions to the app store so you don’t have to. The writers for these websites are not only highly knowledgeable about what makes a good app, they have tried plenty of competitors to understand which is the best in a particular category.

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    Find one of these trusted websites, which you can usually identify based on their social media followers or how thriving their commenting communities are, and search for the name of an app you may potentially download. They will be able to give you an informative break-down of the app’s performance, the pros and cons, and what it does better or worse than others on the market.

    Check the Rating

    app-performance-ratings

      If you have been trawling the internet for reviews to no success, there is another simple method that will provide you with information about an app’s performance: customer ratings.

      The ratings left by users aren’t always as trustworthy, informative, or unbiased as those of critics. They will sometimes be faked by PR agencies to boost an app’s popularity. Furthermore, even the greatest apps ever made have their share of one-star reviews complaining about insignificant grievances. However, if there is an overload of low scores on an app, all of which point towards the same handful of flaws, you should steer clear. There’s obviously something wrong.

      See an App’s Performance in Action

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      app-performance-video

        There’s one thing that ratings and reviews cannot provide though: a glimpse at what the app is like in action. An article can tell you that it’s the most user-friendly financial app available. A user can say it’s the best weight loss app on the market. But how do you know? For moments like this, you need a video demonstration.

        Video demonstrations are commonplace on YouTube. Users will film their experiences with an app and narrate their thoughts and feelings about what makes it good or bad. If you are in doubt about an app, these video demonstrations provide you with a valuable glimpse at exactly what it does. Think about checking if there’s one available before you make a purchase you might later regret.

        Look for a ‘Lite’ Version

        app-performance-lite

          You have seen an app featured when you open up the store on your device. It sounds incredibly promising. Your finger is hovering over the ‘buy’ button, unsure whether or not to take a risk and try it out. But hold on one moment, because there might be a free version on the app store.

          Great developers, such as Namco Bandai and their Pac Man games as shown above, tend to release free versions of their app. These come on a try-before-you-buy basis, providing limited access and locking you out after a certain point. These are known as ‘lite’ versions.

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          A lite version symbolizes that the developers have nothing to hide. It shows that they are more than happy for you to try a handful of their features and see just how good the app’s performance is. It also means you can find out whether it’s correct for you before you hand over your card details and purchase the package in full.

          Find Out Who Made It

          apps-performance-developer

            It’s very easy to spot the difference between a developer who makes good quality apps and a developer who is just looking for a quick buck. Therefore, the best way to discover whether an app is genuine or fake, top quality or a shoddy knock-off, is to trace it right back to its source.

            When you find an app, it will tell you the name of the individual or company responsible for making it. From there, you can have a look at their website and see what other apps they have made. If they have a long history of creating apps that are well received, you know it’s probably worth downloading. If not, it’s a good bet that something fishy is going on.

            Find When it Was Last Updated

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            app-performance-updates

              One of the concerns you may have regarding an app’s performance is whether it will perform at all. There are a number of apps online that have been abandoned by their developers. As a result, they might not run on the latest operating systems or devices. One quick way to find out if this has happened is to look at when the app was last updated.

              If it hasn’t been updated for the last two or three years (like the game demonstrated above) it is a sign that you should look for a more up-to-date solution. You should, at the very least, do a little more digging and look at the most recent reviews before you install it.

              Featured photo credit: William Hook via flickr.com

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              Daniel Sarath

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              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

              Joe’s Goals

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                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                Daytum

                  Daytum

                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                  Excel or Numbers

                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                    Evernote

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                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                      Access or Bento

                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                        Conclusion

                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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