How a few apps may amp up your life

A woman smiles as she uses an app on her smartphone.

You know you can do so much more with your smartphone than just text and make calls, but are you taking advantage of apps? A smartphone application (known as an “app”) is a quick, easy way to enhance your day-to-day activities. Some apps may make your life more convenient, like depositing a check by taking a picture. Other apps may help you feel more in-tune with your community, such as having access to the local news on your phone. And some apps may help you achieve your health goals, like getting new recipes with easy-to-use grocery lists.

Interested in exploring apps? Check out how easy it is to download them, and get started with these ideas:

Managing your money

Most major banks have apps that make it easier to deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money. Depositing a check through your phone might sound intimidating, but it’s as simple as taking a picture of the front and back of the check. Since each banking app is a little different, it might be a good idea to schedule a quick, in-person meeting with your banker to answer your questions.

With credit card apps, you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to look at your account balance. You can view your account information, transaction history, make payments and manage rewards. Most apps let you report if your card was lost or stolen, along with putting up a travel notification for when you’re on the go.

Besides the traditional banking and credit card apps, a financial app may be an interactive, helpful way to manage your money. Whether you’re looking for apps to help manage your budget, figure out retirement planning or improve your credit score, there are many options out there designed to help you reach your financial goals.

Community connections

Whether you live in a bustling city or small town, downloading a community-focused app may keep you in the loop of what’s happening in your area. Depending on what you’re interested in, these apps may be a terrific way to find entertainment or get more engaged with your favorite establishments. Need some inspiration? Here are a few categories to help you get started:

  • Public library
  • City/Village government
  • County or city parks
  • Local news stations or newspaper
  • Museums
  • Sports teams
  • Hiking and cycling
  • Restaurants, bars or businesses
  • Volunteer groups
  • Religious organizations

Helping your health

Downloading a health and fitness app is a great way to keep your well-being a top priority. There are many apps in this category that can help you:

  • Manage your medications
  • Prepare and plan for meals
  • Get daily affirmations to boost your mood
  • Connect to a mental health therapist
  • Track your water intake
  • Analyze your sleep
  • Do physical or occupational therapy exercises

Have you checked out the MyHumana app? This easy-to-use app has information about your insurance plan, including deductibles and balances. It also has a feature to look up your in-network healthcare providers by specialty. Also, once you type in your ZIP code, you can quickly find a hospital or urgent care in your area.

Just for fun

An app can be an excellent way to enhance your hobbies or passions (or find a new one). For example, if you like listening to the birds outside your window but can’t distinguish a mourning dove from a mockingbird, a bird identifier app can help do the trick. On your next walk or hike, take a picture of a flower or tree and have an app tell you all about it. Or, what about downloading a music app to spice up the day or help you wind down for the evening?

How to download an app

You don’t have to rely on your grandchild to help you download an app. Follow these easy instructions to do it yourself!

The vast majority of apps on both the iPhone and Android are free. However, be aware that some apps might have you pay a monthly fee, or some may have in-app purchases or fees. To download apps on either device, you’ll need to have your phone log-in information handy.

If you have an iPhone1

  • Finding the App Store: From the Home screen on your phone, tap the blue button that says, “App Store.”
  • Browsing apps: Tap Apps (at the bottom). Then, you’ll see a whole list of apps to choose from. See one you like? Tap “GET.” Then, tap “INSTALL.”
  • Looking for a specific app: Tap Search (also at the bottom). Type the app’s name in the search box. Great, you found it! Tap “GET.” Then, tap “INSTALL.”

Please note: If you have an older model phone such as an iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s or iPhone 4, your best bet would be to call Apple’s customer service at 800–692–7753 for help.

If you have an Android2

  • Finding Google Play: Tap the Apps icon (at the bottom of your Home screen). Scroll down and tap Play Store.
  • Browsing the apps: Once you’re in the Play Store, you’ll see a whole list of apps to choose from. See one you like? Tap, “INSTALL.”
  • Looking for a specific app: Type the app’s name in the search box. Great, you found it! Tap, “INSTALL.”


  1. “Apple iPhone – Install Apps,” Verizon, last accessed October 21, 2021,
  2. “How to Download Apps on Android,” WikiHow, last accessed October 21, 2021,