New tricks for old apps
New tricks for old apps
When the iPhone landed in 2007, Apple’s preinstalled apps for weather, stocks, and a calculator were pretty basic. Once more versatile third-party apps hit the scene a year later, it was easy to overlook these default offerings. Over time, however, Apple and Google have added many new features to these older apps and added new offerings.
Here’s a quick guide to several apps made by Apple and Google – and how to remove them if you always never use them.
Apple Sleep Updates
If you haven’t opened Apple’s weather app for a few years, it got a major overhaul after Apple bought rival weather app Dark Sky in 2020 and integrated its technology. Apple Weather now includes precipitation alerts, hyperlocal forecasts, and color radar maps. Panels displaying air quality, ultraviolet index, humidity, wind speed, and sunrise/sunset times open for detailed information. There’s also a 10-day forecast – tap on a day to see its predicted maximum and minimum temperatures and conditions.
In Apple’s Stocks app, you can always search for stock symbols in the search box. If you’ve set up a custom watchlist (or more), tap a ticker symbol to get a screen full of data; Tap the time ranges at the top of the chart to see performance over time, or swipe the data below the chart to see more details.
Tap in the middle of the graph with one finger to show the value for a given day and time, and tap with two fingers to show the difference in value over time. Want a quick look at how a stock is performing? Simply press and hold its ticker symbol in your watchlist.
The old and trusty Calculator app — which long concealed a scientific calculator for more advanced math functions when using the iPhone in landscape mode — has a few more shortcuts. Accidentally enter the wrong number? Simply swipe left or right on the screen to delete the last digit. And press your finger down to copy a calculation to paste elsewhere.
The Android Toolkit
The pre-installed Android software differs depending on the version of the operating system. But a calculator app has been standard since the early days; the current edition handles basic math and science operations like trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions no matter how you hold the phone, and the screen at the top stores your past calculations.
Some hardware manufacturers like Samsung have their own versions; the Samsung calculator includes a unit converter function to translate measurements.
You can track both weather and stocks through the Google app on most Android phones. When you open the app and press the weather button, you can save a shortcut to the forecast on your home screen; If you don’t see the option, tap the three-dot menu icon on the right and choose Add to Home Screen.
To set up and track your stock portfolio, tap the Stocks button and add stock symbols, mutual funds, and other content to your watchlist. Google provides news related to your listing, and you can save a Google Finance shortcut to your home screen.
Find more free apps
Apple and Google have created dozens of tools that make your phone even more of a digital Swiss Army knife, like free translator, health, and map apps. Apple tends to load them, like its Magnifier, Voice Memos, Measure, and Compass apps, onto new devices. If you don’t see the one you’re looking for, search the App Store for a free download.
Depending on the phone, you may find some Google-built apps already installed; The Google Play Store has a whole page of free Android apps developed by Google to browse. Many apps developed by Google have iOS counterparts and are available on the iOS App Store, such as Google Earth and Socratic, an artificial intelligence-powered homework helper.
Use it or lose it
If you’re not using an app, deleting it saves space and helps you keep your home screen organized. Apple now allows most of its own iPhone apps to be deleted by pressing an icon until a menu with a “delete” option appears.
On an Android phone, you can quickly remove many apps by dragging each icon at the top of the screen to the Uninstall option.
And if you change your mind later, you can always redownload those apps.