App appeal: Learn how not to waste days — or learn to drum!

The app Drums! allows you to go all Bill Ward. Credit: Provided
The app Drums! allows you to go all Bill Ward.
Credit: Provided

chronos
Price: Free

Smartphones have been brilliant ways for us to broadcast our every move and thought, either willingly or, via corporations and other trackers, semi-consciously. But they can be just as well used for private purposes. A lot of apps track specific things you do, forcing you to account for your activities and hopefully become more aware of not wasting every single of our not inexhaustible days alive.

An app like chronos is…almost a great way to pull all this together into one single entity. It tracks your every physical movement, as well as when you wake, when you sleep, how much you exercised, how little you exercised, and anything else you feel is worthy of self-consideration. You can broadcast this, too, with a social media aspect. But that’s optional as who needs (or cares) to know how spectacularly you waste your days? (Or worse, how much you cram into them.)

Slightly more palatable is the goal function, where you can make plans to hit the gym or sleep eight hours or actually travel, and then build up extra guilt when you fail at these tasks. As stands, chronos could stand to have even more functions: its movement tracking, for one, is a bit too basic, lacking calorie measurements. But given the dreadful speed with which our one life rolls by, any self-accounting and productive guilt-tripping is a positive.

Drums!
Price: 99 cents

It’s a cliched image: You with a pair of head-swallowing headphones on, rocking out to some record while airing the drums. (Obviously you’re listening to Phil Collins.) The problem? (Other than you’re air-drumming at all.) You have no idea what you’re doing. Like the seasoned air guitarist, those who mime-drum don’t know their hi-hat from their splash cymbal.

The app Drum! allows you to learn what’s what on the drum kit. Different settings allow you to mimic different genres, and add drums as you see fit — though you won’t have enough room on your screen to go all Neil Peart. (You’ll have to shell out extra if you want to sound “indie rock” or throw in a cowbell.) You almost certainly won’t become Keith Moon (or even the Muppet Animal), but you may do slightly more than powerfully pester anyone within ear shot with your rank amateurism.


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