Price: Free or 99 cents
Frank Herbert’s “Dune” depicts a far-off future where mankind has successfully thwarted a robot revolution, which occurred because it had become overly reliant on computers. Artificial intelligence, or any technology capable of doing more than a person, is outlawed, encouraging humanity to expand its mind power. This is a longish way of saying that we’ve come to rely too much on gadgets, particularly our smartphones, to do everything for us. Is a “Dune”-like future all that improbable? (Well, maybe not the flying fat baron bit.)
Indeed, it’s a bit silly to find merit in Daily Water, an app that does little but remind one to drink a healthy amount of water each day. But even if you guzzle the building blocks of life all day, every day, it’s good to have something to answer to — to guilt trip you into making sure you’re doing the most important basic function in life. Every day we expel excess fluids; we can often forget to replace them. (Sadly, 12-year-old single malt scotch — and especially soda — does not count.)
The base of the app is a checklist: Depending on your settings, including factors like height and weight, you click off an image of a glass of water. (The size too can be adjusted, if for whatever reason you think a standard 9 fl. oz. measurement is sufficient.) That would be enough, but like most apps, it packs in as much oddly useful features as it can. If you’re really absentminded, you can program scheduled alerts. And the obsessive-compulsive can track history and trends via charts. One may be surprised by how infrequently one meets the basic water intake — or, less scarily, how often one goes well over and becomes an actual water addict.
Platform: iOs and Android
Price: 99 cents
And then there’s this app. What this app is is an app that tracks your pooping habits. But take this seriously for a second: We spend entirely too long on the can. Our distant ancestors would get this business done in only a portion of a minute. Not to be too graphic, but that can be attributed to position: Early man squatted at about a 45-degree angle, whereas toilets position us parallel to the seat, thus slightly blocking the flow of waste. Anyway! Poo Long allows you to be more conscious about the time wasted on the toilet. But if you don’t think this is a problem, and enjoy all the novel reading you get done during this time of day, you can celebrate that as well. So there’s that.