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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

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2.1 Finding apps

In the next activity you will explore an app store to get a sense of the breadth and scale of apps written for different purposes. Many of these are free to download.

There are three main app stores. The one you choose to use will depend on which mobile device or smartphone you use.

  • Google Play store [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] : You would use this on Android devices (like Samsung, and HTC)
  • Apple online store: You would use this for Apple devices (iPad, iPhones, Macs)
  • Microsoft Windows store: You would use this for Windows devices (like Windows smartphones, tablets and Xbox).

All three stores are available on desktop or laptop computers.

Activity 5 Exploring app stores

Timing: 20 minutes

Go to the app store for the device you use. If you don’t have a mobile device or smartphone, use Google Play, as you don’t need to be registered to search for apps.

Search for two apps that might appeal to your own particular interests or requirements. Some ideas are:

  • an app that will allow you to set up task lists
  • a calendar/diary app
  • an app that provides up-to-date sports scores
  • a news app
  • an app that turns your phone into a torch
  • an app that tells you about restaurants in your location
  • a navigation app
  • an e-reader app.

Think carefully about the keywords you use when you search.

When choosing each app:

  • read the description to get further details about them
  • read one or two of the reviews to get a sense of potential glitches or bugs which other users might have experienced, or features they particularly liked
  • check their terms and conditions. Do they suit your needs?

In the box below, make a note of the two apps you chose. For each of them, briefly write down what they do and any issues reported by other users. If you are a Facebook user, you might like to share one of the apps you recommend on the OU Library Facebook page.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


You should now know where to find new apps for downloading and how to navigate your way round online app stores. You will also have begun to look at ways of evaluating apps by reading product reviews by other users.