Published Sunday, March 10, 2013

There's an app for WHAT?

My current cellular device is the digital equivalent of a smoke signal. In a world of smart phones, mine is dumb as dirt.

It makes and takes calls just fine, it’s just not adept at texting or playing games like Zombie Dance Party or Angry Birds.

And frankly, that’s just fine with me. I don’t like to text, and I think playing video games is a gateway behavior that can lead to even worse choices, like entering politics.

A big selling point for smart phones is their ability to run mobile applications, better know as “apps.”

Apps let you do all kinds of whiz-bang things on a smart phone. With the proper app, you can create obnoxious noises, spy on your children, interact with Communist party rallies, and display embarrassing images captured on cell phone cameras.

Apps have come a long way since 2008, when Apple released iTunes, which allowed iPhone users to download music for a fee.

Within a year, Apple was sporting 10,000 iPhone apps. By 2011, over half a million apps were available from the Apple store. Now there are apps that do everything from telling you when to change a diaper to adjusting the home thermostat from Shanghai to telling you whether you’re too drunk to text.

Such opportunities thrill some people no end. I’m not among them.

I’m still searching for an app that will make my life better. So far I haven’t found one that will run off a raccoon, cut the grass, clean the grill, scrub the toilet, wash the car or plant the garden.

But now an app has finally come along that I can get excited about. And all I have to do to use it is die!

This sporty new app is called LivesOn. It lets you keep sending Tweets to cyberpals after you’re dead and buried. Really.

Creators are advertising this revolutionary new product with the slogan: “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.”

Who could ask for anything more? When I first read the news, I started to speed-dial my personal funeral director to inquire if he would offer the service. I thought better of it. I’m going fishing later this spring and didn’t want to be planning two major events at once.

But if I ever decide to use this “service,” imagine how happy my loved ones will be once I fly away.

According to LivesOn, this is a much better offering than other apps aimed at dead people (yes, they exist). Other apps only allow users to schedule prepared generic updates, like tweeting “Go Dawgs” on fall Saturdays.

But LivesOn gives the appearance that you indeed... Live On. Your tweets will be issued according to a digital diary compiled by LivesOn that analyzes your social networks to see how you rolled while you were still rocking.

According to company promo material, “Remembering anniversaries, sending birthday wishes, or reminding loved ones of how much you care may not be the only use to which it is put. ‘I told you I was ill’ messages, inappropriate jokes, or recorded video messages lightheartedly threatening hauntings could be scheduled to appear on your page.”

Some might consider this creepy. But there are worse options. At least according to app developer Dave Bedwood. In a snarky reference to cryogenics—the process of freezing bodies for a potential thaw down the road—Bedwood said, “Cryogenics costs a fortune. This is free and I’d bet it will work better than a frozen head.”

“Better than a frozen head.” Finally, there’s an app for that. Say hallelujah, brother. And consider cremation.


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