Smartphone AppsApps can either enrich your life or sap the life out of you.

No one can deny that most Americans are becoming increasingly dependent on third party apps. According to a survey conducted by Keynote Systems, a US-based internet company that specializes in developing and marketing SaaS (software as a service) technology solutions, US consumers prefer using third party apps for social networking, downloading games and music, and accessing maps and directions. In fact, about 40% of people of all ages stay in touch with their friends by using one of the most popular social networking apps available today.  

A 2013  survey conducted by Apigee Institute, a research and strategy organization which aims to help Global 2000 companies master the art of apps, further revealed that about four in 10 smartphone owners use shopping apps at least once a week while more than half use apps to make purchases when they are inside another store. In addition, majority of young people aged 18 to 24 claim that they cannot wake up on time without using apps.

Third party apps can definitely enrich your life but like everything else, there can also be a downside in using them. For all you know, your personal finances may be affected by the way you use your apps. So, what are the benefits and drawbacks associated with using these apps? Here are some of them.

Pros

  • They can help you manage your finances. Whether you need budgeting assistance or on-the-spot decision advice, you can be sure that there is an app for that. Apps such as SavedPlus, LevelMoney and Check can help you save money automatically, gain real-time insight on your spending ability and remember to pay your bills on time, respectively.
  • They can help you find the best deals in town. Studies show that three in four smartphone users use shopping apps to find the best deals in town. Shopping apps such as Favado and Coupons.com gathers coupons from all around the web and lets you zero in on local stores. Apps such as PriceBlink, RedLaser and PriceGrabber allow you to scan products so you can check if there is a better deal somewhere else.

Cons

  • They may increase your security risk. Using public Wi-Fi connection, making purchases over unsecured connections and erroneously sending financial information to illegitimate websites opens you up for security risks. 
  • They take up a lot of your time. Apps can be addictive so don’t be surprised if you find yourself checking each of them as you go through your day.

Smartphone apps can make your life easier but you need to be extra careful to prevent them from running your life.