By Nedra Rhone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A strange thing happened when the menus arrived at the table during Ilene Berman’s 48th birthday dinner. It involved 10 women, five smartphones and an application called Mag Light. The dimly lit atmosphere at Cibo E Beve in Sandy Springs was momentarily interrupted as the women whipped out their phones to illuminate the very tiny light brown print on the cream-colored menus.
“No one thought twice about it,” said Berman, a partner at Taylor English Duma, LLP. “It is becoming commonplace.”
Berman, who thought it offensive when her husband did the same thing during a dinner for two last summer, has joined the ranks of smartphone users who find themselves smoothing the path to middle age with mobile apps.
“It opens a world of possibilities for so many things,” Berman said.
There are apps to test your vision and determine if a visit to the optometrist is in order. A voice-activated nutrition app translates food options into healthier alternatives. A blood-glucose monitoring system app will let diabetics monitor blood sugar on-the-go. And an app equipped with emergency buttons can find or track an individual’s location — a helpful tool for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families.
For the uninitiated, apps enable programs configured for a desktop computer to be used on smartphones and other mobile devices. In December, the total number of apps available on the four top mobile phone platforms reached the milestone of 1 million. While games are the most popular category of apps in general, utility, lifestyle and health-related apps that make navigating daily life easier are attractive to some middle-aged and specialty consumers.