App Hygiene at the Barn

Horseback riding is pretty much an anachronism – a sport, a lifestyle, an obsession, but no longer necessary to the daily functioning of general society, even if it remains necessary to the daily functioning of those of us who love our horses. Dressage is even more so, a throwback to the Renaissance, so maybe it’s no surprise that I’m often more comfortable with 19th century concepts than those of the 21st, including the whole tech thing. At times, I really hate to admit how important technology is to us as horsemen, except maybe when it comes to diagnostic equipment.

I finally decided to give up my dinosaur flip phone a few weeks ago in favor of an iPhone, surprising family and friends since I’d never shown any interest in any of their techie communication goodies. However, it became clear that if I wanted to see more videos and photos of my mare in Florida, I needed to get with the program, so to speak.

Just about everyone I know warned me they need to recharge their smart phones daily. But, practically the first thing my IT guy — aka husband Henry – taught me about my new phone was how to close background apps in order to save battery time. He made the really interesting point that this background app thing is a particular problem in remote areas, like the cell-phone hell where my barn is located, especially if the phone is hooked to your body and you’re moving around doing barn work or riding. The phone itself is searching for a cell connection but so are all those apps running in the background that you don’t need.

Interestingly, the phone companies don’t let you in on this background app issue. Someone pretty much has to show you, and it’s different with each operating system. It’s really easy with the latest iPhone system. With my new phone, all I have to do is click the home button on the front twice: The screen reduces and all the background apps appear. I just swipe them up and away. I now do this before I get out of the car when I get to my barn. I generally get two days on a charge, often longer.

You can find out how to erase background apps on your particular smartphone by looking on YouTube, of course. However, look for the most recent videos, because the systems keep changing. There are other ways to reduce battery bleed, such as lowering brightness, and those can be found as well. Here’s a video that shows the most recent version for the iPhone. 

 I’ve become obsessed with my iPhone. Wow, I can check sports scores and email pretty much anywhere I want. I haven’t ventured very far from home yet, but if I get lost I presume my phone will find the way home much more easily than bread crumbs. And it’s even helping me lose weight!

Entering the great new world of apps that came free with the phone, I insert every calorie I consume on a 12-week plan to lose 20 pounds. If I forget, phone seems to wave its naughty-naughty finger at me. At 6 pounds and counting, maybe it’s too soon to celebrate, because I blogged about my weight-loss goals a couple years ago and my very public plan went down in flames. However, I am still determined to keep the vest points on my shadbelly from popping up from my stomach when I show this spring, and it’s going to take very bit of those 20 pounds and maybe even more to reach that goal.

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