Tech

Don't have an iPhone or Galaxy? Dumbphones can get apps too

By Jordan Mammo , May 28, 2013 05:07 PM EDT
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Smartphones are exploding in popularity, and so are apps. Every day seems to bring along the release of multiple new app programs that users can download.

But do you know who can't use apps? People with dumbphones, or plain, regular phones that everyone seems to feel have already been abandoned.

While smartphones like the iPhone and Galaxy series are enjoying quick and impressive growth, however, the latest report from Pew Internet indicates that 46 percent of American adults have one. That means that most Americans don't, and that's a lot of Americans who are not experiencing the joy of apps.

Now, though, even dumbphone owners can get in the game with Dumbsto.re. All you have to do is scroll through the list of apps, find the program's text ID, and send an SMS message to the number provided with the appropriate tags. You can even call the phone number and enter the ID that way, followed by the pound key.

So what inspired the Dumbsto.re? As you can imagine, the answer is pretty simple. Smartphones, despite their burgeoning popularity, are expensive. In numerous ways, they are a luxury many still can't afford. But just because many still own dumbphones doesn't mean they don't want to engage in social ways online.

"I have a dumbphone but I still want to access internet things," Allison Burtch, a New York University student and one of the Dumbsto.re creators, said to PandoDaily. "I also think that information should be available to everyone, irrespective of the hardware or software they have."

Right now, the Dumbsto.re has a little over 15 apps. Users can use them to get the newest tweets from whomever they choose, get weather updates, convert currency, and receive Google News headlines. There are even less "productive" apps, such as one that will send you a random haiku or one that will allow you to play Rock, Paper, Scissors against the computer.

The best part? You can check it out even with a smartphone. Any phone can use Dumbsto.re, and its open source backbone has accessibility in mind.

"Literally every single mobile phone can use it, because it's all SMS and calling based," Burtch said. "It's also open source, which means people can contribute an app or make our code better and see it on the site soon after."

Despite the amount of effort and goodwill poured into Dumbsto.re, it seems pretty clear that is doesn't have much of a future. Eventually the vast majority of people will own smartphones and SMS apps like these won't be necessary. Until then, though, don't be ashamed to go dumb.

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