The wife and I are back home after a brief nature walk, which we made a bit briefer than planned after being beseiged by mosquitoes. In retrospect, we should have gone heavier on the repellent, but we were thick in the woods and swarmed by blood-sucking insects by the time we figured that out. Nothing we could do about it… or was there?
Having no other resources, I reached for my iPhone and looked up anti-mosquito sonic repellents in the App Store. I remembered there was a big surge of these a while back and figured it was the ideal time to try one. Or more accurately, I had nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain if it worked (emphasis on “if”).
Sure enough, there were quite a few offerings. Most were 99 cents, but I wasn’t quite that desperate yet, so I tried a free one first. Suffice to say, you get what you pay for.
The second one I tried wasn’t a mosquito repellent, but a teenager repellent that supposedly produced a squeal that only people in certain age groups can hear. I tried the full spectrum and found that mosquitoes aren’t people, and I have the auditory prowess of a 13-year old.
Okay, enough was enough. I took the plunge and dropped down 99 cents for the best-reviewed mosquito repellent app I could find. It had multiple sound options, so if one pitch didn’t work I can try another that might. Turns out the mosquitoes around Lake Accotink weren’t scared by any of them. Failure across the board.
That said, aside from the perpetual flailing and unavoidable bites, it was a very good mobile computing experience. Sure, I didn’t find an app that did the job, but trying to find an app that could physically repel mosquitoes was a pretty ridiculous endeavor anyway driven solely by desperation. No, the good part was that I did it without stopping (because that’s when the mosquitoes get you) and managed to download, install, and try three different apps within a twenty minute span. How’s that for mobility and connectivity?
The experience has given me a new appreciation for the convenience of the new wave of app stores that have arrived. Obviously fighting off a swarm of flying parasites is an extreme case, but a more reasonable situation would be trying to hang a shelf and not being able to find your level, so you download an accelerometer-based level app. Or if you don’t have a pad and paper handy to draw out an idea, just grab a drawing app. The ability to grab apps on-the-go from a central source that lets you comparison shop is very powerful. Sadly, I must also wonder why we don’t have such power for our larger and supposedly more powerful mobile computers.
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