Fonda from Hurricane writes:
I have a dumb question. It looks like I’ve got one of these smart phones whether I want it or no. I’m on a plan with my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren and they went and upgraded me. I know the phone can do all kinds of things like a computer, but I have what I’m pretty sure is a stupid question. Where can you find an app store? My granddaughter says you just go to the app store to buy programs for the phone like it’s right on the corner. Where do you find app stores? I know there used to be lots of computer discs with programs in stores, but you don’t see those much any more. You’ve had a a lot of articles about phones in the newsletters, but I never paid any attention, because I didn’t think they applied to me. Well, now they do and I feel like a kindergartener sitting in a college class trying to figure out what everyone is talking about while I’m still learning my ABCs.
Fonda, the app store isn’t on the corner or at the mall, it’s right there on your phone. When someone says “app store,” they are actually referring to a website where you can go to download apps (applications or programs) for your device. Your smartphone really is just a small computer that happens to have a program that makes phone calls installed.
Fortunately, a quick shortcut to the your app store should be installed right on your phone.
If you have an iPhone, look for an icon like this:
Tap on it and you’ll find a variety of programs, both free and paid that you can download. You will need to set up and account with a payment method if you plan to purchase paid apps.
On an Android phone, the app store is called the Google Play Store.  Look for the icon below and tap it.
Just like the Apple store, you’ll find a variety of free and paid apps for your device. If you happen to have a Windows Phone, look for the icon below:
These stores have what are called “closed ecosystems” or “walled gardens.” This means you can only buy apps for your Android device in the Google Play Store, apps for iPhones are only available in Apple’s App Store and Windows apps only work on Windows devices.
It’s probably the quickest trip to the store you’ll ever make in your life. One quick tip: when you’re looking at apps make sure to read the user reviews. They’ll give you a lot of insight into what works and what doesn’t with each application.
Enjoy your shopping trip.