Custom applications were the only choice back in the 1970's. Over the decades since, we have seen the gradual evolution away from custom applications to massive do-it-all packages. While the technical reasons for this evolution made sense, we are now often effectively hitting a tiny finishing nail with a ten pound sledge hammer. With the recent proliferation of portable technology, we are seeing a renaissance of custom programming. Smart phones and tablets do not have the capabilities for working with the massive packages. Purpose-built applications are simpler to use and far more efficient. Of course, they are not just for your portable devices. They work equally well on larger and more powerful computers and offer the same advantage, simplicity.
The problem now is that programmers are building apps with all sorts of intrusive communications. I recently went looking for a simple calculation app and the options available all indicated that they needed permission to use my internet connection. And what exactly do they need my internet connection for? Probably just as a revenue stream of feeding me ads, but how do I know? They could be tracking all sorts of information about me. My apps are primarily disconnected apps, apps that do meaningful things without any unneeded communications. We live in an ever more connected world, but most of that connectedness is not helping us.
Some simple apps for Android: