I am constantly amazed on how much we use our smartphones for tasks other than making telephone calls. I have had my iPhone 3GS since April and have added a number of apps to it. Several months ago, I added the Walgreen's app so I could order prescription refills for my mother. The Walgreen's app simulates the ordering process that can also be accomplished on the Walgreen's website. Nothing particularly special about it, but useful just the same. A few days ago, iTunes notified me to an update to the Walgreen's app. I downloaded and installed it and then quickly forgot about the update.
This morning I needed to refill one of her prescriptions and I turned on the app to go through the normal refill process. The update introduced something new called "Express Refills by Scan." You simply aim the phone's camera on the prescription bottle or box until you have focused in on the bar code. Instead of taking a picture, the app recognizes the proprietary bar code and automatically captures the it. The app automatically converts the scan into the refill number and lets me accept the information before proceeding with the order. I think it took two button clicks to finish the order. I'm really interested on how these apps will continue to change our lives going forward.