Jan. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
kerravonsen: Simon Illyan: "It's nearly a prosthetic memory, Miles. I'm thinking of chaining it to my belt." (prosthetic-memory)
[personal profile] kerravonsen

Hello everyone!

So now I'm back from holidays and my family have scattered. I did stuff... played games - must get hold of a copy of Splendor, great game, simple rules but somehow rather addictive. Made things with resin - I have a rather large backlog of items I need to photograph.

And I got myself a smartphone.

It is a Samsung Galaxy S5, as recommended by my eldest niece, who was replacing her dead phone with an identical model; we went on a shopping expedition together.

This purchase is rather momentous, since I have spent years and years utterly refusing to get a mobile phone of any kind at all. They represented to me nothing but an expensive nuisance, since I didn't - and still don't - want people calling me any time of the day or night, anywhere I am, and didn't want to make costly calls that were much cheaper on a landline. I'm the kind of person who can happily chat on the phone for hours: something which is not feasible on a mobile. Plus I am getting increasingly irritated by the assumption that everyone has a mobile - that's almost enough to get my back up and swear to never ever get a mobile, so there!

So what changed my mind? Well, it occurred to me that I could bypass the irritations by simply not using it as a mobile. Don't make calls, and don't tell anyone my number. Which you then say "what is the point, then?" The point is that I have an Android device which just happens to be a phone. But I am primarily using it as an Android device.

I even wrote the bulk of this post on the device, using a text editor and a handwriting recognition app, with a stylus which works like a stylus used to work before someone decided that capacitive touch screens was the way to go - in other words, like a pen, not like a finger. Now I have something as close to electronic paper as we can get nowadays. Cool.

So what am I using it for, if not a phone?

  1. Controlling other devices. So many gizmos nowadays are designed to be controlled by apps on your smartphone - everything from fitness watches to head cams. And I got tired of my Fitbits breaking, and every other brand of fitness watch seems to require a smartphone. And I have my eye on a few other gizmos too. This was the main impetus for getting it, but now that I have it, I'll be using it for other things as well.
  2. Skype. Using my home WiFi, I can have a vidphone conversation with someone in Canada! I'm living in the future! If any of my friends who have Skype would like to call... there are about twenty other people with my name Let me know if you want to talk, anyway.
  3. Audiobooks. My first Android device was actually an mp3 player, and there I used a great app for listening to audiobooks, Smart Audiobook Player. The device I have now has more storage, too. Bluetooth headset and I'm set.
  4. Music. As for audiobooks.
  5. Brag Book, aka pocket photo album. When I'm talking with friends, those with smartphones are liable to take out their phones and show me photos (of their works, of their events etc). I'd like to be able to do the same. Currently I have uploaded a large number of craft photos onto my phone. I haven't played around with the phone's camera enough yet to decide whether to use it as my primary camera or not.
  6. Writing. As I am doing right now. This was an unexpected use, but I am really liking the handwriting recognition app that I installed. I tried out a lot of text editors until I found one that I liked. The setup isn't very good for editing things, but it is good for getting down an initial first draft.
  7. Phone calls. Yes, I said I wasn't going to use it as a phone, but there are three exceptions: 1) calling the police/ambulance/fire in an emergency, 2) calling a taxi, 3) calling a friend if we are meeting somewhere and I can't find them. "Call" in that case is used loosely, since it can include internet messaging of various kinds. I have a Pay-as-you-go plan for the phone; we'll see how that works out. So far, the only calls I've made have been to my home phone, to test if the number worked.

So there you have it.

Who of you has an Android smartphone, and what do you use it for? What are your favourite apps?

Date: 2017-01-19 10:34 pm (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesy
I have the S6, and use it for most of that and a lot more. Browsing the web, social media, games for a start.

Date: 2017-01-20 09:26 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
I am interested in your comment about the Fitbits - mine broke recently, and I'm umming and ahhing about replacing it, and what with if I do. Could I ask hoow long were they lasting for you? And what, if anything, are you looking at as a replacement?

Date: 2017-01-22 06:10 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
Thank you for this. Mine was a Fitbit HR, and what has happened is that the glue that holds the little metal clip on the back that the charging cable connects to has given up, so I can't charge it. I held it together with gaffer tape for a bit, until my skin declared that gaffer is not acceptable. I'm trying to motivate myself to either find a better repair method, or sort out a replacement (it being decidedly out of warranty).

Reading your notes, what stands out for me is the watch aspect -- that is one of the good bits. I liked the heart rate monitoring on the HR, because it tells me the difference between 'breathless because working hard' and 'breathless with no good reason, try ventolin'.

Urgh. Back in the too hard basket for the next week or two...

Date: 2017-01-21 12:57 am (UTC)
kalypso: (Message)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
My phone, which I've had since May, is Android. I usually it mostly for Twitter, email and web browsing when I'm away from my desktop (this now includes being downstairs by the television - I use it in preference to the notebook unless I need to do serious typing). Occasionally for text and Skype, in dire emergency as a phone - I'm always rather horrified when it rings.

I took it on two short trips to mainland Europe last year, and it was invaluable for both (not just because I could download my boarding pass and wave it at the airport machines). My sister has no home internet, and after my last visit there I don't think I would have gone if I hadn't been sure I could still get online. I think even she perceived it had been useful when we were able to express immediate sympathy in a family crisis (our brother's family's dog died) rather than not finding out for three days.

Date: 2017-01-21 01:17 pm (UTC)
kalypso: (Message)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
I'm always a late adopter.

I took the netbook last time, planning to get a local dongle when I arrived (I'd established that my UK one wouldn't work). My idea was that I'd buy it and leave it for my sister to use after I left, but she wasn't having that; she wouldn't take me to a shop with dongles (I worked out where there was one on my final day), because she couldn't see why I needed online access until said final day when we went to her office to download my boarding pass and check emails (and found out a cousin had died). Oddly enough, she expects to use my computer to check emails when she stays here... and towards the end of my recent visit, suddenly asked if she could use my phone for the same purpose.

Date: 2017-01-21 11:24 am (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
Telling people where you are is far and away the most useful thing for me.

My other main use is that people can text me to tell if they're going to be late for morris practice when I'm away from my computer.

Date: 2017-01-19 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My thinking about mobile phones has been the same as yours. I too have been thinking that I shall have to give way in the near future and buy one. My main reason is your number 7. There's also the point that an increasing number of outfits that I do business with online demand a mobile phone number, usually for no good reason.

Date: 2017-01-20 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love my Tsuro game, and use my phone all the time for twitter, Facebutt (although it's not an app on there - there's a limit to how much I want to cross-register) and keeping up with the news. I get notifications for my business email account, and also SMSs, which are really useful.

I know what you mean about forms, but we have no home phone, which also causes problems with badly written forms.

Date: 2017-01-20 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I use my mobile as a phone, but only when I am doing the shopping. It is so handy to call back and check if we have run out X before making an unnecessary purchase (shopping lists help but I tend to use them as an aide memoir). It also ensures that I have cup of tea ready as I phone in when I am on my way home.

Other than that it is a handy e-reader that is smaller, lighter and cheaper than my Kindle, acts as a back-up Mp3 player. The camera I have on my phone was better than my old digital camera and so handy to snap things when I'm out and about.

If you do want to take piccies of Craft stuff an inexpensive clip on Macro lens will probably help.
Edited Date: 2017-01-20 01:24 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-20 02:33 am (UTC)
delphipsmith: (drat)
From: [personal profile] delphipsmith
I got myself a smartphone...This purchase is rather momentous, since I have spent years and years utterly refusing to get a mobile phone of any kind at all...

That's me as well! I wouldn't have the "dumb phone" I have now, if Mr Psmith hadn't gotten it for me. It's usually dead, as I forget I have it. And I have dug in my heels for years over getting a smartphone, despite his patient (yet repeated) exhortations. occurred to me that I could bypass the irritations by simply not using it as a mobile. Don't make calls, and don't tell anyone my number.

Do you know, I never even thought of that approach?? Uh-oh, I feel my resistance crumbling :)


kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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