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 there...um. 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?

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