Coffeehouse Thread

29 posts

I admit it, I just don't get the smart-phone thing

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  • elmer

    So, after many years of satisfactory use, my trusty Nokia 6310 GSM phone has been upgraded to a Lumia 920.

    Fortunately, work is paying for it, as I would have been quite happy to continue with my old phone until they eventually switch off the GSM service.

    Anyway, my impressions after a few weeks... Meh!

    Ok, I know that work wants me to access my exchange email 24/7 (as if) and be able to do other 'modern' stuff with it, but seriously... what a waste of money.

    I find that I have absolutely no desire to find 'apps' for it, I feel no need for mapping and/or navigation services (I'm quite capable of working it out myself) and as for games... honestly, if I become so bored I need them to pass the time, please shoot me.

    As for the phone itself... large, heavy, short battery-life, long recharge time... what a bargain.

    Bottom line, I'm looking at this expensive toy sitting on my desk (doing nothing) and wondering, what the hell do most people do with these things that is actually necessary and/or useful?

  • ScanIAm

    Listen to music while running.

    Listen to podcasts while working around  the house or on the way to work.

    GPS to find places that I've never been.

    Reading news and other useless crap while eating lunch or waiting in line for stuff.

    Texting/IM'ing a few friends.

    Phone calls.

    None of it is important, but it's all in one device, so it's less other crap to carry around.

  • Clint

    Maps, email, txt'ing, surfing the internet while bored waiting for someone to show up.

    May not be your cup of tea but I couldn't imagine life now a days without my smart phone.  I've been on one since '05 too.

  • elmer

    , ScanIAm wrote

    Listen to music while running.

    Listen to podcasts while working around  the house or on the way to work.

    GPS to find places that I've never been.

    Reading news and other useless crap while eating lunch or waiting in line for stuff.

    Texting/IM'ing a few friends.

    Phone calls.

    None of it is important, but it's all in one device, so it's less other crap to carry around.

    Of all the above, the only one I feel any need for is Phone Calls.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not dismissing the right of everyone to make their own choices, just wondering how much of this 'need' for a smartphone (and need to constantly upgrade it) is actually just a case of people finding excuses to use something expensive, that they really don't need in their life, but have convinced themselves that they 'must have' it.

  • kettch

    @elmer: For me a smartphone, and tablets, are now a reason not to go sit at a computer. Many of the things that I used to have to go find a computer to do can now be done on a more portable device.

    Yes, they are unnecessary, but so are a lot of things. If not for unnecessary, we might still be living in caves.

  • magicalclick

    Join some event and have its address in the calendar event. Take some photos of your family at night and share it on facebook.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • cbae

    @elmer: You're clearly not making enough use of your phone. Sounds like you could use the WP app that calculates your self-worth based on cheevos, social media mentions, and break dance skill level.

  • kettch

    @cbae: Indeed. A smart phone enables you to be gaining cheevos almost constantly. Bored at work? Play Angry Birds. On the toilet? Fruit Ninja. Riding the bus? Hannah Montana. The opportunities to earn cheevos with a smart phone are limited only by your own effort and hubris.

  • DaveWill2

    @elmer: Yes.  Same place as you.  Supposedly Windows Phone 8 is near enough to windows that hopefully it will be fairly easy to build apps to keep checks on various servers and other such 24/7 things without having to (as ketch described) go find a workstation somewhere to check.

  • dentaku

    I've never owned a cellphone of any sort. I wouldn't mind having the GPS stuff but I guess it's not necessary because I've been in some rather remote places and I've always found my way back Smiley

    When I'm not at home I'm away from my computer so carrying around a mobile web browsing device kinda defeats the purpose of getting out of the house. I also don't like getting calls at home so getting them when I'm outside just seems annoying.

    I still might get a Lumia of some sort if the successor to the 920 turns out to be amazing and the cellphone provider situation in Canada becomes more tolerable.

  • Sven Groot

    For me, maps and directions are the best thing. Sure, I can figure it out myself, but this is just far easier.

    For example, recently I had to go from Hongo to Jimbocho. I've been to Jimocho a few times before, I roughly know how to get there, so it would've been a simple matter to walk to the nearest station, look at the subway map, and figure it out that way. Instead, I search from "my current location" to where I needed to go on Google Maps, and it recommends me to take a bus instead which was much faster.

    I'm out and about, and suddenly get a hunkering for sushi? Just search for the nearest kaitenzushi. Need directions in an unknown city? The taxi driver in that foreign country doesn't understand which hotel you're telling him to go to? Show him the map on your phone (previously I would always print maps for this purpose when I travelled, now I get to save paper). And there's no need to carry around fold-out maps or Lonely Planet guidebooks everywhere I go anymore either.

    Couple that with the ability to read using the Kindle app when I don't have my actual Kindle handy (e.g. waiting for the supermarket check out), or quickly check Facebook (or indeed Channel 9) whenever I have to wait for a bit, and I think it's pretty useful. It also doubles as an MP3 player when I'm working out.

  • MasterPi

    Sitting at my desk, it's not at all useful. When I'm out shopping, it's nice to have it around to do quick comparative price checks. Inside mall maps are extremely useful (esp Nokia City Lens). When I was in college, I loved being able to check and respond to team emails within lecture. Long travel...helps keep me busy.

    I think in general...it's an upgrade from having to carry your laptop around when you're not planning on diving into a desktop app.

  • Dr Herbie

    Calendar reminders, email wherever I am (work emails and personal emails), checking Facebook/Twitter/Reddit whenever I'm at a loose end, some casual gaming, maps and GPS for directions when driving and/or finding shops when in a city, listening to music while running.

    Herbie

  • elmer

    I have a desktop at home, connected to work via a VPN, but other than that, I guess that I really find that I prefer not being connected, tracked, called, alerted and otherwise digitally abused. I actually prefer having my own space and time to think and work things out, rather than being distracted by information overload, or spending time with angry birds or youtube, when I can look around me and watch the real world go by. Just today, I was struggling with a problem in the server room, but after going for a walk (sans Lumia) I had the answer. I guess we're all different, and that's a good thing too, but I don't think I'm going to be an easy convert to this.

  • MasterPi

    Technology supports the tasks that you already perform. If you don't perform those tasks or are already performing them optimally, then you probably won't benefit from new technology.

  • evildictait​or

    , elmer wrote

    Bottom line, I'm looking at this expensive toy sitting on my desk (doing nothing) and wondering, what the hell do most people do with these things that is actually necessary and/or useful?

    You could say the same thing about how most people use a laptop or a desktop PC.

  • vesuvius

    @elmer: Give it a year, once you get stuck in an airport or doctors surgery you will see the benefits.

    You don't go out in loud bars and nightclubs posting images on Facebook, Twitter or any of the social stuff so therein lies the perplexity. Pretty much every kid under 25 on my Facebook has at least 1000 to 2000 images of themselves and their friends, whereas we have to hunt through negatives and photos that are starting to decompose due to damp, and loath the resolution of black and white photos and kodak disposable cameras. It is a generational thing.

  • kettch

    @Sven Groot: Kindle app ++

    The amount of reading that I've been able to do since getting a smartphone has vastly increased.

    Actually, I've been doing a lot more reading than was ever possible with physical books since my last Texas Instruments graphing calculator. I had some software that used a font optimized for the TI-89's pixel size. I read several books one year on my calculator. Smiley

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