ShoePhoneWith all the hoopla over Samsung’s new Galaxy SIV smartphone, I was rather intrigued watching the reveal of all the new features. Then it happened, a reporter asked a young man on the street, “What do you use your phone for?”, and the guy answered, amusedly, “I just use it to make phone calls.” The reporter looked ironically back at the camera and end of scene.

That made me stop and think. What do I use my phone for?

I too use my phone as a phone, as ironic as that may sound. I even pay $15.00 per month for adequate talk and text with no data for our two iPhones combined. There’s plenty of free WiFi around, we have a wireless router at home, and GPS is built into the dashboard of our car. 4G LTE? Bite me.

With talking and texting I also like having my contacts and calendar handy at all times. Those are musts. A good camera is nice although I almost never use it, a super sharp screen is something I’m very spoiled on, a simple game or two to kill unexpected waiting time is necessary, and I need a simple writing app to tap out ideas and a couple times while waiting in line at the grocery store I’ve written an entire blog article in the text editor on my phone.

That’s it for what I really use my phone for and that’s all I want because I have better devices for other things. With an iPad and desktop computer, what do I need with a super-phone? Oh, one other thing: I want all my devices to talk to each other seamlessly. If I add a calendar entry on one device, all our combined devices immediately pop up with a notification that a change was made and accepted. Apple is good that way, I expect there are other ways to do that too, right?

Wait, yet one more thing. While I always use two hands to use a smartphone regardless of size, it has to fit comfortably in my shirt pocket in such a way that I’m not afraid to lean forward ever so slightly — this cowboy doesn’t wear a holster. That rules out the iPhone 5 and it rules out all the “phablets”.

I did see a number of things in the Samsung reveal that made me say, “Wow, that is so cool! I don’t want it!” It doesn’t help that most Android phones are notorious for not being upgradeable to future systems and it is a critical fail that Samsung is about to dump Android altogether and come out with their own phone operating system. I could never buy an expensive toy that very well might be quickly swept under the rug.

Phones have gotten too big for my britches and shirt pockets. I don’t like it. If your phone is your only computer then one of these monster phones gives you a computer that sucks because the screen is too small for many uses; but otherwise, why would you want such a thing?

2 thoughts on “Smartphones

  1. So I know you have heard the story… where my dad takes me to his office on a Saturday. I am nine years old and he is printing snoopy calendars for me to give to some of my friends. He sweeps his hand over the room which is the size of about half the top floor of a good size high rise filled with disk drives and hot computers cranking and working and tells me; “Diane, one day all of this will be able to sit on one desk, and somedaaaaay maybe even in YOUR lifetime, in the palm of your hand. He had given me a little metal chip encased in a plastic poker looking chip to take to school when I was in second grade for show and tell and had given me that little speech a few years earlier so I would know what to say….but seeing all the machines first hand and trying to understand how someday that little chip was supposed to be able to do what all the machines I was staring at were doing is awe striking for me today.
    I think back at how expensive the first calculator was. (About $100 back in the seventies and that was a lot of money back then! It is now I know! ) At least the one my dad got…. And it was as big as a shoe box. NOW they sell them in the dollar store!
    Remember the Franklin? The address book, calendar etc? NOW it is all in our phone. All that the Franklin, also rather expensive….it’s crazy. I agree though… I agree the not being upgradable thing drives me nuts. I am so upset every time we get a new phone and my old chargers aren’t compatable. And it IS a lot of money to have something become obsolete so fast! The phone companies are who to buy stock in since we always will need them I guess!

  2. The stories about your dad never get tiresome. The closest I can come is that my mom was a keypunch operator for a little while before I was born. I would love to have had an engineer as a parent! My first calculator cost somewhere north of $70. Expensive. Now they practically come in a box of corn flakes. In Thailand they were like bartering translators where a non-english-speaking Thai would punch an amount into a little calculator for the price of an item I was looking at and I could then punch in a counter offer and haggling ensued. What people can accomplish with the simplest of things.

    I would really love a single device that meets all my wants and needs, and that is what smartphone makers seem to be attempting to do. I have a feeling that the pendulum has swung as far as it can in that direction with screen size and portability fighting against any all-in-one solution. A two way chip in the brain seems to be the ultimate solution where all your senses could receive and transmit in real time. Sentiments like “I wish you were here” could be replaced with, now you are literally seeing through my eyes, feeling the warm breeze on my skin, experiencing my thoughts, etc. Wouldn’t that be mind blowing?

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