Sufficient added value

I mentioned the other day that I had got rid of my car, cunningly timed to avoid having to renew my road tax.   The money I thus saved was almost enough to pay for a shiny new android phone (OK, so I could have gone for a cheaper model but I decided it was worth spending an extra bob or two in order to get one with greater capabilities).

Previously I’ve always gone for the cheapest, most basic possible mobile phones I could find, as they have been capable of doing all I wanted on a phone: making and receiving phone calls when out of reach of a landline, sending and receiving text messages, and acting as a clock.  Having recently had a chance to play with a couple of smartphones (both android ones), I have decided that these offer sufficient advantages to make it worth getting one (and to offset the significantly shorter battery life they have).

I am especially keen on being able to access my calendar more easily, since I have been using a Google calendar as my main personal organiser for several years now and it is sometimes inconvenient to have to get to a computer in order to be able to check whether I’m free on a particular date.   Ready access to emails, my twitter stream and other things will also be handy and I think that the increased access potential will transform things like Evernote into extremely useful tools.

It will also be useful to be able to carry a whole raft of devices such as a guitar tuner, a camera, a torch and several shelves worth of books around in a single pocket.  I don’t anticipate getting rid of all my existing gadgets and books just yet, but having the tools available on my phone will be useful for occasions when I need one and don’t have the dedicated item to hand.  In this respect, the phone is a bit like a Swiss army knife – it’s not quite as good as a dedicated screwdriver for driving screws (and similarly for the other tools) but certainly beats trying to use your fingernail!

I did have some teething troubles with getting my existing phone number transferred to my new phone, but that seems to be sorted now.  The only problems now are to resist the temptation of playing with my phone when I’m supposed to be doing something else (such as going to bed) and to get used to my new set of ring tones so that I can recognise my own phone when I hear it.

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