Thursday, March 31, 2016

Welcome me to the 21st century

Dh & I went to the mall yesterday to run a few errands -- and walked out with new smartphones. (Turning 55, officially retiring, going through (peri)menopause, buying a condo, selling our house and getting ready to move -- what's one more major life change/stressor to deal with right now, right??!  lol) 

Now, just to be clear, these were NOT our first cellphones (his second and my fourth over the past 15-20 years, to be exact) -- although it's been -- cough cough -- a while since we last got new ones. The phones we had -- yes, flip phones (I hear they're "in again, actually...!) -- did have cameras (1 whole megapixel!!) & browser capabilities, although we rarely used them and didn't have data included in our plan. But we've never felt the need to be in constant contact with the world, and we were happy with what we had for a long time. The phones were seldom used, and when they were, it was for good old talking, and usually whenever one or the other of us was out & about without the other.

But we've been talking about the need to upgrade for quite a while  For one thing, peer pressure. :p  ;) It was a bit of a pride thing, too -- see, we're still young & hip;  we're not THAT old yet!! (Got to keep up with the younger Joneses, you know...!) (I have this unsettling feeling that if we'd had kids, we would have been prodded into doing this years ago.) For another thing, I noticed my battery was draining a lot more quickly lately -- and I didn't think they'd have a replacement readily on hand. I wanted to make sure we had a reliable phone handy while we're moving & getting settled into our new condo. There were several times lately when I'd wished I'd had a camera handy. (The camera on this phone has 21 mp capability -- my Canon point & shoot, which I love, has just 12 -- which seemed like a whole lot when I bought it, just two or three years ago...!)

And there were a few times lately when I've had trouble picking up a signal, while smartphone users around me yakked to their hearts' content. One such notable incident was when dh wound up in the hospital just before Christmas. Every time I wanted to update BIL, I had to leave the building completely (taking all our jackets & stuff with me each time, so as not to leave it vulnerable to theft), and he couldn't call me at all.

I spent a few hours last evening & this afternoon playing around, rebuilding my contacts (the young geek -- ummm, salesperson -- who helped us buy the phones couldn't get them to transfer over from my old phone :p ), adding a few apps and exploring my new toy's capabilities. I'm sure within a few weeks, I'll wonder how I ever lived without it (although I think I'll still prefer using my laptop, when I'm at home) -- but right now, it's still a bit of a mystery, to be honest. ;)  It's been exhausting, frustrating, exhilarating and mind-boggling, to use just a few adjectives.

Tips? Cautionary tales?? App recommendations??? (I've already managed to add Facebook & sign up for Instragram -- although I still have to explore my camera!) 

I bow to your collective wisdom. ;)


  1. I have no tips, but things you might find useful are the maps (might help you find your way around your new neighborhood!), the calendar - it's nice for getting a reminder to do something, and the calculator/memo functions (used to do it all in my head, which worked when I was younger).

    Some apps that I can't hardly live without: IMDB - so I can figure out what movie that girl was in before this one, or which episode of that TV show I was just watching had that one actor in it. I also have 3 different reading apps (and if I had more room, I'd probably have 5) - 2 from my library and the Kindle app. It's always good to have a book! I have a few games, and a bunch of coupon/discount apps, but I'm not sure which of those translate to Canada.

  2. I'm fairly smartphone illiterate. But I would recommend a reader for your blog list. I use Feedly, which has a nice app. But there are others which people seem to recommend.

    I'm currently addicted to traffic apps too. Anything to make my commute easier.

  3. Congratulations!! I thought I was a hold-out but my smartphone is now three years old and I'm thinking of an upgrade. I mainly use my iPad and laptop, but my phone is a good back-up and so I sync the apps and across my devices. There are a few apps I wouldn't be without:
    My phone's calendar syncs with my Google calendar, and that's helpful.
    E-mail apps of course.
    I also have Feedly, Facebook and Kindle. And maps, of course.
    I also have Overdrive to read my library ebooks.
    Pocket is a brilliant way to save articles. I have it on my browsers and iPad, and if I see bootlegs or articles or links I can save them to read later, offline. As long as you sync of course. Means that you're never without anything to read.
    Some type of notebook or memo app. Easy way to record anything you need to remember.
    The best thing I have done is to choose the swipe potion on my keyboard in settings. It means I can write just with my thumb. I'm writing this on a swype keyboard app too.

    Have fun with it!!

  4. Awesome! Welcome to the 21st century! ;p

  5. If you like saving money (who doesn't?), download Flipp and Checkout 51. Flipp is a flyer app- you just search for what you want to buy, and all the flyer ads for that week will pop up, allowing you to find the best price (or to price match at Walmart). And Checkout 51 is a cashback app- if you buy any of the items listed on the app, just upload your receipt, and you'll make some cash! I've earned $50 so far this year. Love it!

  6. One of the apps I am glad I have on my phone is Scanbot. It is very useful to be able to scan random bits of paper and have them on my cloud, and even send them by mail whenever I need to.
    I also have WhatsApp, since most of my contacts are there, and it is easy to contact them via WhatsApp.

  7. I've had my smartphone for about a year and a half. Quite the holdout for someone in their 30's. But, it is fantastic! I don't have a lot of apps, but it is quiet handy. I like the Google Maps app for maps. Then, Storm is a good weather app. I also have my auto insurance company's app on my phone to have access to my newest insurance card information. Fan of Pinterest and Airbnb. When I lived in Orlando, I liked the Disney World app.

  8. Haha, I know the feeling. I’m about 2 months ahead of you. After a year of research and comparisons I retired my rarely used 9 year old flip phone and bought myself a mid-range smartphone for Christmas.

    I also had similar issues with getting a signal while all around me were busy accessing to their heart’s content. Also, coming from a technical career background, I know the importance of ‘use it or lose it’ when it comes to teaching myself new things.

    I did manage to improve my 2 finger typing speed inputting all my contacts – like you, the old phone was too old for any sort of modern day information transfer.

    I’m still learning what I can do with it, and haven’t even looked at all the available apps yet. I’ll read with interest too, any advice your readers may share.