I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Say hello to my new phone.
Why, you might ask, would a confirmed Luddite like myself take such a drastic step? Well... it just finally got to the point where not having one was more inconvenient than the trouble of getting one.
Now, lest you think that I'm going to become one of those earbud wearing, app checking, texting zombies...
...here's my rationalization... I mean excuse... I mean reasoning...
First of all, since Google's "mobilegeddon" it's pretty much imperative that all web pages be mobile friendly. This is what I've been working on for the past few months. And while I've accomplished a great deal using simulators, there comes a point when you really need to understand the mobile experience to effectively design for it.
Secondly... while I don't spend much time away from home, there have been a few times recently when it would have been really nice to have had a smartphone out on the bike path.
CatMan is pretty good at reading the skies, but the weather this summer has been nothing short of crazy, and there have been several times that it's been sheer luck that kept us out of the tornadoes, hail and major street flooding. Having access to the weather radar while on the road is starting to feel like a genuine safety concern rather than just a luxury.
Plus, having GPS would be really nice in the event of another emergency like the time CatMan fell and broke his pelvis. We called for help on my flip phone, but trying to figure out exactly where to send our rescue party was a bit... um... challenging. "Well... we're along Clear Creek somewhere - there's a big white building to the north, and some trees to our east... um..."
I am also really looking forward to having a phone and camera all in one - it will be one less thing to carry on my bike, and transferring photos will be a lot easier through my home WiFi than having to plug in the camera, upload them to the computer... yadda, yadda, yadda.
I probably would have gotten a much cheaper phone if it weren't for the camera. I wanted to be able to take decent wildlife shots yanno...
And finally, it's just getting to the point where doing business without a smartphone is becoming increasingly challenging.
Recently my online savings account changed their policy so you can no longer transfer funds to another bank without a smartphone (well... you can, but only if you're willing to wait on hold for about 30 minutes and deal with the PITA factor of having to go through customer support).
Plus, I've tried to sell some things on Craigslist recently, but they won't let me do it because I have to send a text to verify my account and I haven't a clue how to do that on my flip phone.
Anyhow, I just think the writing's on the wall, and not having a smartphone is getting to be like not having email or something.
Soooo, when the minutes recently expired on my pre-paid flip phone, I decided that it was a sign. So I bit the bullet & took the plunge.
I researched various budget smartphone plans and finally decided to go with Ting. It's a pretty good deal for someone like myself who doesn't intend to use the thing very much. You pay $6/month (per phone) to have the service, and an incremental fee on top of that based on your actual usage. And if you use WiFi for internet access, it costs nothing. I figure most months I'll probably only have to pay the $6 - and if and when I do need to make an occasional call or check the weather radar on the bike path, I'll be happy to pay the small fee for the privilege of doing so.
BTW - if anybody out there is considering signing up for Ting, if you do so through this link I'll get a little referral credit on my account.
So we'll see how this goes. So far my experience is... well... it took 5 hours to get the thing up and running. I'm trying not to hold that against either Motorola or Ting since I'm a complete newbie here, but it took me half an hour just to figure out how to turn the darned thing on!
I'm hoping it will get better... please tell me it gets better...
So tell me, do you have a smartphone? I'm assuming most of you do because I think I was sorta the last holdout here... Do you enjoy using it? Because, to be honest, at the moment I'm sort of having to fight the urge to throw the thing at a wall and watch it smash into little bits. Learning curves... it will get better...
In the meantime, I'm gonna go take a walk and leave this thing at HOME!