tooling around: get smart

In case you guys somehow missed it, my head is pretty much in the sand when it comes to technology (see here, and here).  It should come as no surprise, therefore, to learn that I don’t have a smartphone. In fact, I have this phone in pink:

Patech Impact. Click the image for details.

It is a good phone. Seriously!  This 2009 review by PCMag.com says so. And this baby was a serious upgrade from my Sony Ericsson circa 2009. Obviously, I’ve never pursued the latest and greatest in communications technology.  In fact, I only recently learned how to take and tweet photos on my current phone, which I’ve never connected to the internet.

So why am I even thinking about smartphones?

The simple answer is: it is time.  I’ve never done the internet thing on my phone because it is a really small screen. Also, I haven’t ever really needed to. But my business is growing (or trying to, at least) and I want to stay better connected to my followers and customers. So…

I’m getting one of these!

Apple iPhone 4s. Click on the image for details.

No, I’m not. Don’t be ridiculous.

My head would probably explode from the sheer, overwhelming smartness of that thing.

I actually don’t know what to get and I’ve only just begun looking. Similar to shopping for my computer, it might be best to start with what I do know:

  • My service provider is AT&T.
  • The ability to e-mail would be good.
  • I want to check my Twitter stream and Facebook pages, and read my favorite blogs.
  • I’d also like to compose and edit blog posts.
  • I’m thinking it’d be nice to do the above things on a screen that exceeds 1.5 by 2.25 inches.
  • I prefer buttons one actually depresses to type over the touch-screen keypad.

I also have a few concerns:

  • If I commit to android- or blackberry-based technology, will it be obsolete next month?
  • Can I be too connected to the ‘net?
  • Will my life suddenly be consumed by enraged fowl?

Now, I’m calling (haha) on you guys.

Can you help me narrow down the vast world of smart technology?  What have been your experiences, the good and the bad, with smartphones?

17 thoughts on “tooling around: get smart

  1. I highly recommend the iPhone. It never locks up, I can check and
    Respond to email, facebook, use it as my iPod when traveling, use it
    as a GPS, I have nine different cameras and image editing software
    on it. I read books on it and watch Netflix on it. Paying $200
    for a phone isn’t something I took lightly, but for this phone,
    I would do it again!

  2. I have a droid and Verizon service. I was reluctant at first, but I have 6 blogs and as many twitter accounts and I needed to do email and check on tweets and comments on my blogs when I was out for the day. Now, I’m not sure how I managed it all with out it.

    I got my first Droid almost two years ago and still have it and it’s serving me well. So, I don’t necessarily think that technology changes so quickly that you have to upgrade all that often.

    I would suggest that you plunge… It’ll take up a lot of your time is you mull it over for too long.

    Good luck with it.

    Lou

  3. I just got my first smart phone about a month ago. My six year old phone finally died. I have AT&T also, I got an LG Thrill. My son helped me pick it out. It has a large screen. It does have the touch pad though but once you get use to it, it works a lot better then the regular ones. I’m still learning about it, but so far I am very happy I got it. I’m also doing an art show all summer so I’m going to get a credit card reader for it, something I couldn’t do with my old phone.

  4. We jumped into the smartphone world last month (after having a stupid phone for many years). Droid Razr Maxx — has a very long-lived battery which is awesome. More features than I could ever want. But the key ones that I like are: apps! My fave app is the Square. You order a little gizmo from Square.com and along with the app on your smartphone, you can now take credit cards — anywhere, anytime — for just a small percentage. As a henna artist/facepainter, I set up in parks and other public spaces; I often lost 15% of my sales b/c I couldn’t do credit/debit. NOW I CAN!!! Can you tell I’m really thrilled! (Intuit has one, too– and there may be other companies, too… that are all comparable)

    I also like being able to upload photos to facebook/twitter and being able to quickly find answers to things on the web.

    The phone is big, but it hasn’t really been a problem. Love having that extended battery!

    Have fun searching! It may seem like a lot of investment upfront — but choosing the perfect phone that will work for you for at least 2 years is worth the extra initial cost (it works out over time)… just my 2 cents.

  5. This is so timely and rather humorous for me…it sounded like I wrote the post!! I live in Cape Town, South Africa and everyone (specially in my creative field) including hubby and single mom sister has a smartphone – except me.
    I am deliberating the very same issues with the same reservations!
    So I will be watching the responses with interest : )

  6. I have had a Blackberry for 2 1/2 years. I love what it can do, but the screen is small which makes reading on it difficult. I will be upgrading to an Android in a few weeks which has a bigger screen than what I have now and still has the type of touch keys I prefer. I don’t mind “touch screen” technology for scrolling, but I prefer to type with keys. There are many choices out there–I don’t use apps so don’t need the latest and greatest, but I do need to be able to connect to FB, Twitter and my blog. Good luck with your search

  7. The Nexus S4 is the only thing that has been keeping me sane now that my interior design business is starting to take off. It is an Android phone, which lets me sync my phone to my Google Calender. I can add meetings and info into the calender from my computer or my phone, and it shows up in both places. I have access to internet as well as apps that connect directly to twitter and facebook as I need it.
    Another handy thing is the Square app which lets me accept credit card payments. I have had my phone for about 6 months, and have no complaints whatsoever, which is a big deal for me since I hate learning new tech and programs.

  8. I love my Blackberry Torch … the screen is large and you have the option of using the easy-to-type-on keyboard. The push email feature is excellent for business people like ourselves. Further, unlike the iPhone, data is extremely secure on this unit. Additionally, there are many useful apps – as well as fun ones. The battery life is also really long – I hear that some Androids have battery issues. As for being obsolete in a few years, I do not see this as happening any time soon. After all, most big businesses use Blackberries …

  9. I have my first real smartphone (Android) and I LOVE it. You won’t be consumed by anything you don’t want to be, but everything you need will truly be at your fingertips. I have AT&T and got the Motorola Atrix. I could not be happier.

    I had the chance to interact extensively with the iPhone and the Droid before I made my choice, thanks to my two daughters. I’m a techie so I enjoy the open source-ness of the Android, and believe me, it won’t be outdated any time soon.

    I have six email accounts and manage almost a dozen blogs, Facebook pages, four Etsy accounts and I can do it all from my phone. Except for the Etsy accounts, it’s easy peasy. Managing one Etsy account is no problem but two are for my friend, and it’s a bit of a challenge sometimes. That says more about the Etsy set up than it does about the droid, but I’m not complaining.

    Media rich- I can watch videos, TV, movies, games, whatever with no problems. The camera is great and… that’s just for a start.

    Good luck!
    rene

  10. I had the iPhone 3G and I really loved it. So responsive, never froze up, so handy and just a joy to use. My problem was working with AT&T, but it sounds like you’re already used to them. I don’t think you will regret a smartphone purchase. Enjoy. BTW, I usually read you in my email, so I don’t comment very often, but I really enjoy the blog – you make me think!

  11. If you’re happy with the phone you have now, and you’re just looking for something portable that isn’t a computer, why not look at getting something like an iPad? It’s a big screen, you can blog, check blogs, email tweet… everything you can do on a smart phone except call people. Granted the keyboard is on screen but you can buy an external keyboard if you need it as I think it would be kind of crazy to actually blog on an iPhone or any other smart phone. You could get a 3G iPad and set up a data plan through your service provider.

    Might not be the feedback you want, but reading this post it sounded like you’re after a tablet type thing instead of a new phone. :)

  12. Get the iPhone. I have one and know 100+ others who do. No one regrets that purchase. But I know lots of frustrated blackberry owners (and I was one of them several years ago)! Or, as Jamie suggested, get an iPad and keep your phone. Apple just makes great products, and their customer service is amazing!

  13. I have got to say.. I love my iPhone. Bizzarly enough, it isn’t such as great phone due to the occassional signal issues BUT as far as an all-in-one gadget, I think it’s great. As long as you have your smart phone with you… you’ll never get bored.

    Andy

  14. After some thought and re-reading of all your comments I have decided that I actually do not want an iPad. Correction: if someone were to GIVE me an iPad I would gladly take it, but I don’t want to BUY one.

    One of the things I want to do is take photos on the spot, no matter where I am, and instantly share them with my people. I think it’ll help followers and customers get me if they can see more of my world. Currently I have to take photos with my camera, gethome, upload them to my computer, then share them via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, etc. Sure, an iPad takes photos, but it is a lot harder to pull that sucker out and snap a shot on the street than it would be to capture the moment with a palm-sized phone – not really an improvement over my current situation excepting the internet access.

    Whew, at least I have that much figured out.

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