tooling around: i answered the call

Just over a month ago I asked you all for input on my first ever – gulp – smartphone.  I took all thirteen of your comments to heart and finally decided on:

Samsung Captivate (TM) Glide. Click image for details.

At first, I loved it. So many new things to play with! That and, you know, it’s so shiny!

But several weeks and a family vacation later, I find I don’t really love it.

1. The battery life is super short. Somehow, in all my review reading (here and here and, obviously, here) and question asking, I missed the part about having to charge this sucker daily. Perhaps it didn’t come up because, as I’ve been assured, this is a common flaw among smartphones and was discussed more when everybody else upgraded a few years ago. I really miss the days when I could wait almost a week before plugging my phone in. Now, I think I may need to buy a docking station so I always know where my phone is when I’m at home and it gets charged at the frequency it requires.

2. It didn’t come with a manual. Yes, I appreciate the amount of paper this saves, and I understand that people with a smartphone are savvy enough to download the manual on their computer. However, when I am at the computer I don’t really need my phone so I never think to download the manual. It’s also one more step for me to remember. I thought my phone was supposed to help me cut down on the many things cluttering my brain, not add more. I guess I could put a reminder on my phone but I’m not sure how yet. If only I had a manual…

3. I have yet to discover a way to exit applications when I’m done with them. this might actually be something addressed in the manual I don’t have (which I’m downloading now because I’m at my computer and thinking about my phone). When I am done searching the net or updating my Facebook page I want to push a button and close the app. I’m sure sometimes it is good to know you can switch screens or apps and still come back to the exact place you left off, but if closing apps extends my battery life I want an instant close option. Am I asking for too much here?

None of this is to say I don’t like my phone very, very much.

1. The time I spend lost while driving has decreased considerably. I’d say pre-Captivate I got lost about 50% of the time. True story. It’s a little sad. But who cares because now I have a phone that will read the directions to me and my seven-year-old no longer asks me if I know where I’m going.

2. Instagram! Funnest. App. Ever. Look at my rockin’ photo of this huge beetle!


Yeah, that's a 16oz cup there.

3. The screen! Excuse me, I mean the “4-inch Super AMOLED multi-touch display.”  I can move stuff on the screen, I can see stuff on the screen, I can do this nifty trick with my thumb and forefinger so I can zoom in and out of webpages and when taking photos. That screen is awesome sauce drizzled on deep fried ice cream! Bonus, the phone is still small enough for me to avoid looking like I’m holding a Nintendo Game Boy up to my ear. (Yes, I’m that old.)

Overall I think the key is getting used to having a Smartphone.

Similar to my first trip with a laptop, I’m not yet exploiting all the potential my Captivate offers NPJ Designs or Janice the wife and mother. I’m simply not used to it. But, like I tell my daughter, practice makes progress. I’m still open to any suggestions you have for learning the ins and out of my phone.

How do you use your Smartphone and what tips can you offer?

11 thoughts on “tooling around: i answered the call

  1. Ahhh, I remember those days. I refer to them as the early gadget haze. This is before I entered the gogogadgetgirl haze I currently exist in. If you haven’t downloaded these yet, here’s a list I often recommend to newcomers to the smartphone world.

    Evernote – Best omnipresent app I use
    Box or Dropbox – cloud computing on your phone, save your pictures there when you run out of space or pull up a document you needed for a meeting, this app helps with both.

    Smartr – better than your address book could ever hope to be

    SwiftKey – This one you pay for, but it uses how you text and write (via facebook, gmail and twitter) to predict your text…its better than autocorrect on any day.

    Lemon – Best way to keep track of your receipts especially if you need to invoice for stuff or do taxes and need them…makes them into downloadable pdfs.

  2. I got an iPhone after a brain tumor rob me of my memory. So I use the iPhone extensively for Maps, Calendar, Address book and the alarms. Forget the games. I would be back at Post-Its everywhere if not for my iPhone. And to have a great camera on you at all times is a bonus. I too was astounded that I had to charge every day but I find it is a VERY small price to pay. As the phone is my alarm clock I let it charge over night next to my bed. Then it’s ready to start getting me outta bed at 6:12 am. Good Luck and have phone exploring.

  3. Been there, done that, and actually washed my bugger with my dirty clothes. Said bye bye to it then and now just use my regular boost phone and boost minutes for about $25 a month to talk and text. No contract, thankfully, nothing but the basic. Oh yes, it does take nice photos and such. So, no more comments on smartphones from me.

  4. My family had to talk me into a smart phone. Now she and I are permanently attached. I check my emails, my etsy shop, my other etsy shop, my other email account – all day long. I’m addicted. I’m not sure how good it is.
    I was in a gun shop ( yes I know, a gun shop, but my teenager plays airsoft – like paint ball but without the paint – , and that’s where he goes to buy his supplies ) and I bought a bright pink case for her. Even though I had never dropped her. The very next day I dropped her, and she bounced. The case was so worth the $12.95. But makes her a bit more bulky.
    My other son gave me a docking station for Christmas, and that’s where my girl sleeps at night. Right next to my bed. So that before my eyes are even open I can check my email, my etsy shop, my other etsy shop, my other email account, before I’m fully awake.
    It’s a bit of a problem.
    Oh, and the texting….but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

  5. I don’t use a smart phone but my iPod touch also has to be charged daily (and I love checking emails and Etsy shop in bed, under the covers, before my kids know I’m awake…)
    To prolong the battery life I make sure I close all apps I am not using (they are very energy consuming when they keep running in the background) and I switch off wifi connection when there isn’t any metwork around, searching for available networks also drains the battery…

  6. Go to the market place and download a app killer. It should be free. Then you can “kill” the apps you dont want open and it will make your phone run faster. i used to work in the cell phone industry so I would be happy to answer any questions!

  7. Now that I have a smartphone (Droid Razr Maxx — we took the plunge in February) — I am soooo happy with it!

    Square: lets me take credit cards anywhere. They sent me a free device and only charge 2.75% per transaction. No monthly charge. Awesome. My sales are up 30% now that I can accept credit.

    Google Translate: for those times when people really want a Chinese character that isn’t in my design book. Be aware that Arabic and Farsi are written backwards, but there’s an image button that has those words in their correct written order.

    Navigate: I still have a map, but I’ve found new shortcuts that save time and traffic hassle.

    TuneIn Radio lets me listen to cool stuff from all over the world.

    And use your wiFi connection to save your data charges!

    Welcome to the new world!

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