Monday, November 26, 2012

Phone dilemma

My phone contract expires this week. This is hardly an important or serious issue, but it matters to me. I love my phone, but newer ones are better. Of course.

Two years ago, I got an iPhone on contract. It was the iPhone 4, which Nigel took, and I took his 3GS (because I use mine far less). For two years, it’s worked well and proven I was wrong when I used to say, back when the iPhone first came out, that all I wanted was a phone that could make and receive phone calls and texts reliably and clearly. That was all I wanted until I got a smartphone.

It’s often the case that we don’t know how much we can’t imagine using a new technology until we use it, and soon we can’t imagine being without it. The microwave oven is one such essential thing for me, and so are smartphones.

A new study from Pew Research says that 85% of Americans now own cellphones, and they have become “a portal for an ever-growing list of activities”. The chart accompanying this post shows the most common activities. I do all of them, except for the last two, which I do on my desktop computer (some things are just easier to do with a full-sized keyboard).

Some of the things I use my phone for are just so handy that they really have made my life easier. For example, I use an App for my grocery store that allows me to scan products’ bar codes at home, add them to my shopping list, and then it tells me which aisle of the store I go to I can find that product. If I’m in the store and want to know where a particular kind of product is, I can use my phone and the App to search and it will tell me what aisle it’s in, which sure beats walking up and down aisles looking for things.

I also use the camera a lot, and those photos often end up being posted here, on Twitter or Facebook—two more Apps I use on my phone. I don’t often shoot video, however, because it’s too low in resolution for me.

So, clearly I like and use my phone. From this week, I can get a new one, change plans (or even companies) without penalty. After thinking about it (and weighing the enormous costs…), I’ve decided that I’m just going to sit tight for now. Yes, my phone is getting long in the tooth, and it doesn’t do all the things newer ones can do—and I’d very much like to have those added capabilities—but for the next few months, anyway, I’m not going to look at upgrading.

I may be an enthusiastic Digital Immigrant, but I’m not a completely silly one.

Related: This may all be moot because apparently “The End Of The Smartphone Era Is Coming”.


Roger Owen Green said...

Since I don't have a smartphone, I'll be either further behind when the new technology comes, or I'll jump right past smartphones. Somehow, I think the former...

Arthur Schenck said...

Honestly, time was, I just couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Now, though, I look forward to whatever is next (I'm sceptical of glasses being the next stage, though).