I put off getting a smartphone for as long as possible. The cost of the data plan was, to me, astronomical. Why would I pay another $50 a month to surf the web on my phone? I could surf just as well at home, and I was already paying a pretty penny for that. What would I do with a web connected phone, really, that was so different from what I did on my desktop at home?
A whole lot, it turns out.
In December, using some holiday money, my husband and I used our new-very-two plan with Verizon to upgrade to Droid X’s.
Overall, I was amazed at how user friendly it was. In just a few short minutes, I’d imported all of my contacts, configured my Gmail and Google Calendar, added Facebook and Twitter apps with immediate alerts for updates, and started surfing for apps.
But it wasn’t until I downloaded the Google Navigator that the world just kind of cracked open.
Google Navigator turned my phone into a GPS navigation device that talked me through how to get where I was going. No more printing off a Google Map before I left the house. No more backtracking through said map to get home. Combine it with the UrbanSpoon app – an application that lists local restaurants near you and allows you to literally shake your phone to find a new random hot spot – and you’ve got great new meals in new places on the fly. Driving around somewhere and wonder what’s close? Wonder no more.
I also soon discovered what was so great about having instant internet access wherever I was. When I went into UPS to pick up a package, I was asked for my tracking number… but I’d forgotten to print out the tracking slip or write down the number. For a moment I stood there stupidly with my mouth hanging open.
Then it dawned on me. I whipped out my phone and accessed the tracking number on my email.
Problem solved. Instantly.
By downloading DropBox and the full version of a word processing program to my phone as well, I can view and edit files right from my phone. I recently penned a :15 radio script from a doctor’s office waiting room and sent it off to our media team.
I don’t know that I fully appreciated what it was everybody was talking about until I got my own smartphone. When the power recently went off at our house due to the ice storm, my husband and I sat in bed catching up on Facebook, Twitter, and email from our phones. We weren’t cut off from the world at all (at least not until the batteries went out! Luckily, the power came back before then).
Most importantly, getting a smartphone let me see what was possible and where things are going. I’m getting marketed to on Pandora radio, Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other “free” applications I’ve downloaded all the time. I can see what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.
And have a lot of fun, too.