Sunday, May 09, 2010

Playing With My Phone

I never played with my old mobile phone. Aside from texting on occasion I pretty much used it for what it was, just a phone. I can’t say the same thing about my new smart phone. I’ve been playing with it off and on all weekend.

The difference is the whole apps thing. Truly, as the Apple iPhone commercials often point out, there is an app for that no matter what that actually is. So far I’ve added apps for measurement conversions, real estate, and writing. I’ve added one that turns the phones camera strobe into an LED flashlight and one that uses the phones GPS function to tell me where I can buy the cheapest gas relative to my current location.

I’ve added silly stuff too like the app that lets me use Samuel Jackson quotes from the movie Pulp Fiction for ringtones and another that identifies the constellations in the sky overhead. I’ve also added apps and then quickly deleted them like an app of useless facts. I decided that I already have enough of those.

The shear number of these apps is almost overwhelming and so far the ones I’ve downloaded have all been free. Many of these free apps contain a line or two of advertising at the bottom of the screen which seems to explain why they are free to the user. Build a great app and the advertisers will pay to hitch a ride.

I never knew a phone could be so much fun.

As far as the whole Apple versus Google phone thing I have to say that I really don’t have iPhone envy anymore. While Apple’s smart phone is much more elegant than the Droid, the fun factor seems to be about the same.


Freemarket said...

There are gazillions of useful apps, but one I saw first on the droid is the one that lets you store your grocery store bonus card info so the bar code displays on the screen of your phone. Then you can just scan your phone screen instead of fishing around in your wallet for your bonus card. It works with any cards that can be scanned (like library cards, etc.)

I'm surprised that there is no droid stripped of phone service (using wifi to get online) being marketed to compete with iPod touch. Or maybe there is, I just haven't seen it.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the 21st century...I tried to tell you! Next, you'll have an iPad (or the Droid equivilant).

A bit of advice: try all of the free apps for what you need to do, i.e., what function you need to perform, first. Then, if you can't find one that works, buy one that does.

FM--I think that Droid has skipped the "evolutionary" niche occupied by the iPod Touch, for a couple of reasons. First, the cost of adding phone hardware to a smart mobile device is, functionally, zero. That is why I wonder why the iPad doesn't also function as a phone.

Second, the iPod touch was a perfect marketing strategy for Apple--a lot of kids had iPods, and, although their parents would pop the bucks for a Touch, they couldn't--it didn't exist at that time--or wouldn't--"it's too expensive to buy my kid an iPhone!" buy their kid an iPhone.

Apple is expert at using market segmentation via time to maximize the sales of their products. The iPad is currently the best example: first model, wifi only; second model 30 days later, with 3g and gps; what will the next model bring, something radical like a camera or phone connectivity? Oh, I guess if you had an iPad with an actual phone card in it, you'd NO LONGER need to buy an iPhone (although you can use skype on the current iPad).

So, you see the pattern emerging--Apple, like any good corporation, is trying to maximize shareholder value, and to do this they: A. Make great stuff. B. Manipulate their consumer base through brilliant marketing and scheduled product releaes.

Droid, however, that's loose and in the wild...wait, who developed it? Google? And they don't have an agenda...


All that said, smart phones are fun and useful, and I'm glad to have one.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really thought I'd start a flamewar with that last post...heartening that no one else has commented, guess I said it all; disconcerting, that a flamewar did not ensue.

Where are the Apple Fanboyz?

NOTE: Unless the next iteration of the iPhone really wows me, I'm going Droid.

Anonymous said...

Am I like, some kind of post killer?