Utility

The question “Why would I want a smartphone and what could I do with one?” has been asked here several times. Nobody, not once, gave up any suggestions as to the utility of such a device. Being unable to conjure up a use for one, I always refused the offer when Mr L made it.

Well, now I have one I can:

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  • Figure out when to take the dogs for a walk according to the Tide Tables
  • Play games on the boat when I get tired of knitting
    • Crush Candy
    • Escape from rooms
    • Solve puzzles
    • Kill pigs
    • Blend colours
    • Navigate balls around mazes
    • Find hidden objects
    • Stack blocks
  • Read a book on the boat when I get tired of playing games – though my Kindle is now effectively redundant
  • Take photographs when I am out and about without a real camera…
  • …and edit and play with the images…
  • …before uploading them directly to a variety of sites…
  • ….and browse those sites to look at the images from other users
  • Read the Guardian and The New Scientist at will
  • Do a quick calculation
  • Count my knitted rows…
  • …or work out my tension (gauge)
  • Time my baking or set an alarm for any other purpose
  • Carry a shopping list that will not blow away in the slightest puff of Orkney wind
  • Follow my own tracks with a GPS tracker
  • Look up what stars I am seeing
  • …and the ones I cannot see on the opposite hemisphere
  • Listen to my entire music collection even when away from home…
  • …or the radio
  • Tell the time when my wristwatch has stopped yet again
  • Carry the ferry timetable with me
  • Check a map for directions
  • Dictate notes
  • Check the weather
  • Skype
    • or ICQ
    • or Google Talk
  • Keep up with subscriptions at YouTube (KnitPro and Simon’s Cat)

I can do just about anything other than to make a phone call, so long as I am within reach of a free WiFi point – like at home. I could even Tweet or post to Facebook but FB makes my brain bleed.

A Sim card is required and then a payment Plan. Trying to work out the best plan for my needs is proving to be a headache. Really all that I want is what I had before – a Pay as You Go calls-only top-up system. I really don’t want to get  used to mobile Internet access. I’m happy to move my little legs as far as the library should I need access when I am in town, or pop into The Reel for a coffee and a connection. I just do not want to go on paying 25p a minute for calls as we are now doing on our Vodafone PAYG.

I really see very little need for Internet access on the go; 99.9% of stuff will wait until I am back at my desk. On the other hand, until this last week I could see no use for a smart device at all. Now I am strangely hooked. So maybe a PAYG scheme that includes some internet access?

Once more, I am in your hands, dear readers. I am sure most of you are far more savvy than I am. Can you advise me? We were looking at giffgaff, which is on O2 and only gives 2G coverage here. Vodafone similarly offer 2G. Orange have 3G up here. I need low cost but reliable calls. I do not text, nor do I want to. I might occasionally want to Google something or look up contact details on a website, that kind of thing. I hope not to get addicted to snapping pics and immediately sharing them. That’s sad.

Help me?

 

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2 Comments

  1. September 16, 2013
    Reply

    My husband finds Virgin cheap and reliable.

  2. September 16, 2013
    Reply

    Your kindle isn’t redundant, just waiting for a sunshiny day when you can’t read the screen of your smart phone, or when the battery goes flat after too much GPS-ing. After draining the battery of mine in about 2 hours, I then went to find out how to improve battery life: basically, turn off everything you aren’t using, turn screen brightness down.

    No ideas about tariffs – I’ve had a contract phone for years. I hate to think what it has cost me, particularly since I’ve lived in really bad reception areas for the last 5 years.

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