Things I like about my new phone
- I can talk to it! And it knows what I’m saying (mostly – there’s a few NZ vowel sounds it struggles with still (setting an alarm for 10 pm is something I’m yet to achieve – that lovely NZE [e] vowel in ten just confuses the poor thing…)) and does things when I tell it to. There’s something so satisfying about waking up and saying “Hey Google, what’s the forecast” to find out what the weather’s like (yeah, I know I could just look out the window, but where’s the fun in that?).
- Google maps knows when my next bus is going to arrive. And even better, it can tell where my nearest bus stop is, and tell me which buses will arrive there next, so I don’t have to try and find the bus stop number. So I don’t have to do the “The timetable says a bus should have passed here 3 minutes ago, but they’re often late, so there’s a chance it could still turn up, so maybe I should wait, but if it’s already passed then the next one won’t be for half an hour, so it might be quicker to walk” calculation I’m constantly doing at stops that don’t have an arrivals indicator (which is most of them).
- I can download e-books from the library! And audiobooks! (I could do that already, but I was limited to the ones that were in the correct format to play on my little mp3 player, so this opens up the range of audiobooks I can borrow enormously! Technically I could also download e-books before, but (because Amazon’s complicated licencing agreements) I couldn’t read them on my Kindle, so my only option was to read them on my computer, and you can’t cosy up in a comfy chair with a computer.)
- I had lunch with Jacq yesterday and they showed me a magic trick: you can write a text by swiping across the keyboard instead of typing each character individually. I have no idea how it manages to figure out which word I meant from my vague swipey motions in roughly the direction of the right letters, but it does (mostly – it gets a bit confused if you like to make up words like swipey).
- My search for a protective cover (it took me about a day of carrying it around to realise the chances of me dropping it/banging it into something/crushing it by having too many books in my bag were very high, and that this would make me anxious if I didn’t do something about it) led me to the discovery that there are very many very cool phone cases out there. I settled on this one for now (well I had to – it’s a cat wearing glasses and drinking hot chocolate (yeah, it’s probably supposed to be coffee, but I don’t like coffee), and as a bonus, the cat looks like Parsnips!), but I suspect my phone will end up having several outfits it can change into according to mood. Who knew a phone would have so many options to decorate it?
- I can take photos (like important photos of my phone case to put in my blog) even when I don’t have my camera with me. Which is a good thing, because my big camera is big. And heavy. So I only carry it when I’m going somewhere I think I’ll want to take photos. Which means when spontaneous photo opportunities happen, I’ll actually be able to take photos of them (and yes, I know everyone who has a smart phone has been telling me this for ever, but it wasn’t a big enough reason to buy a smart phone. But now that I have one, it’s a nice bonus.) The photos aren’t as good as I could take on my real camera, of course (I would hope not, given how much I paid for it!), but they’re good enough for quick snapshots. My big camera will still be accompanying me on my travels and to places I know I’ll want to take real photos, though!
Things I don’t like about my new phone
- It’s very distracting. Because it can do so many things, the temptation is to be constantly using it – I can understand now why teenagers are constantly on their phones. I’m hoping the novelty will wear off soon though and I’ll stop finding excuses to play with it.
- My pockets aren’t big enough. I could carry my old phone (which was tiny) around in my pocket if I needed to, but this one won’t fit (or, it will, but it hangs out of the top and I’m scared it’ll fall out). So if I want to take it with me, I have to either carry it in my hand, or in my bag, which means I always have to carry my bag (which I generally do anyway, because my bag is where I carry books, and being stuck somewhere without a book to read is my worst nightmare).
- It doesn’t understand the difference between ten and tin in a NZ accent (see above, although honestly, I’m impressed it can understand a NZ accent at all – voice recognition has come a long way!)
- Having an actual app to read library e-books and audiobooks means I have to return them on time. I’m so used to uploading a few at a time to my mp3 player (which isn’t sophisticated enough to have DRM, so keeps playing them even after they expire), and only removing them once they’re finished, instead of at the end of the loan period. I’m sure I’ll cope, though.
- If I have it too close to my bus card, it starts beeping at me (presumably it’s trying to read the RFID in the card?). So I can’t use the card slots in the nice new case I bought for it as intended (because if I keep my bus card separate to my other cards, I’m sure to forget to bring it with me, and I never have the right change to pay cash on the bus).
Yeah, pretty minor complaints, really. So on balance, I think the phone was a good purchase. (All of you who’ve spent the last several years telling me to get a proper phone may now say “I told you so”)
But isn’t my new phone case cool?